Baseball team sets high expectations for upcoming season

Joseph D’Anna follows through after delivering a pitch to home plate in an early season scrimmage.

BY MATTHEW MANGAM

Sports Editor

            The baseball team will open its season at home against rival East Brunswick on Friday, April 1. The team ended last season with a disappointing 9-18 record but finished strong and reached the semifinals of the NJSIAA Sectional Tournament.

            The team looks to improve this season and has set ambitious goals. Senior pitcher Nick Covolous said, “Our team’s main goal is to win a state championship. We have an extremely talented pitching staff and a great offence that can beat anyone we face. We want to win the division, GMC Tournament, and the state championship.”

            Leadership is not an issue for the Knights, with twelve seniors on the roster this season, including Giovanni Fuda, Ryan Freel, Josh Gorcica, Will Kennedy, Covolous, Christian Krause, Joe Ciarletta, Joe D’Anna, Alex Reyes, Christian Cota, Matt Schmier, and Jake Knorr. “We have a lot of experience returning with a lot of senior depth,” said Head Coach Matthew Donaghue. “They are a great group of individuals who have dedicated a lot of time to this program. The seniors are very close and love to compete together.”

            Junior Kyle McSorley, who had 18 hits and a .321 batting average last season, said the team has been working towards the state title. “Our practices have all been working on our weaknesses from last year, including, communication, situational hitting, and overall getting closer as a team and building chemistry,” said McSorely.

Giovanni Fuda prepares for a pitch while standing at home plate in a scrimmage.

            The team is a tight-knit group with a positive outlook for the upcoming season. “The Knights are starting to come together as a team and working towards winning championships. The pitching staff will lead this team, and the offense will be greatly improved,” said Donaghue.

            Captain and pitcher Krause, who struck out 42 batters in less than 25 innings last season, wants to lead the team to success as captain. “I want to help the team progress and be the best verion of themselves on the field. I think we can be successful this year because the chemistry is tight, and we are all playing for one goal; to win a state title.”

            Pitcher and outfielder Justin Herbstman who had a .333 batting average last season, has been preparing for the season by throwing and hitting every day. “As a hitter, I want to get on base and provide as much run support for the pitcher as possible. I want to throw strikes and have my teammates make the play behind me. I also want to give my team a chance to win every game by keeping it close.”

Ryan Freel throws a throws to first base after fielding a ball at shortstop in a scrimmage against Spotswood.

            Covolous revealed some of his personal goals that he wants to achieve. “As a pitcher, my goal is to keep us in games and be trusted to execute pitches. Another goal of mine is to help struggling teammates and keep us together as a unit.”

            Come out and support the team in their opening game against East Brunswick at the Fred Cole Field at Lombardi on April 1 at 4pm.

Posted on 3/29/22

Photos by Madison Benner

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