Varsity Baseball Takes Charge of Conference

James Kim, Staff Writer

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The wheels continued to roll for Oratory baseball, who caught four wins out of five games over the span of two weeks. Senior Nick Demarinis kept performing at the plate and became one of the state’s leaders in home runs, according to NJ.com. Junior Joey Del Sol racked up some strong numbers at the plate himself and was named the county’s hitter of the week. Seniors Andrew Meisner and Jack Reilly had very solid starts on the mound, both of whom already have earned a couple of shutout performances. Sophomore Jack Greco flashed some power and hit his first career varsity home run. Junior Ben Landis showed off his strong arm and threw out several runners in key moments. All in all, the last couple of weeks proved to be very productive for the team.

 

On April 9, the team traveled to conference-opponent Linden High School. Never having played them before, the guys approached the field prepared to perform at the top of their game. Jack Reilly quickly shut down the batters and dominated the entire game. Over seven innings he did not give up a single run and efficiently retired the batters with 90 pitches. Despite facing a starter with solid breaking balls and offspeeds in his arsenal, the Rams fought hard and managed to put up a 5 on the scoreboard. Senior outfielders Will Demilt and Nick Sannito gathered two RBIs apiece and Demarinis hit a screeching double that also brought in a run. Although the bats had quieted down compared to the previous games, the defense and offense managed to play clean baseball and capitalize on some timely hits.

 

A couple of days later, the team played another conference team, Roselle Park. Pitching ace Andrew Meisner tossed a complete game of his own, giving up three unearned runs and striking out seven batters. At the plate, the team showed up once again with an aggressive approach, trying to put the balls in play and taking advantage of the hard, unpredictable dirt field. Del Sol and Demarinis both hit solid doubles to the gap, each bringing in a run. Nick Sannito remained hot and smacked a clutch bases-clearing triple to right field, bringing in three runs and securing the lead for the team. The final score was 9-4 and the players were very confident in their ability to continue to dominate their opponents, especially those in their conference.

 

Saturday, April 13, however, was, unfortunately, a tough day for the Rams. Despite fighting hard against cross town rival New Providence, highlighted by a Nick Demarinis solo home run in the third inning and a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the sixth, the team could not rally in the end and fell short 9-7. The game was simply a good game of baseball with few errors and some clutch hits. Despite the loss, the team continued to perform at a high level and beat their final conference opponent, Rahway. Since this was the final team Oratory had not yet played in the conference, the team was determined to win to obtain a strong lead in the standings. Despite not particularly bringing their best performance to the game, the Rams still squeezed out a 4-2 win. The bats were cold, as only two hits found their way into the scoreboard. However, with some walks and a few errors committed by the opponent, the offense drove in a few runs that would prove to be just enough. Jack Reilly through another complete game, once again efficiently shutting down the lineup with 91 pitches.

 

Oratory baseball ended the week on another high note, defeating another conference-rival David Brearley. Since they had previously the beaten them in the first game of the season with many runs on the scoreboard, the hitters were prepared to attack the ball at the plate…and they did. Twelve runs crossed home plate for the Rams, including an absolute moonshot from Nick Demarinis over the centerfield fence, a triple to left field for Junior Jack Coyne, and a game-ending home run from Jack Greco. The whole lineup, once again, contributed to the high production of runs, supporting ace Andy Meisner who threw yet another complete game.

 

The team stands at a 7-3 and the current week will involve games against Plainfield, Summit and Scotch Plains (first round of county tournament). With an undefeated conference record, the team will continue to dominate during the second half of the season. While some key players continue to produce and the team remains aggressive and sharp on the field, the boys can look to lead the conference and earn a very solid record. The season has looked extremely good for the Rams, and the rest of the season looks just as bright within the upcoming month.

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