Another strong season for Kingsway

by Marc Narducci | Jun 2, 2023
Another strong season for Kingsway
There will be high school baseball teams that won’t have a 2023 championship on their resume, but still enjoyed successful seasons. 

One of those teams is Kingsway, coached by veteran Bill Alvaro.

The Dragons finished 15-9 after falling to top seeded and defending sectional champion Cherokee, 7-2 in the South Jersey Group 4 quarterfinal. 

This was a rematch of last year’s sectional championship in which Cherokee won, 2-1.

This season Kingsway played one of the toughest schedules in South Jersey. The Dragons were in the highly competitive Tri-County Royal Division, where all six teams qualified for the playoffs.

Kingsway finished in second place with a 7-3 division record, one game behind champion Gloucester Catholic. 

The other Royal Division teams were Gloucester County Institute of Technology, Washington Township, Clearview and Williamstown, all Group 4 schools. 

The title came down to the final divisional game for both teams. Gloucester Catholic won that game, 3-2, overcoming a 2-0 deficit by scoring three runs over the final two innings.

Senior lefthander Landon Edwards was the hard-luck losing pitcher. Headed to Coastal Carolina, Edwards went the distance (6 1/3 innings) and struck out 11.

Edwards and senior infielder Nate Maiers, who had a .382 batting average this season, will be among the difficult seniors to replace, but Kingsway has a young nucleus, including freshman catcher Braeden Lipoff, whose batting average was .315 this season, to continue to be among the top programs in South Jersey.

One of the reasons this year’s 15-9 record was impressive is that Kingsway played among the more difficult schedules in South Jersey. 

The Dragons beat Bishop Eustace, 10-9, in the first round of Audubon’s Ralph Shaw Classic and then fell to host Audubon, 7-6, in the championship. One can argue that Eustace and Audubon are among the top 10 teams in South Jersey.

The Dragons also earned a berth in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, which features the top teams in South Jersey. Kingsway lost, 6-3, in the first round to a Delsea team that advanced all the way to the championship before losing to Gloucester Catholic. 

Many of Kingsway’s other losses were against highly touted teams including a 4-2 defeat to St. Augustine, which entered this postseason as the six-time defending South Jersey Non-Public A champion.

There was also a 10-0 first round South Jersey Group 4 playoff win over Toms River East and an earlier 7-6 victory over Mainland, which just upset top seeded Shawnee in the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs.

Was Kingsway satisfied with its season?

Probably not. Alvaro has built the program to the point of expecting to contend for and win titles. Yet the Dragons challenged themselves with a rugged schedule and still won 15 games. It goes to show how much talent there is in South Jersey, with Kingsway being among the group of talented. 

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Author: Marc Narducci


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