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Haddonfield Among Teams to Beat in South Jersey Group 2 Baseball

Haddonfield Among Teams to Beat in South Jersey Group 2 Baseball
The South Jersey Group 2 baseball should have a Colonial Conference feel to it. Four of the top six seeds are expected to be from the Colonial Conference Liberty Division – Haddonfield, West Deptford, Audubon and Haddon Heights.
 
The NJSIAA state tournament begins on May 20. Here is a look at the competitive field…

Defending Champion: Haddonfield. The Bulldogs beat Point Pleasant Beach, 2-1 in last year’s title game.
Favorite: Haddonfield. The Bulldogs are expected to be the top seed and on merit.
Teams to Watch: Besides fellow Colonial teams West Deptford, Audubon and Haddon Heights, Delran and Barnegat.
Dark Horse: Collingswood had a difficult beginning of the season, but has playing well recently. The Panthers are yet another team from the loaded Colonial Conference Liberty Division. When lefthander Alex Margot is on the mound, Collingswood could be competitive with anybody. The Panthers suffered a 6-5 loss to Haddonfield, when Margot pitched. He received no-decision and Haddonfield won after he departed the game due to reaching his pitch limit according to NJSIAA pitch rules. Margot also pitched a complete-game four-hitter in a 2-0 rematch loss to Haddonfield. He has also provided a big bat for the Panthers and is headed to the University of Kentucky, where he was recruited as a pitcher.
Outlook: Haddonfield improved to 13-1 with Monday’s 8-4 win over Moorestown in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic. The Bulldogs will benefit from playing in the Diamond. They next meet South Jersey’s No. 1 ranked team, Cherry Hill West, in the second round.
 
In Dylan Heine and Chris Brown, Haddonfield has a strong pitching tandem. Heine was a key pitcher last year and has continued this season. After beating Moorestown, Heine improved to 6-0 with an 0.76 ERA. He has earned a baseball scholarship to Rider and also plays baseball when he isn’t pitching.
 
Brown began the week 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA. He was also batting a team-high .471.
 
Audubon began the season 8-0 and the Green Wave have slumped a little recently. They were 9-4 to begin the week. Still this is a dangerous team, one that already beat highly regarded Bishop Eustace to win the Audubon Ralph Shaw tournament title.
 
Audubon lost 2-0 to Haddonfield the first time the teams met and the Green Wave should remain competitive.
 
So should West Deptford. The Eagles have improved since opening the season losing four of their first six games.
 
The Eagles opened some eyes with a 7-5 win over one of South Jersey’s top teams, Gloucester Catholic. RJ Mason led the way, going 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBI.
 
Haddon Heights, which has split two games against West Deptford, won’t be listed among the favorites, but should not be discounted.
 
Outside of the Colonial Conference teams, Delran should be extremely dangerous. The Bears suffered their second straight loss after Monday’s 3-1 defeat to Triton in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, but again, facing that type of competition will help Delran in the state tournament.
 
Barnegat began the week just 7-9 but has played a tough schedule and can’t be discounted.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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