ACTION JACKSON: Hun School baseball player Jackson Kraemer heads to first base in recent action. Senior star Kraemer scored a run to help Hun defeat Hamilton West 6-0 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday. On Saturday, he pitched a shot and hit a homer as Hun deferred Peddie School 15-0 in the semifinal round of Prep A state tournament. Hun went on to fall 5-3 to Pingry in the Prep A final round on Sunday to end the spring with a 22-4 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
For Jackson Kraemer, helping the Hun School baseball team top Hamilton West 6-0 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Thursday is something he will never forget.
“Thursday was huge, we have been working for this for four years, our program had never done this in its history,” said senior outfielder/pitcher Kraemer, who scored a run in the win. “It meant a lot. Having our fans out there and the whole setting, it was awesome.”
The bonds that Kraemer has developed with his teammates made the title even more awesome.
“It is just the brotherhood I have been building up the last four years,” said Kraemer. “The friends and the friendships are going to last me a lifetime. I love the sport.”
The love of the game helped Hun push through a baseball marathon last week as it was also competing in the state Prep A tournament. The Raiders fell 8-2 to Pingry on Wednesday in the first round of the double-elimination competition and hosted Peddie on Saturday in a loser’s bracket contest as it looked to keep its Prep title hopes alive.
“Coach (Tom Monfiletto) said last week this would be a marathon in these tournaments with all the scheduling,” said Kraemer. “We just had to go out there and compete.”
On Saturday, Kramer competed hard, pitching in sweltering 90 degree heat and tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and hit a homer as Hun rolled to a 15-0 win over Peddie in the semifinal round.
“I felt good today it was just going out there and doing a job to get us to Sunday,” said Kraemer, who lost his rhythm as Hun exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the third inning. “The long inning slowed me down a little bit. It took me a couple batters and then I felt good. It was very hot out there.”
Kraemer started the 10-run outburst in style, leading off the inning by blasting a homer over the left field fence.
“In the first at-bat, I got caught looking with a curve ball,” recalled Kraemer. “For my second at bat, I was talking to coach [Steve] Garrison and it was just try to hit a ball to right field. The pitcher got me an inside fastball and I just tried to hit it where it was pitched. I got good barrel on it and I saw it going out. That was awesome.”
For Hun head coach Tom Monfiletto, a former Hun player and assistant coach, guiding the Raiders to the MCT title was an awesome achievement.
“It meant more than I can even describe, from the school community, from the alumni, and from the parents with the emotions that were involved in that game,” said Monfiletto, a 2004 Hun alum. more