The Hornets Travel 17u baseball team boasts a coaching staff with college playing experience, college coaching experience, college recruiting experience, baseball academy instruction, and travel baseball coaching expertise. This paid coaching staff, which has gone through both child abuse and criminal record background checks, is committed to developing every player. This staff is returning for the 2024 Program providing continuity and stability for the 17u program with a very low coach-to-player ratio to address each player's needs.
The staff consists of the following returning coaches. See full bios for each below.
Ben Krentzman - Head Coach
Ryan Kehr - Assistant Head Coach; Pitching Coach
Ian Roth - Assistant Coach; Pitching Coach
Phil Bertolotti - Assistant Coach & Hitting Instructor
Harley Sonn - Operations & Analytics
Ben Krentzman was a 4-year letter winner as a member of Bucknell University’s Division 1 Baseball Team and graduated in 2003. His teams captured two Patriot League Championships and he advanced to the regional tournaments playing against University of Texas and University of Miami.
After his college playing days, he began his coaching career at Clearwater Florida High School in the role of hitting and outfield coach. He was instrumental in steering the 2005 team to district and conference championships. During his two-season tenure, he instructed five players that went on to play college baseball.
In 2007, Ben accepted a coaching position from Bucknell University handling hitting and outfield responsibilities. His 2008 team won the Patriot League Championship and beat a Florida State team led by Buster Posey for Bucknell’s first ever Regional Tournament Victory. During his coaching tenure, Krentzman instructed three different players to the Patriot League career home run record.
While coaching at Bucknell, Ben concurrently was approached and accepted the role of hitting coach for the Alexandria Aces, a summer team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League. He instructed players from Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, University of Penn, Rutgers, and Yavapai.
From 2010 through 2012, Krentzman would go on to coach at Flager College and helped lead the team to its first ever Peach Belt Tournament appearance. He then accepted a position at Lehigh University as hitting coach and director of baseball operations. Beyond coaching, Ben recruited the Lehigh Freshmen class that would go on to win the Patriot League Championship.
With a goal of continuing his education, Krentzman accepted the role of hitting coach, outfield coach, and recruiting coordinator at Eastern University while also earning his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership.
Ben is now putting down roots in the area with his wife and young daughter. Being out of baseball for a couple of years, he was intrigued and excited by the 2019 offer of head coach of the then Hornets 13U team. He accepted the position with much enthusiasm as he knows he brings a wealth of experience to a critical age of baseball development.
Head Coach Ben Krentzman delivers a unique perspective to the Hornets 17u team, having played, coached, and recruited at the college level. He knows firsthand the work, talent, and approach to playing baseball at a very high level and will impart this knowledge with the players he guides. This level of expertise is not often seen outside of high profile academy teams. Not having a son, relative, or family friends on the team gives him the unbiased latitude to teach all players equally and make decisions for the good of the team. His philosophy is one of positivity, love of the game, respect of your teammates, and working together for the greater good.
Assistant Head Coach, Pitching Coach
Ryan Kehr was a four-year pitcher at Eastern University performing primarily in a starting role in conference games. During his career, Kehr helped lead Eastern University to their first playoff appearance & earned the first postseason win in school program history. Kehr earned all-conference honors in the starting pitcher role his senior year. In addition to his pitching career at Eastern University, he also served a utility role for two years with positions including second base, third base, and outfield. With the respect of his coaches and teammates, Ryan was voted as a team captain in each of his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Prior to his college playing experience, Kehr earned first team all-conference awards in each of his sophomore, junior, and senior years at Littlestown High School. He also helped lead his high school team to multiple division championships and also to the 2013 PIAA State Playoffs.
While in college, Ryan balanced baseball with a double major, a 3.3 GPA, and mentored local youth through baseball and church activities. Kehr has over three years of leadership training and mentorship from Tyler Clabaugh, past founder of Training Leaders through Athletics and current leadership coach at Messiah College, and James Carsey, assistant athletic director for human performance at Miami University.
As interim head coach for the 2022 Fall season for the Hornets Baseball 16u team, Ryan Kehr was an incredibly valuable asset for the organization. The team was extremely fortunate to have a dedicated pitching coach to carefully and correctly develop young pitchers.
As stated by Kehr, “I’m very excited for this opportunity to mentor and develop each of our players this year. I hope to take my knowledge and success as a player and apply it the development of our players, especially our pitchers. This age group is a crucial time to focus on mechanics, the mental game, and proper arm care & it’s of the utmost importance for me to focus on enhancing these skillsets at this stage in these young men’s playing careers.”
Assistant Coach, Pitching Coach
Ian Roth was a four-year pitcher at Eastern University performing in a mix of relief and starting roles. He was involved as a team representative for the Student Athletic Advisory Commitee (SAAC) and served as the team's chaplain. Roth earned Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Academic Honor Roll in each of his four seasons at Eastern University. Roth graduated with a Bachelors in Middle Level Education after 3 years, and completed his Masters in Multicultural Education during his fourth year. Prior to his experience at Eastern, he played at Wilson High School in Berks County where he earned All-County Honors.
Roth's has ten years of experience in the world of travel baseball as a player and a coach. In his middle and high school years he played five seasons with Bluerocks Baseball, a program that was the #1 ranked in the Northeast by Perfect Game USA. Roth has five years of travel coaching and private instruction experience coaching with Bluerocks Baseball, All-Star Baseball Academy, and Radnor Township.
Ian is currently is an eighth grade Social Studies and Language Arts teacher at Radnor Middle School. Roth runs the middle school baseball program and also assists with the high school team. In the summer months he has coached with Wayne American Legion. Ian is currently pursuing his doctorate (Ed.D) at Cabrini University in Educational Leadership
As an assistant coach for the Hornets Baseball 17u team, Ian Roth brings high-level energy and experiences that will benefit players as they continue to grow and potentially pursue the college recruitment process. The team is extremely fortunte to have a coach who understands the student athlete experience from the lens of an educator, emphasizes the importance of Baseball IQ, and has personally navigated the recruitment process as both a player and coach.
As stated by Roth, "I could not be more thrilled to be joining the Hornets Baseball Program. I always tell my players that your priorities are ranked in this order:
1. Family 2. School 3. Baseball. The Hornets program has emphasized these values ever since its inception and has shown exciting progression that is evidenced by player development and team performance.
Assistant Coach & Hitting Instructor
Phil Bertolotti was heavily recruited by college baseball scouts beginning in his sophomore year of high school and ultimately he accepted a four-year, full scholarship from Penn State University. As a four-year starter of a highly competitive Division 1 program, Phil led the 1996 team to a Big Ten Championship and was named the 1996 Team MVP. During his college playing time he was named Big Ten Player of the Week multiple times.
After college, Phil was approached by several Philadelphia area baseball academies and began providing private, specialized instruction at Diamond Baseball Academy and multiple locations of All-Star Baseball Academy.
As part of the Hornets Baseball 17u staff, Bertolotti will be a valuable and powerful influence on Hornets’ players, teaching and speaking from a place of personal, high level, baseball success. He will guide players with the correct fundamentals pertaining to the larger field and will instruct them on advanced thinking and in-game tactics to advance their overall baseball skills. During practice, Coach Bertolotti will provide specialized training for position play, hitting, and base running. He will serve as assistant head coach and will be a game day base coach.
"Harley" Dave Sonn
Operations & Analytics
Harley was an outfielder into his high school years and he points back to his 13 to 15 year old travel squad where he really learned how to be part of a team. Both as a rookie who had to lug the team equipment to a senior member who set the example for the younger players, it's here where he learned to work within a group. He's carried these valuable lessons into his professional life and as an entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies, built teams of people, and created a variety of ventures, it's these inner workings and dynamics of a ball club that he still draws upon today. It's his goal that Hornet players walk away with the same value.
Sonn has over 15 years experience in coaching teen and youth baseball, both as a head coach and an assistant, leading teams to undefeated seasons. His approach to coaching is to teach and create success for all players versus simply managing the stars. He understands how to leverage the power of the lineup and the intangibles only learned by both playing and coaching the game. However, for Hornets Baseball he does not make any on-field, baseball decisions and serves in a supporting role assisting with practices and game day logistics.
Rather, his primary role for the Hornets Baseball program is to manage all operations from tournament scheduling, logistics, uniforms, and financial issues, to communications and off-field tasks. His goal is to provide the most organized, effective, stable, and communicative baseball program possible. An important focus of his is team culture. A team that believes it has the support of its coaches and teammates gains the confidence to perform at a higher level.
Hornets Travel Baseball Team & Coaches
This 17U baseball team plays games and tournaments in South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. The roster is made up of players living in PA towns - Harleysville, Radnor, King of Prussia, Conshohocken, Methacton, Berwyn, Wayne, Collegeville, Phoenixville, Plymouth Meeting, Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Lansdale, Downingtown and surrounding towns.