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Growing Up in Gloucester City: West Snares Rams Opener Score 12-10


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    GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (April 8, 1982)--Catcher Bob Zimmerman took stitches in his hand after sliding home in last Thursday’s opener against Cherry Hill West. It sort of set the pattern for Gloucester Catholic’s baseball team, which dropped the game, 12-10. Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 13.07.23

    “Our pitching was bad. It was a terrible day,” lamented Coach Joe Barth, Jr. “We had a few mistakes fielding and we got so far behind that we couldn’t do some of the things we wanted to.” Not only did the Rams lose Zimmerman, but pitcher John Dempsey missed the game because of illness.

    “About the only good thing that came out of the game was that we scored 10 runs,” cracked Barth. “If anyone had suggested the score of the game would have been 12-10, I would have told them they were crazy. I was honestly pleased and surprised with our hitting, but I was equally disappointed with our pitching.”

    Mike O’Donnell, who Barth rates as the Rams No. 1 hurler, had all kinds of difficulty. “Mike just had a bad day,” said Barth. “He was wild and not throwing too hard, which made his struggle throughout the game. “I don’t expect it to happen too often. Mike is too good a pitcher.”

    O’Donnell pitched four innings and left trailing 8-0.  “I went a little too long with Mike,” admitted Barth. He started falling behind and the pressure mounted. I don’t know what it was, the mound or the windy weather, but he never got untracked.” 

    West jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of runs, but West scored three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth to assume a 12-2 lead. The Rams, refusing to quit, battled back to score four runs in the sixth and slice the lead to 12-6. A four spot in the seventh scared the daylights out of West, but the locals fell two runs short of a minor miracle.

    Two walks, three hits, and a pair of fielder's choices accounted for the Rams’ seventh inning. Joe Leach, Mike Pavlik and Steve Mondile had the locals’ hits. Keith Kowalski led Catholic at the plate with three hits, while Mike Laudisio chipped in with a two-run triple.

    Catholic had a scheduled game against Cherokee on Saturday washed out by inclement weather. It will be made up sometime in May. The Rams hosted Overbrook this past Tuesday and are scheduled to meet Eastern today (Thursday) on the Brooklawn field at 3:30. “We’re giving away soda and pretzels to all kids who attend the Eastern game,” said Barth. “We’re trying to generate a little interest.”

Reprinted from the Gloucester City News April 8, 1982: