West Orange HS baseball team continues fine season


WEST ORANGE – The West Orange High School varsity baseball team has continued its fine season with another impressive week.

In fact, “impressive” could be an understatement as the Mountaineers won both games last week, outscoring their opponents by a combined margin of 18-1.

In addition, the squad recorded 10 hits in both games as WOHS defeated West Essex, 7-0, and Montclair Kimberly Academy, 11-1.

“We’re definitely playing our best ball as of late. Things have been going well all around and we’re clicking in every aspect of the game,” said head coach Stephan Zichella, whose squad has a 9-3 overall record to along with a 6-3 Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division mark.

In the win against West Essex, Zichella said Andrew Scholz pitched seven innings, striking out seven and allowing two hits for the complete-game shutout.

“He looked fantastic,” he said of the pitcher who helped his own cause at the plate with two hits and two RBI.

In addition, Liam White finished with a pair of hits and had a two-run home run while Jordan Stennett had a pair of RBI as well.

On Thursday, April 28, West Orange defeated MKA with Paul Casolaro going the distance to improve to a personal record of 3-1 with one earned run in six innings pitched.

Leading the way offensively were Tyree Bradley and Casolaro, who had two hits and two RBI each, while Scholz and Chris Walker each had three RBI.

This week the team was scheduled to play at Verona on Monday, May 2, Jefferson on Wednesday, May 4, and at MKA on Friday, May 6.

Coincidentally, the cutoff for the state playoff deadline ends after each team has competed in 15 games.

Following that, the 10th-seeded Mountaineers will play at seventh-seeded Livingston in the pre-quarterfinals in the Greater Newark Tournament.

“We’re taking it one game at a time and we’re still trying to get better,” Zichella said. “We’ve proved we could do it, but can we perform and do it when the pressure is on and when up against some of the best pitchers from some of the best teams in the area. We’re up for the challenge? We’ve had a great start to the season and we’re hoping to have a great finish, too.”

Notably, along with hoping to make runs in the state and county tournaments, Zichella said WOHS is still vying for a shot to win the SEC-Liberty Division championship as the team was in second place behind Columbia.