High School Baseball Preview: SJ Group 1 and 2

by Marc Narducci | May 25, 2022
High School Baseball Preview: SJ Group 1 and 2

The NJSIAA baseball tournament is almost upon us and the two smallest enrollment Groups offer a distinct contrast, with Group 1 led by a solid favorite while Group 2 appears more up for grabs. Here is a look at both.

The Public School tournament begins for Non-Public teams on May 31 and for public school teams on June 1.

Sectional finals for Public and Non-Public Schools will be played on June 10.

At press time the official pairings had not been released but we used the power points leaders as of the cutoff on May 22 (provided by NJ.com) in assessing the unofficial seeds.

SJ GROUP 1

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Audubon, which entered the week on a 13-game winning streak, is the top seed and the team to beat. The baseball tradition at Audubon rivals any school. Since the advent of the NJSIAA state playoffs in 1971, Audubon has won the most public school state titles (8).

Seniors John Perozzi and Sean Driscoll and junior Scott Lynch are two-way threats for Audubon.

Driscoll began the week with a 1.51 ERA in 37 innings and Perozzi’s was 2.06 in 37 innings. Lynch had 19 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.

Offensively, Perozzi was batting .360 with 34 RIB, Lynch was hitting .388 with four home runs and 20 RBI and Driscoll was batting .338 with 22 RBI.

Senior outfielder Xavier Masey was hitting .384 with a .726 slugging percentage.

Audubon will have one of the best offenses and deepest pitching staff in SJ Group 1.

The Green Wave, while the favorite, will face plenty of competition.
Pitman is the projected No. 2 seed, with Pennsville No. 3 and Buena No. 4. Any of those four are capable of winning. Pitman and Pennsville split their two games this season.

A dark horse? Try No. 9 Woodstown, the defending South Jersey Group 1 champion, which lost an earlier 10-9 decision to Pitman.

SJ GROUP 2
There is no prohibitive favorite in this Group. Cedar Creek, which began the week 14-11, is the projected top seed. The Pirates will benefit from playing a difficult schedule, playing much larger enrollment in Cape Atlantic League Schools.

Senior John McColl (.471, 21 RBI) leads a strong Cedar Creek offense.
Senior Christian Coppola (2.79 ERA) has been the mound leader.

Delran, a perennial contender, is the projected No. 2 team with Haddon Heights No. 3.

Any of them can win this balanced group. Haddon Heights will have one of the best players not only in SJ Group 2, but in South Jersey in senior switch-hitting catcher Caden Bodine (.508, 4 HR, 29 RBI), a Coastal Carolina commit.

No. 4 Cinnaminson, No. 5 West Deptford and No. 6 Barnegat are other title contenders in this wide-open group.

A dark horse could be No. 14 Haddonfield, which started well, went into a slump, but owns a win over Audubon and will benefit from playing in the Colonial Conference Liberty Division.


Author: Marc Narducci

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