April 24, 2019

Regan Making Impact for PHS Baseball As Tigers Look to Get on Winning Track

GETTING IN THE SWING: Princeton High baseball player Aiden Regan follows through on a swing in recent action. Junior first baseman Regan is emerging as a key contributor for the Tigers in his first varsity campaign. PHS, who moved to 3-7 with a 6-3 loss to Notre Dame last Thursday, plays at Princeton Day School on April 24, at Robbinsville on April 26, and at Allentown on April 29. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

For Aiden Regan, moving up to the Princeton High baseball team after spending two years on the junior varsity hasn’t been an easy process.

“Down there, it is much different,” said PHS junior first baseman Regan.

“It is a challenge on varsity, but it is a good adjustment. I am working in here. There are some great guys ahead of me, so it is anything I can do to help the team.”

Last week, Regan helped PHS with his bat, stroking a double in a 1-0 loss to Nottingham on April 16 and then went 1-for-3 with a single in fourth inning rally as the Tigers fell 5-1 to Hamilton.

In reflecting on the hit against Hamilton which helped PHS plate its only run of the contest as he advanced Eli Okoye to third base, Regan adjusted his hitting approach.

“I noticed he threw that slider a lot on the first pitch,” said Regan.

“That is what I was looking for. It felt good when got it. I saw it and I did my job. We have been struggling a little bit in the hitting. We just got a couple of hits strung together.”

As Regan gets varsity experience this spring, he has been stringing things together.

“Rarely do you ever see the pitch you want, that fastball;  it is lot more competitive and I am definitely starting to adjust to that,” said Regan.

“I am changing my approach to just be more aggressive, pick a pitch to expect. Then you see it and hit it.”

PHS head coach Dom Capuano liked the competitiveness his team displayed in the Hamilton game.

“Those are the things we need to build upon; we had a nice rally there and we need more of them,” said Capuano.

“It is taking that and thinking why did that rally happen; what did we do differently in that inning as far as our approach at the plate. As much as it is physical for us at the plate a lot of it is mental. Today we were much more aggressive, which was nice. It is not really going to show in the box score but when you look at today’s approaches versus yesterday or previous approaches, we had better approaches. It is a step in the right direction.”

Regan is gaining some aggressiveness as he adjusts to the a higher level of play.

“Aiden is the type of kid where he hits in spurts; he had a double yesterday and a hit today,” said Capuano.

“He is hitting a spurt so we have to ride the wave while it is happening. He is working in there, mentally he has matured which is helping him. Whether he pitches or he is on the bench, he has been a great teammate. His mentality is great. If he can continue on the trend he is on, he is going to really help us in this turnaround.”

The Tigers have been getting solid work on the mound as senior Ben Amon produced a superb outing in the loss to Nottingham and Tommy Delany was solid against Hamilton.

“We have the pitching to stay with these teams,” said Capuano, whose team moved to 3-7 with a 6-3 loss to Notre Dame last Thursday and plays at Princeton Day School on April 24, at Robbinsville on April 26, and at Allentown on April 29. “We are in all of these games.”

In order to start beating teams, PHS has to bring more swagger to the diamond.

“We have got to walk on the field feeling like we belong with everybody,” said Capuano.

“We can’t we can’t show up being lackadaisical and not confident in ourselves. It is having the confidence of a team who belongs, not the team who our record reflects.”

In Regan’s view, the Tigers need to show that confidence from the first pitch.  “We struggle with coming out with that aggression and keeping our energy up,” said Regan.

“We have those spikes, like that fourth inning today. We have been improving. Our defense has definitely been improving and our pitching has continued to be excellent. We just need to keep chipping away at our hitting and working on approaches.”