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Another Strong Season for Clearview Baseball

Another Strong Season for Clearview Baseball
A South Jersey baseball team to look for in the future is Clearview. The Pioneers finished 13-9, but to show the depth of South Jersey baseball, Clearview was in the hunt for three different championships. The Pioneers finished second to Highland in the highly competitive Tri-County Royal Division.

Clearview was then among 16 of South Jersey’s top teams to be invited to the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic. After an opening win over Gateway, the Pioneers lost to Eastern, 10-6.

Clearview also was the No. 2 seed in the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, but lost to No. 15 Howell, 8-2 in the first round.

“I hope what we went through this year has us coming out hungry next season,” said Clearview coach Rolando Gautier.

What is encouraging is that the Pioneers have some experienced bats returning.

Junior outfielder Shawn Dougherty batted .368 with four home runs and 25 RBI. He also was second on the team with 27 runs scored.

Brandon Drapeau, a junior first baseman, hit .420 with six doubles, five home runs and 29 RBI. He hit a towering home run in the Diamond Classic loss to Eastern, one of the top teams in South Jersey.

Classmate Mike Decker, a third baseman, hit .397 with six doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI.

Those were the No. 3 through 5 hitters against Eastern.

In addition, junior outfielder Aidan Hoffman, hit .297 and was third on the team with 23 runs scored.

So having the heart of the order back is a major reason for future optimism.

As with many teams, Clearview will be looking for more pitching consistency next season. Still, there will be ample experience on the mound.

Drapeau, a 6-foot-4 righthander, was 3-3 with 47 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. Junior Anthony Pron was 4-2.

Of course, the Pioneers must replace some key seniors, beginning with shortstop Robert Gallagher, the leadoff hitter and offensive catalyst. He batted .344 and had a team-high 31 runs score.

Another huge void will be replacing senior righthander Alex Soriano, who was 4-3 with a 2.15 ERA.

The Pioneers played an ambitious schedule and had wins over several quality teams, including Gateway in the Diamond Classic and two other Diamond participants, Washington Township and Gloucester Catholic.

In addition, they also split their two games with Royal Division champion Highland.

The Pioneers are built to play the best competition and compete for at least one title on an annual basis. Next year should be no different as this year’s juniors will headline what is expected to be another solid team.

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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