Windsor, N.J. -- The
Vikings started the season intent on improving on last year's
17-13 record and advancing further in the Region 19 Playoffs
than in 2010, when they lost to Burlington County College
in the Region 19 semi-final round.
Playing on their home turf May 13 and 14, the Vikings entered
the Region 19 Final Four Tournament as the no. 3 seed with
a 19-14 record. And, they accomplished at least one of their
goals, beating no. 1-ranked Burlington 9-5.
They also beat no. 4-seeded Sussex 6-5, but found a tougher
foe in Lackawanna College, ranked no. 2. Mercer lost its opening
game against Lackawanna 3-0 and then lost again to Lackawanna
in the final by the same score in the double elimination tournament,
ending their season with a 21-16 record.
According to Head Coach Matt Wolski, there was a lot of talent
and energy on the Vikings roster, but the majority of team
was made up of freshmen. "The lack of experience showed
in these critical games," he observed.
Wolski says the team's all-too-brief run in the post-season
doesn't truly reflect the abilities of this talanted group
of athletes. Topping the list was freshman pitcher James Pugliese,
who was named to the All-Region 19 First Team, selected as
the no. 2 player in the region, and named a Third Team All-American.
Pugliese ended the season 6-2. The right-handed pitcher, a
graduate of Steinert High School, was noticed by professional
scouts and was selected in the 18th round of the Major League
Baseball draft in early June to play for the Chicago Cubs
Also singled out for post-season honors was freshman infielder
Matt Patterson, an impressive hitter who ended his season
with a .458 batting average. Patterson was named to the All-Region
19 First Team and selected as the region's sixth best player.
Freshmen outfielder Ian Moyer and sophomore infielder Ryan
Brydzinski were named to All-Region Second Team. These three,
along with Pugliese, were also named to the All-Garden State
Athletic Conference First Team.
who made a big impact for the Vikings were freshman infielder
Michael Constantini and sophomore infielder Joe Leone.
is especially proud that his players were a local group. More
than half of the team hailed from Mercer County and the rest
came from nearby counties, including Burlington and Bucks
County, Pa. He notes that this class of freshmen, with a year
of college level baseball under their belts, will be ready
for a competitive season next year.
was assisted by Fred Carella and Kevin Kerins
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