Baseball team places 2nd in division

VERNON. The Vikings post a 10-7 overall record.

Vernon /
| 21 Jun 2024 | 10:33

It didn’t take long for the Vernon Township High School baseball team to prove its mettle this season.

Head coach Stephen Myhren recalled the Vikings’ opening-day win over Jefferson, 13-12, in the rain after falling behind 12-5.

Another memorable game was against North Warren on April 17. The Vikings won, 1-0, in the top of the seventh inning against one of the top pitchers in the state, he said. “Mike Pecoraro threw a complete game 62-pitch shutout.”

The team also won, 2-1, on April 30 against Pequannock, then the No. 4 seed in the Morris/Sussex Top 10.

“Hackettstown (a 6-5 win May 14) was a come-from-behind win, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk it off on Senior Day. The game-tying/go-ahead run was driven in on a single by Jake Stauffer.’’

The team posted a 10-7 overall record and took second place in its division.

The Vikings were 8-1 in division play behind High Point, which was 9-1 in games against other schools in the Freedom Division of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference.

Vernon, the No. 12 seed, was defeated by fifth-seeded Indian Hills, 8-1, in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament.

The team benefited from its leadership, the coach said.

“Colin Dignan really took the team leadership role vocally as the senior catcher.

“Drew Ebbighausen did a great job leading the team. As our team’s best hitter starting the season four for seven in the first two games, (he) broke his forearm which required surgery on the first play of our third game. He still showed up every day and helped the team in any way possible, always looking to pick guys up and keep their heads in the game.’’

Stauffer was among the players who improved throughout the season.

“Jake Stauffer did a tremendous job earning a starting spot in the scrimmages,’’ Myhren said. “He started off batting in the eight hole but moved his way up to five hole and being one of our best hitters by the end of the season.

“Gavin Bruno and Dustin Wagner continued to impress and be comfortable at the plate, in the field and on the mound as sophomores.’’

Myhren expected more victories next year.

“We return a lot of young guys. We started two juniors, three sophomores and one freshman this year. We return a lot of innings on the mound.

“Our freshman team made it to the championship of the Ben Jurgensen Freshman Baseball Tournament put on by West Milford.’’