South Jersey Non-Public Baseball Preview

by Marc Narducci | May 22, 2024
South Jersey Non-Public Baseball Preview
The South Jersey Non-Public baseball tournament began this week and both Non-Public A and Non-Public B are among the toughest Groups in South Jersey. 

Here is a look at both Groups.

 

Non-Public A

Defending champion: Red Bank Catholic

Outlook: Red Bank Catholic was the top seed last year and is projected to be the same this season. Last year, RBC beat second seeded St. Joseph Metuchen, 4-1 in the championship game. One of Red Bank Catholic’s more impressive showings was a 5-3 loss to Gloucester Catholic, which was No. 1 in the state at the time according to NJ.com. RBC will also benefit from playing in the always difficult Shore Conference. 

Projected No. 2 St. Augustine, under first-year coach Mike Ney, is a team to watch. The Hermits own a 9-1 win over projected top Group 4 seed Rancocas Valley. There was also a heart-breaking 1-0 loss in 11 innings to Gloucester Catholic. Seniors Matt Kouser (0.80 ERA, according to NJ.com stats) and John Podgorski (1.16) lead a deep pitching staff. The key for the Hermits will be to show a more consistent offense, but the pitching is there.

Projected No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy is another major contender from the dangerous Shore Conference. A dark horse to watch is No. 7. Union Catholic. 

 

Non-Public B

Defending champion: Gloucester Catholic

Outlook: With Gloucester Catholic as the defending sectional and state champion, this race could come down to a potential championship meeting between the Rams and projected No. 2 seed Bishop Eustace.

Over the years, this has been one of the stronger South Jersey rivalries, mainly because both teams usually meet while competing for a championship.

Gloucester Catholic began the week 22-1, with the loss a 2-0 defeat to Cherry Hill West in a Joe Hartmann Diamond Class semifinal. The Rams have among the deepest pitching staffs in the state. Senior Tate DeRias, a Miami commit, had an 0.59 ERA with 62 strikeouts in his first 35 1/3 innings. Classmate Evan Brasberger had a 1.22 ERA in his first 34 1/3 innings. Senior center fielder Jake Terranova (.464) and sophomore infielder Noah Danza (.464) have been the offensive leaders.

Bishop Eustace lost in last year’s semifinal, 4-3 to Ranney, which then lost to Gloucester Catholic, 4-1 in the title game. Eustace senior Landon Mack, a Rutgers commit, had a 0.56 ERA, with 64 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings to begin the week. He is among the top pitchers in the state. Junior Jack Torrence (0.93 ERA, 22 2/3 IP) is also part of this deep staff.

No. 4 St. Rose, which beat Ranney, 9-3, last week, should also contend, as could Ranney, which is still  strong team, but maybe not quite as powerful as last year. 

It would be a surprise if anybody other than Gloucester Catholic or Eustace wins this Group.

Photo Noah Danza of Gloucester Catholic / Marc Narducci

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Author: Marc Narducci

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