|High School Baseball:
Triton Enters Season Among South Jersey Elite
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
By Bob Wankel
Coming off of a season that ended in disappointment, the Mustangs take to the field this season with one goal in mind: Win the conference title. They look to build on a solid showing last season that fell just short of a conference championship. The team got off to blazing start with victories in a season opening tournament against some of the finest teams in South Jersey. The start had the Mustangs eyeing a conference championship and a run deep into the state playoffs. They found themselves regarded by other programs as one of the top teams in South Jersey by mid-April. Despite having talented depth across the board, and getting off to a blazing start, the Mustangs cooled off come May and once again fell short of the elusive conference title to Cherry Hill West.
Despite finishing as conference runner-up, the season was by no means a failure as they finished above .500 and made a respectable showing in the state tournament. However, this year, that will not be enough for this group to hang their hats on. The team has improved steadily over the past several years under Head Coach Bill Reilley, and appears to be ready to make a legitimate run at both the conference championship and state title. Many area experts have labeled this program as one of the teams to beat in 2003, as they will field perhaps one of the most talented teams the baseball program has ever seen. The Mustangs now head into the season with a more than capable senior group with players like Ryan Patterson, Bob Ilgenfritz, John Mclain, and one of the most talented players in the area, Brian McGlaughlin. Along with a very talented senior class, the Mustangs have many capable underclassmen expected to be on the roster. The JV team finished last season at 13-4 under assistant coach Chris Mason, who will serve as an assistant coach at the Varsity Level. The players from that team figure to make large contributions at the varsity level this season.
This team will not coast through this season, and just because everything looks good on paper doesn't mean that things will swing in favor of the Mustangs this season. However, the attitude and demeanor of this baseball team is right where it needs to be. The Mustangs will have a talented rotation with many capable arms and the order should be solid from top to bottom. The outfield should shape up quite nicely by mid-March, however entering the season that seems to be the on-field concern for the team has as well as finding a clear cut leadoff man. However, the biggest question mark the team will face during the season will be one that doesn't necessarily occur on the field. The question is will this team keep its composure and remained focused on what they need to do during the rough stretches of the season. If they can do this, the talent and everything else is in place. This may be the year where this team doesn't look and say, "We could have, we should have." Everything has fallen into to place for this team, and now it is their turn to finish on top.
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