The Bordentown Regional High School baseball team has already produced a winning season, but the players are hungry for more.
They whetted their appetite when the Scotties opened the state sectional tournament on May 20. On that day, Bordentown, seeded seventh, knocked off 10th-seeded Metuchen High School, 6-2, in the Central Jersey, Group 2 state tournament in Bordentown.
Bordentown, which shared the Burlington County Patriot Division title this spring with Delran High School, took its next aim at a state sectional title when it took on South River High School in the quarterfinals on May 23 in Bordentown.
A victory over 15th-seeded South River would send the Scotties into the state sectional semifinals on May 28 against the winner between third-seeded Manasquan High School and sixth-seeded Robbinsville High School, who met in the state quarters, also played on May 23.
As Bordentown looks to make a deep run into the state playoffs, coach Chris Glenn reflected on his team’s resilience this year to come back from an early stumble out of the gate.
After a 7-6 away loss against division-rival Delran High School on April 18, the Bordentown coach beckoned for redemption and had his squad to dig deep within themselves to come back out on top.
“Going into the season, most people would have said we were probably the favorite to win the division, but we went down in the early half of the season,” Glenn said. “We had a game against Delran where some stuff happened, and we came out with a loss, unfortunately.
“Right after that game, I told the team, ‘We are going to find out what we are made of and how much this means to you?’,” he said. “From that day, we swept the rest of our games, including a victory against Delran [at home], so I was real proud of them for doing that.”
Building off of a 4-0 shutout victory over Delran at home on May 9, Bordentown flashed another winning season to earn a 7-1 division record, which would earn them a share of the league title with Delran, which also ended 7-1.
Alongside a division title, the season held another highlight for Glenn, who earned his 100th career victory this year in his eighth season as the Bordentown coach. Although the milestone meant a lot to Glenn, he said it was his coaching staff and the players around him who made the feat special.
“It’s important to me, but it’s more about the people around you and the players that you have,” he said. “I said to the team that day that this senior class [earned] 50 of those 100 wins, so I’m glad I got them with this group because they have meant so much to the program over the last four years.”
But even with a season that had its share of accomplishments, the Bordentown coach is solely focused on who’s going to be stepping up in the playoffs.
Glenn said that if the Scotties are to have a successful tournament run this year, it’s going to come off of a strong effort from the mound, particularly from pitchers Kyle Kato and Kyle Marchetti.
Kato carried his top-notch efforts this year right into the opening state game against Metuchen this week when he pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and two hits, and struck out nine and issued one walk.
In a season where he is already sporting five victories, 44 strikeouts and an ERA under 2.00, Kato has the potential to carry Bordentown deep into the state tournament,
Although Marchetti’s efforts had been quiet for the first half of the season, he came out strong in the later part of the year when he earned two victories, struck out 22 batters and held an ERA under 2.00.
For the Bordentown coach, all the puzzle pieces are starting to come together just in time for the playoffs.
“If we are going one through nine like we are capable of doing, then we are going to be a very tough out,” he said. “We got Kato going on the mound. Marchetti is back in the swing of things too. He has been throwing the last two weeks. The other week against Cinnaminson, he was up in the 90s in his pitch count, so he has built himself back up. That was a missing piece we haven’t had for 75% of the season.”
Not only is pitching going to be a prominent component for Bordentown, but the efforts at the plate are needed as well.
Bordentown’s Dylan Wood leads the Scotties with 27 hits this season while leadoff hitter Chris Wade has contributed 22 hits and Luke Mabin is hitting over .300 and has collected 16 RBI.
Glenn is confident in the depth of batting order, too.
“Any given day when our pitching is going – our [top] pitcher against theirs – I’m going to tell you that’s our strength,” he said. “But, when our offense gets going, we can put some real crooked numbers up on the board, so I’m confident that those guys are going to keep us in games.”
The Bordentown coach is confident those winning efforts, which can help carry them to a state sectional final.
“The hope is, with some of the games we had on our schedule this year, was to find ways to win those close games – find offense to win those games,” he said. “It takes four wins. You get hot for two weeks, and you get into the state semifinals. Potentially, with those four wins, you get a state sectional title, which hasn’t been done in Bordentown in quite a while.”