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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Patriot Bats Are Hot for Season Opener

The North Warren baseball team dodged the rain from the previous week and started their season with a 14-1 win over Belvidere April 6.  

For head coach J.P. Palmer, it’s the start of a season he’s confident will take the Patriots on a championship trajectory. 

“We are looking to compete in the Freedom—Jefferson, Vernon, Newton, Hackettstown, High Point—and make a run at a Group 1 State Championship,” Palmer said after the Belvidere win. 

Palmer said the team has a good chunk of last year’s pitchers back this year. And Cody Sherrer delivered for the 2024 Pats. Reliever Kevin Roof closed it out, throwing a combined one-hitter.

Pent up spring fever found an outlet in the first inning when North Warren scored 11 of their 14 runs. 

“We came out of the gates hot in the first inning and had a lot of good at-bats,” Palmer said. 

Both teams settled in and if you overlooked the Pats’ big first inning, the rest of the game was more of a conventional 3-1, competitive game. 

“Belvidere is a young and talented team,” Palmer said. 

But you can’t overlook North Warren’s stats for the game. Brody Mantz, Cooper Mantz and Tyler Petty each had two hits with Cooper Mantz chalking up a game-leading three RBIs. 

Winning pitcher Sherrer struck out eight and walked two in four innings, giving up one hit, no runs. 

Palmer said he hopes the team can channel that first-inning mojo into the entire season. It was a great way to come out of hibernation and he’s confident they’ve got the ability for the long haul. 

“It was nice for the boys to get a game in this week with all of the rain we had,” he said. “The Pats will be looking to develop a team identity and chemistry to sustain a successful state run.”

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.