Viking baseball team faces key stretch

By: Rich Fisher
   It’s early in the season, but an important stretch has already arrived for the Cranbury School baseball team.
   Beginning with Wednesday’s game against Millstone, the Vikings began a stretch of three Tri-County Conference games in seven days.
   "It’s a big week for us, that will make us or break us," coach Frank Silva said. "Our defense could be much better, but I’m happy with our bats right now. Our bats are making up for a lot of mistakes our gloves are making."
   The Vikings were rained out against Metuchen on Monday, and nearly got rained out on Friday. But they got the required five innings in at South River, taking a 10-4 victory to raise their record to 2-1 overall.
   Clint O’Brien led the attack by going 3-for-3. Mark Madden had two hits and two RBI, Colin Sarafin and John Petrucelli each had one hit and one RBI, Tyler DiStasio had two hits, Frank Giacalone hit a double, Mario Fiorentini and Ryan Gordy each had a hit and Joe D’Eramo drove in a run.
   "The beginning of the lineup is just popping the ball," Silva said. "Faulkner, Petrucelli, Madden, Gordy and Sarafin are on fire. Really, the whole lineup is hitting pretty well. We’re scoring runs at will."
   Dan Mawn, O’Brien and Fiorentini handled the pitching chores against South River.
   After playing Millstone, the Vikes visited Hun for a non-conference game. They resumed Tri-County play at Allentown Monday and at New Egypt Wednesday. Cranbury is 1-1 in conference play.
The Vikings are still seeking their first victory, having dropped to 0-3 with losses to South River (10-7) and Pond Road (15-5).
   Despite the setbacks, pitcher Dylan Zink continues to pitch well. She notched 11 strikeouts against South River and nine against Pond Road, giving her 35 in three games.
   "Errors are hurting us though," coach Leigh Zink said. "A lot of balls are being hit right to them they’re not handling."
   Zink added that there are some players who have flashed a good glove this season.
   "Amy Jacobi is playing a good first base and Zara Stasi is playing well at shortstop," the coach said. "Sue Westock and Erin Hoerner are both catching well."