WEST WINDSOR: Babe Ruth 16-18 baseball repeats as champs

WW-P advances to Babe Ruth regionals

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   Tom O’Connor knew this year’s West Windsor-Plainsboro Senior Babe Ruth all-star team was capable of repeating as Southern New Jersey Babe Ruth 16-18 year old champions.
   ”We knew we had a better team than last year,” said O’Connor, whose team swept through three straight games to win the state title. “We built this team for regionals but we could not look past states. So we came out strong and finished strong.”
   WW-P posted wins over Washington Township, Western Monmouth and then another over Washington Township to win the title and advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional, which begins July 31 in Pine Forge, Pa.
   ”Our first game is August 1 against Delaware and we are getting ready for that one,” O’Connor said. “We have some regular summer games left before that so we will get a couple more games in.”
   WW-P won the title with a 16-6 win over Washington Township in the final. The offense produced 40 runs in three games, led by Kevin Shattin who had five doubles among his six hits. Peter Altamore led the team with nine hits in three games, while Matt Ditaranto added six hits. Jack O’Connell contributed five hits, while Kyle LaForge added three hits.
   Logan Levine was the top pitcher for WW-P, compiling 17 strikeouts throughout the 11 innings of the tournament that he pitched.
   ”We are pretty deep with our roster,” O’Connor said. “I think we will do well.”
   Shattin and Mark Nicholas Sitek were both playing for the WW-P American Legion team, but will be available for the regional.
   ”We had Mark Sitek and Kevin with us last year, along with Tommy (O’Connor) and Logan,” O’Connor said. “They have been playing together for many years. Jack and Mike Morabito are also in that group. They have been playing together since they were 13s and have a lot of fun.
   ”Peter Altamore had an amazing tournament down there. When you see a guy putting nine hits up in three games and catching everything hit near him it is a pleasure to watch a kid have a tournament like that.”
   The rest of the WW-P roster includes Brandon Block, Bennett Greenberg, Andrew Holubec, T.J. Hitchings, Sameer Kolluri, Patrick Menninger and Steven Ochoa.
   ”We have a good amount of varsity players from (WW-P) North and South, and also Brandon from Hightstown who can play for us because they didn’t enter a team. We did well in states and hopefully we will play well in regionals.
   ”We hit but we also played good defense. The pitcher needs good defense and if you can control the base-running that helps. Our catcher, Tom O’Connor, did a good job. They had a couple guys on base and then we had a strike out, throw out double play and that takes the wind out of their sails. Logan and Sameer both picked guys off as well.”
   For WW-P, the trip to regionals will cap off a successful summer.
   ”It is great not only for this age group, but all of the WW-P Babe Ruth teams to be part of the states. It is a good time for all of WW-P Babe Ruth.”