Patrizi looks back on Cherokee baseball

by Marc Narducci | Jul 27, 2022
Patrizi looks back on Cherokee baseball

It was quite a senior baseball season for recent Cherokee graduate Dom Patrizi. A shortstop, Patrizi was a major reason why Cherokee earned the South Jersey Group 4 championship. The Chiefs ended up ranked No. 2 in South Jersey, according to NJ.com.

Patrizi was a table-setter at the top of the order, leading the Chiefs with 32 runs scored. He batted .302 with four doubles, four home runs and 27 RBI. Patrizi also drew 27 walks and was a pest on the base paths, stealing 13 bases.

He simply did it all, and he not only helped Cherokee win the SJ Group 4 title, but also earned a share of the Olympic Conference American Division crown with rivals Shawnee and Lenape.

“It was an unreal journey this year,” Patrizi said of his senior season.

Before the season, Cherokee was considered likely a year away from being a championship contender. So much for predictions.

“As we kept winning, the crowds, the atmosphere and we were beating teams we weren’t supposed to, it was unreal,” he said. “The bus rides home from there is stuff I wil never forget, and hanging out with the guys afterwards is something I will never forget, for sure.”

Patrizi, whose sophomore year was lost due to the pandemic, was a two-year starter for the Chiefs.

“We knew from the beginning of the year we were a great team and we were a bunch of best friends playing together and we really jelled well,” he said. “That’s how we got so far.”

Patrizi’s next destination is Lehigh University, where he will continue to play baseball

His reason for choosing Lehigh was simple.

“It was definitely the academic aspect, the reputation as a school and also the competitive baseball program they have,” he said. “It’s like the best of both worlds.”

He committed to Lehigh the summer before his junior year, so he spent half his high school time not worrying about recruiting and just concentrating on academics and baseball, among other things.

One of the people who greatly helped him was his father Mario, Cinnaminson's former baseball coach and current football coach. Patrizi says he has learned so much from his father and is grateful for all the knowledge he has received.

“He has definitely been my biggest fan, my best coach and he has always been there for me along with my uncle, who comes to most of my games when my dad can’t, and he has also been like another coach to me,” said Patrizi. His uncle Mike Patrizi, a former star at Pennsauken who was drafted in the fourth round by the New York Mets in 1990, played four seasons of minor league baseball.

And Patrizi has taken all that knowledge and applied it on the field.

In order to prepare for Lehigh, Patrizi competed this summer for Cherry Hill in the Camden County American Legion League. Cherry Hill’s season just ended in the eight-team New Jersey state tournament.

Legion teams, especially the good ones, have gotten to play a steady diet of games in about a six-week period.

Cherry Hill was 9-8 in the seven-team Camden County League. That doesn’t count the games played in the district and state tournaments, not to mention any non-league games. So when fall practice begins at Lehigh, Patrizi should be sharp with all the baseball he played this summer.

The Cherry Hill team included many of his friends from Cherokee, Lenape and other neighboring schools.

“Not only was it good baseball but it has been fun playing with a bunch of my friends,” he said.

All that summer baseball should help him adjust to the college schedule, too. This season Lehigh was 26-24, playing those 50 games in less than three months.

For somebody like Patrizi who has a passion for the sport, it's the kind of schedule he should surely enjoy at the next level.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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