It is with great pride and humility that the Gateway High School 1983 Varsity Baseball Team becomes the first Baseball Team to be inducted into the Gateway Sports Hall Of Fame. Needless to say there have been a number of great Baseball Players and teams that have represented the Gators on the Baseball Diamond. One has to look only at the individuals who are already members of the Gateway Sports Hall Of Fame. Names like Tim Conroy, Ken Macha, Albert Lardo, Rich Porac, and Tom Toman all were standout baseball players for the Gators. Some teams may have advanced further in the WPIAL or PIAA Playoffs, had pitchers that threw no-hitters, had team members with astronomical batting averages, but one would be hard pressed to find a team that was as dominant during the season or who had as many players recognized post season for their outstanding play. It is with this in mind that the 1983 Gator Baseball Team is proud to represent all the Gators Baseball Teams and individuals involved in Gator Baseball.
At the conclusion of the1983 Baseball Season the Pittsburg Post Gazette named to its All Section Team the following Six Gators. John DiLucente, Second Base; the second such honor for John, Greg Ribar, Shortstop; Rob Wilshire, Third Base; Tim McDowell, Pitcher; Greg Garofolo, Outfield; and Tony Cima, Designated Hitter. In addition to those players, the Tribune Review added Gary Dinzeo, First Base and Ricky King, Outfield to their Section Honor Roll Team. The only position that did not earn a post season nod was catcher. However, the Gators were well staffed behind the plate with Senior Dave Sloan and Junior Karl Seilbel Keep in mind that these selections were made by the opposing coaches in the section. A tribute to all those selected.
This was a team that had not seen much success the two previous seasons. However, during that time the players had an excellent opportunity under coach Kevin Murtha to really develop their baseball skills. The 1983 season was a magical one. With a new Head Coach, Reg Giles, and returning Assistant Coach John Sandor along with the help a former Gator Coach Joe Filipowski serving as the pitching coach, the Gators really turned the 1983 season into something special. First they finished the regular season with 18 wins as opposed to 4 losses. Their Section record was 16 wins against two losses. Both of the losses were one run games. A 2- 1 loss to Burrell and a 3-2 loss to Highlands. Truly one of the best records in Gator Baseball history. They managed to win two games in the WPIAL playoffs before losing in the Semi Finals to Shaler Area. That loss was followed by a 5 to 4 loss to Laurel Highlands in the PIAA Playoffs bringing their final record to 20 wins and 6 losses.
This 1983 team had outstanding pitching all season with Senior Tim McDowell and Greg Garofolo who both posted outstanding ERA’s. During the season Tim won Seven games while losing only one, while Greg also won seven while losing only one. Is it any wonder that they were considered the best pitching duo in the WPIAL that season. Along with Juniors Derek Greico, Dickie Engel and Frank Szatkowski the pitching staff was able to post 159 strike outs in 160 innings. Over the entire section schedule of 18 games the Gator pitching staff allowed slightly over two runs per game.
It was the offense that really keyed the 1983 season with John Dilucente, Rob Wishire, Gary Dinzeo, Greg Garofolo and Tony Cima who powered the Gators to slightly over 5 runs per game. First baseman Gary Dinzoe batted .352 for the season with 26 RBI in 26 games and was voted the MVP by his teammates at the end of the season. Rob Wishire was outstanding during the playoffs, having 10 hits in the four playoff games.
The defense added its contribution to the 1983 season as infielders Greg Ribar and Tony Ludivici, Outfielders Joe Adams, Dave Mirelis and Ricky King along with catchers Dave Sloan and Karl Seibel played outstanding defense throughout the season.
The other members of the 1983 team were, Senior Pat Dolan, Juniors Mike Groden, Paul Kocis, Tom Davis, Tim Sheehy, Tim McGivern and Sophomore Mark Sefer. All of whom contributed during the 83 season that the Gators went from worst to first.