It's only one game, but it was quite an opener for new Camden Catholic baseball coach Bob Bergholtz.
In his first game at his alma mater, Bergholtz led the Irish to a 12-7 victory over Highland in a nonleague game on a cold and windy Saturday.
"It's great to get that first one," Bergholtz said. "It's just one game, but it was the result of all the hard work the kids have put in so far."
Bergholtz, a 1995 Camden Catholic graduate, was hired to replaced longtime coach Bob Moffet in September. Bergholtz had spent the previous five seasons as the head coach at Germantown Friends, where his teams won four Friends League titles and his 2010 squad featured pitcher Jesse Biddle, the Phillies' No. 1 draft pick.
Bergholtz hopes to rejuvenate an Irish baseball program that at times has operated in the shadows of the school's successful basketball and football programs.
"The kids are buying into a new philosophy, a new approach, a new attitude about how we go about things," Bergholtz said. "We need to get back to fundamentals. One of our biggest topics of conversation has been how to win in the BBCOR era [of new bats], going station-to-station, doing the little things that mean so much."
For one game, the Irish didn't need to scratch out runs as senior centerfielder Pete Galiano went 4 for 4 with a home run and triple, and sophomore shortstop Joey Craig added a home run.
Bergholtz thinks those two players will be key athletes, along with senior second baseman Matt McElhatton and junior pitcher Colan Miller.
"I'm a proud Camden Catholic grad and couldn't be more excited about being back here," Bergholtz said.
West Side story. Cherry Hill West could be poised for a big season with seven seniors who are three-year starters.
Cherry Hill West, ranked No. 10 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, opened the season with a 5-3 victory over Woodbury as senior lefthander Brenden Delmonte pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
Delmonte, who has committed to the U.S. Naval Academy, is joined by experienced seniors such as catcher Zach Renna, third baseman Alex Injaian, second baseman Nick Trivignio, outfielder/pitcher Andrew Fisher, infielder/pitcher Vince Cahill, and outfielder Danny O'Sullivan.
"These guys have been pointing toward this season," Cherry Hill West coach Dan McMaster said last week. "They've played against a lot of good competition in the Olympic Conference over the last two years. But if they want to be regarded as one of the better teams in South Jersey, they have to step up and show it."
This and that. Sacred Heart senior second baseman Holvin Figueroa picked up his 100th career hit in the Lions' 2-1 victory over St. Joseph on Saturday. Sacred Heart senior pitcher Brandon Triantos pitched a complete game, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. . . . Glassboro, which was 0-16 last season, rallied for a 6-5 victory over Deptford on Saturday behind junior Paul Vento, who had a key two-run single and earned the save. . . . Highland senior infielder Joe Sigismondi, who batted .465 last season, got off to a fast start with a double and homer Saturday against Camden Catholic.
Looking ahead. Some of the best games of the week include Delsea at Clearview on Monday at 3:45 p.m., Eastern at Bishop Eustace on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m., and Shawnee at Cherry Hill West on Thursday at 3:35 p.m. Also, the first round of the Grand Slam Classic at Washington Township on Saturday features Absegami vs. Washington Township at 11 a.m., Cherokee vs. Williamstown at 11 a.m., Clearview vs. Holy Spirit at 2 p.m., and Haddonfield vs. Millville at 3 p.m.
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