Lots of parity in Liberty Division

Lots of parity in Liberty Division The Colonial Conference has long been known as one of the best so-called “small school” conferences when it comes to high school baseball and this year it is living up to that billing.

The Colonial is comprised of Group 1 and Group 2 schools and this year there are close races in both divisions.

Unlike many divisions which are comprised of the highest enrollment schools, the Colonial has recently placed the more competitive teams in the Liberty Division, regardless of Group size.

Though the beginning of the week, here were the standings in the Colonial Liberty with just the division records:

West Deptford 4-1 Audubon 4-1 Haddon Heights 3-2 Sterling 2-3 Haddonfield 2-3 Collingswood 0-5

Audubon opened with a 9-2 loss to West Deptford, but the Green Wave won their next six games, including four in the division.

Kurt Pechmann has been the lone senior on a young but improving staff for the Green Wave.

West Depford’s lone Colonial loss came against Sterling as Darien Binford allowed just two runs against the explosive Eagles offense in 5 ? innings.

Despite the 2-3 division record, that win showed that Sterling could factor into would could be a wild Colonial race.

Haddon Heights has faced each Liberty team, starting out 3-2, with the losses coming to West Deptford, 9-2 and Audubon, 5-4. Based on this showing, the Garnets figure to be in the race until the end.

So could Haddonfield, another team with good young pitching. The Bulldogs lost their first three games to West Deptford, Haddon Heights and Audubon, a treacherous opening schedule for such a young team.

The 3-1 loss to Audubon showed how competitive the Bulldogs could be. Sophomores Dane Samartino and Nick Turnage combined to hold the Green Wave to just four hits.

Then the Bulldogs had a breakthrough win, 6-1 over Sterling as senor Marc LaProcido limited the Silver Knights to one unearned run in five innings.

The Bulldogs followed that up with a win over a young Collingswood team.

What makes the Colonial Liberty so interesting is that besides being so balanced this season, the top five teams are also competing in South Jersey Group 2.

That means that besides facing each other twice in the regular season, there could definitely be some postseason rematches.

It’s expected that all five teams will qualify for the 16-team South Jersey Group 2 tournament, which is also considered wide open. Any of the five Colonial Liberty teams could surely contend, but others such as Delran and Delsea, just to name a few, could also battle for the title.

The regular season of the Colonial Liberty is like a mini-Group 2 tournament and all the teams will be well prepared, once the actual tourney begins on June 2.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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