July 10, 2019

Emerging as Catalyst for Post 218 Baseball, Paria-Veron Comes Up Big in Split at Ewing

IN SYNC: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Jaedyn Paria-Veron takes a swing in recent action. Last Sunday, former Princeton High standout Paria-Veron starred as Post 218 split a doubleheader at Ewing Post 314. Princeton won the opener 14-12 before dropping the nightcap 8-6. Paria-Veron had five RBIS in game one and was on base four times in the second game. Post 218, which moved to 3-13, plays at Trenton Post 93/182 on July 10, at South Brunswick Post 401 on July 11, hosts North Hamilton on the morning of July 14 and Hightstown Post 148 later that day in a rescheduled game, and then plays at Hopewell Post 339 on July 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jaedyn Paria-Veron has become a catalyst this summer for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team.

Batting in the leadoff spot for Post 218 as it played a doubleheader at Ewing Post 314 last Sunday, former Princeton High standout Paria-Veron was in center of the action all day long as the teams played for nearly five hours.

In the opener, center fielder Paria-Veron had two hits and five RBIs as Post 218 built an 11-2 lead and hung on for a 14-12 win. As afternoon turned into evening for the nightcap at Moody Park, Paria-Veron reached base four times on an error, two walks, and a single to help Princeton rally from an early 7-2 deficit to narrow the gap to one run before falling 8-6 as it dropped to 3-13.

Reflecting on his big day, Paria-Veron maintained a consistent approach through the baseball marathon.

“I tried to shorten up my swing and stay with the same approach to hit line drives, and get base hits,” said Paria-Veron.

Paria-Veron expected a battle with Post 314 as both squads have been struggling and were hungry for victories.

“It was a tough game, they were fighting, they wanted to win, you could see that,” said Paria-Veron.

“They don’t have a lot of wins, just like us, so these are big games for them. I am glad we got one win out of this.”

While Post 218 was happy to get back in the win column, Paria-Veron saw the team’s effort in the second game as even more encouraging.

“I am proud of the team, we could have just rolled over and died after that first inning,” said Paria-Veron.

“We stayed in it, we kept on fighting. We kept on having really good at-bats.”

Paria-Veron is confident that Post 218 will keep on fighting down the stretch and produce a good finish.

“There is plenty of time, I see a lot of potential in this team,” said Paria-Veron. “There are a lot of winnable games coming up for us.”

Post 218 manager Tommy Parker credits Paria-Veron with getting the most out of his potential.

“I think Jaedyn may be leading the leading the league in hitting; he has been a spark plug all season long,” said Parker.

“I am really impressed with him. He has handled it well. When he first came out this summer, he had to get some of the rust off and we had him in the nine hole, using the concept of the top and bottom lead off. He has also been tremendous defensively.”

Parker was impressed with the way his squad played hard to the end on Sunday.

“We needed to hang in there,” said Parker. “I think we actually played better in the second game than we did in the first. Considering we were only playing with nine or 10 guys, they could have very easily folded and collapsed and said I am tired.”

Former Hun School standout Thomas Ramsay played a big role in helping Post 218 keep up its energy.

“Thomas Ramsay stepped up today to go from behind the plate to the mound,” said Parker. “He has been stepping up his leadership and his impact on the game.”

In Parker’s view, Post 218 can make an impact in the last two weeks of the season.

“I just want to see them come out and compete like they did today and give a solid effort all of the time while cutting down on the mental mistakes,” said Parker, whose team plays at Trenton Post 93/182 on July 10, at South Brunswick Post 401 on July 11, hosts North Hamilton on the morning of July 14 and Hightstown Post 148 later that day in a rescheduled game, and then plays at Hopewell Post 339 on July 15.

“There are some times you lose focus but I tell the guys they have to stay on it. We might be able to make a move; we are still in it with all of the rainouts. I almost wish we had more games because we seem to catch fire at the end of the year.”

The upbeat Parker is fired up by the character displayed by his players as they have dealt with adversity this summer.

“We have always had this core of ballplayers; we mix and match to get to nine and 10 on the field,” said Parker.

“They have hung in there. I am loving it and I will be back again. I have been very impressed with this group.”

Since Paria-Veron won’t be back as this is his final year of Legion eligibility, he is savoring his time with Post 218.

“As of now, this is my last season of baseball,” said Paria-Veron, who attends William Paterson University but doesn’t play baseball there.

“It is a little bittersweet considering our record but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”