By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — The Wildwood Catholic High School baseball team has gotten off to one of its best starts ever.
The Crusaders are now 4-1 after Tuesday afternoon’s solid 5-1 victory over a decent Pleasantville team. They’ll get tested Thursday against Buena in a key Cape-Atlantic United Conference game, but the team is brimming with confidence following the victory over the Greyhounds.
“This is a huge win for us,” Wildwood Catholic coach Jimmy Norris said. “They took the team a lot of people picked to win our division (Buena) to 10 innings the other day and they have some fantastic athletes with college potential, but we were able to beat them.”
Junior righty Ben Church, who tossed a no-hitter in the team’s opener against Atlantic City, was fabulous again. He limited the Greyhounds to three hits in a complete game performance. He struck out eight and walked three.
Justin Klemick hit a sacrifice fly and doubled and scored a run to help fuel the Crusader offense.
“We have a lot of guys who are here to play and guys that really want to play,” Klemick said. “People who haven’t seen us maybe thought we couldn’t compete in our conference but we think we have a good shot to be up there. We’re just having fun and trying to keep it rolling.”
Also for Catholic, Giacomo Antonicello had a hit, a run scored and an RBI, Sean Dougherty had a hit and two walks, C.J. Deegler had an RBI single and Tyler Cruz hit a sacrifice fly.
Wildwood Catholic won just six games last season. But with a more experienced roster — even though many of the players are still underclassmen — expectations have been raised this spring.
In addition to the wins over Pleasantville and Atlantic City, Wildwood Catholic has also beaten Bridgeton twice.
“I think our confidence this year is sky high,” Norris said. “We were kind of written off at the start of the year. But we’ve beaten some teams we’re supposed to beat and then we beat a very good team here. We’re looking to take this momentum to Buena and see what we can do.”