【N.J】 Lawrence Post 414 baseball soundly hands defending state champ Allentown its second setback – – – New Jersey News

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WEST WINDSOR — It was one thing when the two-time defending state champion Allentown American Legion baseball team lost a close game to Hamilton Post 31 on the road in its 2023 opener.

But when A’town hosted Lawrence Post 414, the Mercer County American Legion League team with which it went to the last two State Final 8s, Monday at Mercer County Park, and were soundly defeated, 15-1, in five innings, it was a sign that there may be a powershift going on in the MCALL this season.

Post 414 banged out 15 hits, including seven for extra bases, while pitcher Chase Burrows limited the home team to two singles and a double.

“This might have been the worst loss I’ve suffered since Little League,” Allentown catcher Alex Bischoff said. “I was the only returning player from last year’s state championship team who was on the field today.”

Yes, head coach Sahil Thakur’s squad is a little green, yet so is head coach Jason Zegarski’s club, which has 15 new faces.

Three of those Lawrence newcomers came from former state power Hopewell Post 339, which could not field a team this summer.

“When the situation at Hopewell fell apart this year, I knew I was going to come here,” said Hopewell Valley High 6-foot-2 junior Jeffrey Blake, who had been with Post 339 in 2022. “I am a little bit surprised at how the game went, but I knew we’d come out and do our thing. This group is a lot of fun, yet from top to bottom, they are all locked in. They’re all focused.”

That was clear from the top of the first inning when Notre Dame products Lance Eilbacher and Dom Vizzoni singled in runs before Blake doubled in two more as Post 414 put up four unearned runs on A’town starting pitcher Anthony Mehmet.

The home team was not all that concerned at the time since Bischoff doubled in Jack Sweeney in the bottom of the frame to keep the game close.

But the visitors picked up their hitting again in the third inning, when they batted around for one of three times in the game, with Blake starting the hit parade with his second double and Jordan Everett, formerly of Ewing High, tripling him home. Ewing’s Zaire Lowe and the Pennington School’s Landon Hallett added RBI singles to double Lawrence’s output. We’ve got to learn to jell.”

Despite its new faces, Post 414 got plenty of key contributions with Blake going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in; Lowe adding two hits, a double, two runs and an RBI; Hallett also supplying two hits with a double and four RBIs; while leadoff hitting returnee Justin Prekop contributed three runs, two hits and two RBIs.

The 10-run rule went into effect in the top of the fifth when Jack Hughes led off with a solo home run before four more unearned runs crossed the plate.

Burrows only surrendered one more hit, a single by Matt Acquaviva in the bottom of the fifth over the final four innings to send Lawrence into an interesting matchup with Post 31 at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Mike Pezzicola Field in Eggerts Crossing (Central) Park.

Lawrence (1-0)        404      25    —    15  15  0

Allentown (0-2)        100      00    —      1    3  3

2B: Blake 2, Lowe, Prekop,, Hallett (L), Bischoff (A); 3B: Everett (L); HR: Hughes (L); RBIs: Prekop 2, Hallett 4, LaEilbacher, Hughes, Vizzoni, Blake 2, Everett, Lowe (L), Bischoff (A).

WP — Burrows (1-0); LP — Mehmet (0-1).


HAMILTON — Chris Babkowski went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Hibos past Post 313 at Nottingham High.

Tyler Dunmeyer also had two hits, including a double, a run and an RBI, to aid North Hamilton.

Maximus Pelzer tripled and drove in Jayden Jennings with BSP’s lone run to open scoring in the third inning.

BroadStPark(1-1)        001      000    0    —    1  5  2

N. Hamilton (1-0)         004      011    x    —    6  7  1

2B: Byra, Jennings, Maddalena (BSP), Dunmeyer, Babkowski, Camacho (NH); 3B: Pelzer (BSP); RBIs: Pelzer (BSP), Raba, Dunmeyer, Babkowski 2, Septak (NH).

WP — Weniger (1-0); LP — Mains (0-1).


BORDENTOWN — Braden Dromboski had two hits with a double, a run scored and two RBIs to lead Post 26 past Post 93/182 at Gilder Field.

Alex Jimenez-Paulino knocked in Tirrel Tift with Trenton’s only run in the fourth.

Trenton (0-1)               000      100    —    1  2  3

Bordentown(1-0)         022      21x    —    7  6  0

2B: LMannino, BDromboski (B); 3B: Stewart (B); RBIs: Jimenez-Paulino (T), Fredericks, BDromboski 2, LMannino (B).

WP — Parsons (1-0); LP — Santos (0-1); S — Jerrell (1).


PRINCETON — Eric Wheeler and Arjun Hsu drove in three runs apiece to push Post 218 past Post 148 at Barbara Smoyer Park.

Wes Price and Dylan Powers combined to pitch a two-hitter.

Hightstown(0-1)         001      000    0    —    1    2  2

Princeton (1-1)           302      220    x    —    9  12  3

2B: Newman (P); 3B: Winters (P); RBIs: Jenkins (H), TPetrone, Nydick, Wheeler 3, Hsu 3 (P).

WP — Price (1-0); LP — Benitez (0-1).

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