• Dan Russoman

Wildcats open with win


St. Joseph’s Cohl Mercado delivers a pitch early in last week’s victory against Cape May Tech. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—Junior Cohl Mercado fell a single short of the cycle, driving in three runs to help St. Joseph Academy’s baseball team win its season opener against Cape May Tech 13-3 last week at Hammonton Lake Park.


Mercado tripled in his first at bat of the season, then added a double in the second inning and a two-run homer later in the game leading an 11-hit attack for the Wildcats.


Freshman Ty Mercado, making his varsity debut, added two hits and three RBIs in the win for St. Joseph. Ty Powell had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice, while Gage Ambruster, Scott DiGerolamo and Nick Melchiore each scored two runs.


On the mound, Ambruster earned the win, allowing one run in two innings of work. Cohl Mercado tossed an inning-and-a-third, striking out three and Ty Mercado closed out the win for the Wildcats.


After allowing a run in the top of the first inning, St. Joe took the lead with a five-run rally in the bottom of the second. Powell and Jimmy Mantuano had RBI singles in the rally.


In the third, the Wildcats tacked on six more runs to pull away and seal the win.


The victory against Cape May Tech gave first-year head coach Nick Core a victory in his debut, and sparked a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who followed with wins against Pleasantville and Camden Catholic.


Playing at Pleasantville on April 21, St. Joseph cruised to a 7-0 win, setting up a showdown the next afternoon at Camden Catholic.


In that matchup, the Wildcats scored three runs in the first inning and two in the second to take a 5-0 lead on their way to a 10-4 win.


Ambruster had three hits, including a double, scored a run and drove in two for the Wildcats. Powell added three hits, including an RBI double, scored twice and had two RBIs. Melchiore added two hits and two runs, Mantuano doubled and scored three times and Ty Mercado drove in two in the win.


Lucas Middleman earned the win, scattering three hits over four-and-two-thirds shutout innings. He walked two and struck out four.


St. Joe wrapped up the week with a 15-4 loss to Millville.


The Wildcats led 2-0 after an inning of play, but the visiting Thunderbolts broke the game open with five runs in the third and six in the fourth.


Brock Mercado had a two-run homer for St. Joseph.


Earlier this week, St. Joe played at Oakcrest, but that game ended too late for this edition. On April 29, the Wildcats visit St. Augustine Prep at 4 p.m.