Warriors finish 13-11; look forward to 2013


The New Egypt High School baseball team had some bright moments in 2012 and there are brighter prospects ahead for the 2013 campaign.

The Warriors (13-11) saw their season come to an end with a 3-0 loss to Burlington City in the Central Jersey Group I state sectional tournament.

An error allowed Burlington City to score two runs in the first inning after both runners reached on walks, while an error in the outfield later in the game allowed the other run to score.

New Egypt’s only real threat came in the first inning when junior Kevin Mason led off with a walk and stole two bases, but was stranded at third.

Looking ahead to next year, coach Jeff Pierro said, “We have almost everybody back.”

The Warriors went 5-2 in the Burlington County Scholastic League Freedom Division this spring, suffering both league losses to Burlington City. New Egypt played for much of the season without standout junior pitcher Bill Raab, who was sidelined with an injury.

John Fassl, the second baseman who batted fifth or sixth in the order, is the lone graduating player and will attend Bloomsburg University this fall.

“I think we did pretty well considering how young we are,” said shortstop and pitcher Mike DeAnni, a junior. “I believe we’ll only get better. We are really getting to know each other.”

Pierro said a number of New Egypt’s players are on the Allentown American Legion team where he serves as an assistant to head coach Matt Zagari.

Allentown won two of its first three games in the summer season, losing to Steinert (American Legion Hamilton Post 31), 4-3, in the opener and then beating Hamilton West (Broad Street Park), 6-4, and knocking off the Trenton American Legion Post, 7-2.

During Pierro’s first season at New Egypt, the players adapted quickly to his approach. The coach had most of his prior experience in American Legion baseball. Pierro said he learned some things on the job.

“There is a lot to learn and when you are in the situation you have to re-evaluate and are constantly learning how to be successful,” Pierro said. “It’s not just for the varsity program, but as a whole, the eighth grade team coming up and the Little League recreation programs to get them all in the whole system coming up.”

New Egypt crushed Riverside, 12-2, in the Burlington County Tournament before losing in the second round of the tournament to Burlington Township, 3-1.

“I think we will be pretty good next season,” DeAnni said. “I think we will be a contender again (in the division), and I think we should go deep in the states.”

All of the Warriors’ pitchers are expected to return in 2013, led by juniors DeAnni, who had a 5-2 record, and Connor Lindsay, who went 3-1 and threw a 1-0 no-hitter over Palmyra and “got stronger as the year went on,” said Pierro.

DeAnni played shortstop when he was not pitching and batted .315 in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. New Egypt as a team batted .293.

“He’s a natural athlete, a special player,” Pierro said of DeAnni, who also plays football and basketball at New Egypt.

Cleanup hitter Reid Anderson, a junior, batted .450 and tied a school record with five home runs in a season.

“I think we hit the ball pretty good, but sometimes the defense got a little sloppy. We’ve got to pick that up a little bit,” DeAnni said. He felt that included himself when he said, “I feel I could have done better. I’m more comfortable at second base and was out of position (at shortstop), but I do what helps the team.”

DeAnni is playing second base for the AllentownAmerican Legion team this summer. Sophomore Quentin Hatt looms as the full-time replacement for Fassl at second base. When DeAnni pitched, Fassl moved to shortstop and Hatt went to second base.

“He’s pretty strong and has solid hands,” Pierro said about Hatt.

Mason, the leadoff hitter, played left field and junior Kevin Smith played a good defensive game at first base, Pierro said.

The coach said sophomore third baseman Austin Lindsay, Connor Lindsay’s younger brother, “had his ups and downs and got better as the year went along.” Austin Lindsay, Smith and Anderson were part of the Warriors’ deep pitching staff.

Shane Gallant, a sophomore, worked his way into the lineup as the catcher. Kurt Frimel, a sophomore who caught early in the season, kept his bat in the lineup as the designated hitter and cracked some timely hits.

Although there is some good talent coming up from junior varsity, which had a fine season under coach Luke Sinkhorn, Pierro said those players will have to compete hard to get opportunities to play in a veteran lineup that jelled as the 2012 season went along.