News and Announcements

CONGRATULATIONS to The HOOTS U17 Prospects who won the 2017 USA Premier Firecracker in Southern California with a win over the OC Premier.  The HOOTS Prospects finished with a record of 7-1.  Playing outstanding defense through out the entire tournment and supported with solid pithing and timely offense.

Josh Giffins was selected MVP of the tournament.  He won in both games he pitched and also while playing first base added solid offense during the tournament. 

A full schedule and results can be found on the USA Premier Baseball web site.


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Posted by Don Johns at May 29, 2017 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
  • May 30.  Stanford junior Matt Winaker was named Pac 12 Player of the Week for the second time this season.  Matt was 8 for 17(.471) with five runs, six RBI's, two doubles and a home run.  Stanford was awarded the No. 8 national seed (40-14) for the NCAA baseball tournament and will host a four team double-elimination regional starting on Thursday June 1 at Sunken Diamond.  Stanford will open against Sacramento State.  The other matchups will be between second seeded Cal State Fullerton and No. 3 seed BYU.
  • May 29.  Sophmore center fielder Ryan Ruly, Ohlone College,  was named the State Junior College Player of the Year.  Ohlone College advanced to the State Junior College Final Four which was won for the first time by Grossmont College.
  • April 26.  Domenic Mazza, SF Giants prospect became the first pitcher in the South Atlantic Leagues history to throw a nine inning PERFECT GAME.  Dom is a 22 year old left handed pitcher and retired all 27 batters he faced, had 9 strike outs, while pitching Augusta to a 9-0 victory at Lexington, Kentucky. Domenic was a member of the 2011 HOOTS Connie Mack World Sereis team and was drafted by the Giants out of UC Santa Barbara after an outstanding 3 year career with the Gauchos.
  • April 26.  Ryan Ruley, Ohlone College Sophmore is one of the stat leaders in the California Junior College Conference.  Rules  is 2nd in the State in Batting Average hitting .467, 2nd in the state in stolen bases at 28.  He is the offensive leader in the entire Coast Pacific Conference, has a .534 OBP and .787 slugging with 8 Home Runs.  Ohlone is 31-3 and one of the top ranked teams leading into the playoffs for the California State Championship.  Ryan played on the HOOTS 2014 Connie Mack World Series Final Four team and he has accepted a scholarchip to continue to play next year at Loyola Marymount College.  
  • Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals right fielder led them to a win over the Washington Nationals on April 13.  Stephen homered and had 5 RBI's to avoid a sweep by Washington in the 3 game series.
  • Cal Sophmore Pitcher Joey Matulovich pitched 8 innings in a 4-1 win for the Bears over the U. of Oregon on Sunday March 19 at Evans Diamond.  Joey moved his record to 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA.  Next up will be a start on Saturday March 25 at UCLA. 
  • Two former HOOTS players, Tommy Jew and Armani Smith are starters in the outfield for the Gauchos at U. of California Santa Barbara.  Tommy is a red shirt freshman and Armani is a true freshman.  The Gauchos are coming off a 2016 berth and one of the 8 teams at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.  Armani is one of the offensive leaders with a .364 average.  Both Jew and Smith are in the mix daily as Tommy has appeared in 14 games for Santa Barbara and Armani in 12 games.
  • Ryan Anderson is leading the UC Davis Aggies offense with a .373 average, 22 hits, 3 HR and and a .422 On Base percent.  Healthy after a knee injury in his first year at Davis he is showing his offensive ability much as he did during his 3 years on the HOOTS Connie Mack team while leading the team to the National Final Four at the Connie Mack World Series in 2014.

The 12th Annual HOOTS Fly With The Owl Tournament will be held in Danville at San Ramon Valley High School beginning on July 14 thru Sunday July 17.

The tournament will feature 6 of the top amateur baseball teams from Northern California,  Returning this year also will be the Reno Knights coached by Pete Savage and from Southern California Head Coach Pat Evans will bring his Desert Prospects to Danville.

 Game times each day are 10:00AM, 1:00PM and 4:00PM.  The HOOTS will play the final game of each day at 4:00PM.

A complete schedule will be added to the handout section of the web site. 

The Mercer County Western Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame Induction of Coach Don Johns gathered together former Grove City High School team members and life long friends.  Growing up in the shadows of coal mines and steel mills,  the 1961 Eagles led by lengedary football Coach Dick Bestwick went undefeated with a record of 9-0.  Several of those individuals gathered together for the induction of their friend. 


The Board of Directors of the Mercer County Western Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame inducted 11 new members to the hall in the Class of 2015.  Included in this year's ceremony was former stand out Grove City athlete and HOOTS Coach Peter "Donnie" Johns.  The annual dinner and Induction Ceremony celebrated its 68 years as the oldest Hall of Fame.  Including the Class of 2015 they have inducted 535 Mercer County Athletic Standouts into this Hall of Fame.

The following was published in the local papers in the Mercer County Western Pennsylvania Area and can be viewed online on the Mercer Couty Athletic Hall of Fame web site.

Peter "Donnie" Johns was one of the top all-around athletes developed at Grove City High school, who went on to become a nationally renowned amateur baseball coach.  A 1962 graduate of Grove City High School, he was a standout in football, wrestling and track and field.

As a running back and corner back in football, he was a three year letterman and helped the Eagles go unbeaten in the 1961 campaign. He also earned three letters in wrestling and track.  He served as co-captain of the mat team in 1961 and was an outstanding pole vaulter in track and field.

He went on to play football at Slippery Rock University, but a shoulder injury in 1963 ended his career. 

In 1991, Donnie founded one of the nation's top amateur baseball organizations, the Danville (Calif.) HOOTS, which he serves as head coach and President. The team won 9 consecutive Northern California District Championships in American Legion Baseball and made 3 Legion World Series appearances as California and Western States Champion.

His 2000 team won the United States National American Legion Championship, first out of 5200 teams round the country.  That team went 59-9 that season against some of the best teams in the country.

Donnie's 2014 HOOTS squad finished in the top four in the nation, advancing to their 3rd World Series appearance in Connie Mack Baseball.  The team lost a tough contest to national champion D Bat Gallegos from Dallas in the semifinals. The HOOTS have won multiple state titles in both American Legion Baseball and Connie Mack Baseball.

Joining Coach Johns at the Induction Ceremony in Sharon, Pennsylvania was his son Matt who was a two sport stand out at San Ramon Valley High school and played Division I baseball at Western Kentucky in the Sunbelt Conference.  Matt is a personal trainer and the current SRVHS Strength Coach and also a coach on the HOOTS Connie Mack team.  His Sister Nancy Sturgeon from Erie, Pa. and her son Chris accompanied by Heather.  The children of his sister Sandy Pawk, Laura Santora and her daughter El, Matthew Pawk and Michael Pawk. Also attending were former GCHS Eagle teammates and life long friends Jim McLean and his wife Norma, Bill Neely and his wife Lynn and Roger Luli.

Coach Johns was introduced at the ceremony by Bill Bestwick, the brother of Dick Bestwick who was the outstanding GCHS football coach of the undefeated Eagles and later on went to coach at the college level and at the University of Georgia where he later became the Assistant Athletic Director.  Larry Frattare introduced Coach Johns and Bruce Drennan of Sports Time Ohio "Drennan Live."  Tim Neverett, Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster was also a guest speaker.

The full article and pictures can be viewed at the Mercer County Athletic Hall of Fame web site.

Congratulations to Coach Don Johns as a 2015 Inductee to the Mercer County Western Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.