*Although the spring high school sports season will not take place in New Jersey due to the deadly coronavirus, the student athletes and coaches who participate in springtime indoor and outdoor athletics deserve recognition:
There is no question that the Ocean City High School baseball program was fully set to present a balanced attack-with outstanding pitching, a bevy of strong batters at the plate and highly competent fielding this spring season.
Key returning players to the varsity lineup for the Red Raiders this year included Jaden Millstein (senior, outfield, 29 hits, 26 runs scored, 13 RBIs in 2019), Brian Beckman (senior, second base, 11 hits, seven RBIs in 2019), Joe Repetti (junior, catcher and short stop, nine hits, six RBIs in 2019), Jake McKenna (senior, pitcher, 18 strikeouts in 2019), Chris Armstrong (senior, first base and pitcher), Colby Felix (senior, third base), Ben Hoag (junior, short stop), Dylan Campbell (junior, outfield), Gannon Brady (junior, pitcher and outfield, 20 hits, 34 innings pitched, 34 strikeouts, five wins in 2019), Matt Nunan (junior, pitcher and outfield, 22 innings pitched, 31 strikeouts in 2019), and Tom Finnegan (sophomore, pitcher and first base, six wins, 34 innings pitched, 34 strikeouts in 2019).
Among the newcomers hoping to leave a positive mark on the varsity roster for Ocean City are Jack Perry (junior, third base), Ben Liebrand (junior, outfield), Dylan Oliver (junior, outfield), Jack Rodgers (sophomore, pitcher), Dante Edwardi (freshman, short stop and pitcher), Duke McCarron (freshman, outfield and pitcher), Pat Lonergan (freshman, pitcher) and Riley Gunnels (freshman, third base and pitcher).
“Our five seniors McKenna, Beckman, Armstrong, Millstein and Felix are all vocal leaders who also lead by hard work,’’ Ocean City head coach Andrew Bristol said.
The Red Raiders were outstanding last season, posting a 19-5 record and advancing to the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group III Sectional Tournament before losing a one-run game to Toms River East. They topped Gloucester County Tech in the first round of the Sectional Tournament.
They certainly had high reaching goals this year.
“We would [have liked] to compete to win our Division, make the Cape Atlantic League (CAL) Playoffs and also make some noise in the Group 3 South Jersey playoffs,’’ Bristol said.
Ocean City competes in the CAL National Division along with Cedar Creek, Lower Cape May, Middle Township, Oakcrest, Absegami and Mainland. Coach Bristol viewed Cedar Creek and Mainland as being among the top teams to beat in the National Division.