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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Notre Dame Falls to Unstoppable North Warren

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Notre Dame’s R.J. Andino lines a single. Photo by J. Phalon, 4/2023

Building a team from the ground up has been Notre Dame baseball coach Kevin Hezel’s job this year.

The 2-8 Spartans from East Stroudsburg have been learning much of the game hands-on as many of them had never played organized ball before coming to Notre Dame.

“A lot of our kids never played baseball before,” Hezel said. And because Notre Dame is a regional school, even the players who did only started playing together in high school.

“Our kids come from all over,” Hezel said.

Jared Van Valkenburg of North Warren connects. Photo by J. Phalon, 4/2023

Teams such as North Warren have players in many sports who have played together since childhood. This was evident in an April 20th game with North Warren, which the Spartans fell 10-0.

Despite the inexperience, Hezel said the team lost sight of fundamentals in that game, an area he has been concentrating on.

“Defensively, I think we are very good,” Hezel said. “This has been a rough season right now, we we have a really good future. This just could take couple years to get there but come back in about two years and you’ll see.”

Even during the game with North Warren, Notre Dame put together several combinations of plays that kept the Patriots at bay.

“We have flashes to really good baseball, and we have times where we forget certain things,” Hezel said.

Two days earlier Notre Dame overcame a five-run deficit to beat Lincoln Leadership Academy of Allentown 17-7.

The North Warren game, however, was a match-up of experience.

North Warren’s Owen Philhower pitched a complete game against Notre Dame. Photo by J. Phalon, 4/2023

“Offensively, they’re just they haven’t seen this level of pitching before,” Hezel said. “But like I said, come back in two years.”

The next home game will be against Moravian Academy April 27th

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.