The Lenape Valley Regional High School baseball team isn’t just hoping to build momentum as the regular season gets under way.
The team is working hard to be at its very best on a consistent basis against the difficult competition that awaits them.
The Patriots are scheduled to face Bernards there on Friday, April 28.
Through Sunday, April 23, they had an overall record of 6-4, including 4-2 in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Colonial Division.
“Our main goal is to use last year as a learning experience,’’ head coach Ken Costa said. “In 2022, we had much inexperience, which led a majority of games to slip away from us. With the group we have returning in addition to the newcomers, we feel that we are in a better position to compete in every game.
“Pitching and defense will be key; minimizing walks and free bases will give us our best chance to be in every game. Although we are still a young team on the varsity level, our coaching staff is very confident that this group can make some noise now and in the future.’’
Among the returning varsity athletes are seniors Dominick Kranz (outfielder and pitcher) and CJ Costanza (first base and pitcher); juniors Will Kelly (second base and pitcher), Mason Esposito (outfielder and pitcher) and Keith Wagner (outfielder); and sophomores Tanner Gaboda (short stop and pitcher) and Michael Parker (pitcher and first base).
Promising newcomers include juniors Dylan Van Tuyl (infielder and pitcher), Jhett Laurie (catcher and outfielder), Mikhail Osgood-Myers (catcher and third base) and Jake Marcisak (outfielder) and sophomores Ty Dellicker (outfielder and pitcher) and Chris Zander (third base and pitcher).
“We expect not only our two seniors, Dom and CJ, but all of our returners with varsity experience to begin leading the way for all of the younger players in our program,’’ Costa said. “Our highest expectation is that our upperclassmen and returning players lead by example on and off the field. A main focus is to always stay composed and never let one moment get too big.’’
The Patriots compete in the Colonial Division along with Kittatinny, Hopatcong, North Warren, Morris Tech and Sussex Tech.
“We have been moved into the NJAC Colonial Division for the 2023 season,’’ the coach said. “It is never easy to predict how a team will fare in a new division considering we have seen very little of our new opponents.
”Although we are technically in a rebuild process, we plan to take each game pitch by pitch and inning by inning. As long as our pitching staff continues to throw the way they have since March 13th, we believe we have a chance to be in the mix for a division title.’’
Although we are still a young team on the varsity level, our coaching staff is very confident that this group can make some noise now and in the future.’’ - Ken Costa, head baseball coach, Lenape Valley Regional High School