Memorable season for Bishop Eustace baseball

by Marc Narducci | Jul 12, 2021
Memorable season for Bishop Eustace baseball

The Crusaders went 21-1 and were the consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey. Their season ended with a 6-1 loss to a Red Bank Catholic in a South Jersey Non-Public semifinal game.

The fact that St. Augustine beat Red Rank Catholic, 6-5 to win the South Jersey championship, would seem to have given the Hermits the edge for the No. 1 team in South Jersey.

 That is not the case however. St. Augustine would lose to St. Joseph Montvale, 4-1 in the state championship game to end its season.The Hermits came on strong, but still finished the season 23-7. 

 Eustace was 19-0 against teams from the seven-county South Jersey area. St. Augustine was 19-5 against teams from the seven-county South Jersey area.

 The Hermits won one game in the 47th annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, which consists of 16 of the top teams in South Jersey. 

 After beating Paulsboro, 10-1 in the first round, St. Augustine was eliminated by Williamstown, 6-4 in the quarterfinal.

 Eustace won the Diamond, a major reason why they were considered the top team in South Jersey. The Crusaders beat that same Williamstown team, 8-1 in the championship.Eustace also beat Maple Shade, Kingsway and Gloucester Catholic enroute to earning a berth in the Diamond finals.

 What made Eustace such a dangerous team was its pitching staff, led by lefthander Anthony Solometo and righthander Danny Kerr, both seniors. Neither of the two pitchers were overworked.

 Solometo showed why he was considered among the best in the nation. He went 4-0 with one save. In six games, including five starts totaling 32 1/3 innings, the lefthander struck out 64 and walked five while compiling a 0.22 ERA.

 Kerr, who is a Rutgers recruit, was 7-0 with one save. In 27 2/3 innings, he struck out 45 and walked 11 and compiled a 1.01 ERA.

 Both players competed in the Carpenter Cup all-star tournament, playing for the Olympic Colonial. 

Also selected to the squad was right fielder Ian Petrutz, pitcher Joe Mascio, first baseman David Alleva and catcher Sebastian Pisacreta. 

 Alleva batted .417 with five home runs and 22 RBI. He shared the team home run lead with Pisacreta and led the Crusaders in RBI. 

 Of all the mentioned players, Pisacreta, who was a junior, was the only non-senior, so the Crusaders may be in a bit of a rebuilding mode next season, although this is a program that has been an annual contender under coach Sam Tropiano.

 This was also a milestone season for Tropiano, who earned his 700th career win, just another reason why this was a special season even by Eustace’s high standards. 

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Author: Marc Narducci


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