The Gill St. Bernard's Baseball team had its "ups and downs" in 2023, but the Knights saved some of their best baseball for late in the season. With eight seniors graduating in 2022 and several new players experiencing varsity baseball for the first time, the boys went through some growing pains in April before finishing with a successful run through late May.
As the #5-seed in the Prep B Tournament, GSB advanced to the semi-finals with an upset win over #4 Montclair-Kimberley. Trailing 8-6 headed into the final inning, the offense erupted for six runs to secure a 12-8 victory.
"The MKA game woke us up a bit," said Head Coach Dave Pasquale. "It provided a springboard for our late-season success."
The Knights headed into the NJSIAA State Tournament on a three-game winning streak with wins over Delaware Valley, Newark Academy, and Oratory Prep. As the #7-seed in the Non-Public B North Section, the boys survived a first-round scare with a dramatic 9-7 come-from-behind victory over #10 Morristown Beard and followed that with their best performance of the year: an 8-3 win over #2 St. Thomas Aquinas in the quarterfinal round.
Despite an overall record of 10-15, trips to the Prep B and Non-Public B semifinals and a five-game winning streak in late May provided GSB with some momentum headed into 2024.
"With only one senior starter graduating this year and a few others set to return from injury-plagued 2023 seasons, I am extremely optimistic about 2024 and the future of the program," said Coach Pasquale.
Senior Zack Wendell led the team on and off the field, leading the Skyland Conference in hits (43), which is the second-most hits in a single season in the history of the program. Seniors Nico Alfaro, Jack Ference, and Adam LaTournous also earned varsity letters in supporting roles.
Juniors Johnny DiGregorio, Matt Park, and Colin Chou provided consistent offensive production all season, while classmates Michael Ricciardulli, Robert Kirsh, and Dylan Sempervive all shined on the mound. Sophomores Tim Park and Bobby Niesmertelny were formidable pitchers and hitters as well. Rounding out the roster were four freshmen who made significant contributions to the team's success: Jack Markovich, Joey Fava, Jude Waters, Graham Berry.