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Big Weekend Could Change...

Big Weekend Could Change...

Big Weekend Could Change the Course of Gloucester Catholic’s Baseball Season

Early in the South Jersey spring season, there were several questions about Gloucester Catholic’s baseball team.

The Rams have long set a standard when it comes to baseball not only in South Jersey, but statewide and even beyond.

This is a program where every year the goal is to win a state championship and anything less is looked on as a disappointment.

That might seem harsh, but the program has set the bar incredibly high and the players and coaches wouldn’t want it any other way.

Since the advent of NJSIAA playoffs in 1971, Gloucester Catholic has won 18 state championships, 14 in Non-Public B and four in Non-Public A.

To put in perspective how impressive that total is, the next highest number titles is eight, won by Audubon, Bishop Eustace and Seton Hall Prep.

So Gloucester Catholic has 10 more titles than any other school.

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Last year the Rams won No. 18 by beating Newark Academy, 15-5 in six innings during the Non-Public B state final.

Fast forward to this season and Gloucester Catholic struggled mightily in the early going, at least by its standards.

The Rams compete in the Tri-County Conference and usually rule the competition. Not so in the first month of the season. The Rams lost to three Trico teams, Schalick, 5-4; Clearview, 18-16 and Glassboro, 14-13.

Right after the Glassboro game, Gloucester Catholic had a weekend to remember and the Rams can only hope to build off the success.

First off, Gloucester Catholic beat perennial Central Jersey power Steinert, 17-7. Then on Sunday the Rams defeated two-time defending South Jersey Non-Public A champ St. Augustine, 5-2.

Lefthander Andrew Vail, a University of Maryland commit, earned the win over St. Augustine, allowing five hits but striking out 12.

He went a season-high seven innings. Vail likes to pitch in big games and none was bigger this year than the one against St. Augustine.

Vail likes to pitch in big games and none was bigger this year than the one against St. Augustine. And even last year, Vail saved his best for last. He came in relief and allowed just one run in four innings to earn the win in last year’s state championship game.

For Gloucester Catholic that was significant because the Rams hadn’t won a state title since 2013, an eternity for this school. Last year was the final chance for that senior class to earn a title and they did so in convincing fashion.

Back to this year.

The win over St. Augustine increased Gloucester Catholic’s record to 9-4. The Rams will have plenty of chances to keep moving up the South Jersey rankings and could still earn the opportunity to be No. 1.

There is still the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic and the Rams are expected to be among the top 16 teams in South Jersey to earn a berth.

Between the Diamond and state tournament, Gloucester Catholic will have plenty of chance to move up in the polls.
 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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