HISTORIC DISTRICT: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player Jaxon Petrone hits the ball in recent action. Last Sunday, recent Princeton High grad Petrone got two hits, including a homer, in a losing cause as Post 218 lost 5-3 to Washington Township Post 521 in an elimination game at the N.J. District 4 tournament at West Deptford. It makes the first-ever appearance in District play for Post 218, which finished the summer with an 8-12 record. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
With the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team looking to make its first-ever trip to the New Jersey District tournament, it wanted to clinch a spot by beating Allentown last week rather than relying on help from other teams.
Allentown, though, posed a formidable obstacle to Post 218’s plan as it had already clinched a share of the Mercer County American Legion League (MCALL) regular season title.
Undaunted, a scrappy Post 218 team jumped out to an 11-2 lead over Allentown and held on for an 11-9 win to punch its ticket to the Districts.
“It was huge, at the time they were 14-3,” said Post 218 manager Benito Gonzalez. “We played them well the first time, it was Rohan [Sheth] starting in that game too. It was the fifth inning that was the issue the first time. The second time around was probably the best overall offensive effort that we put up the whole year.”
The victory epitomized the resilience that Post 218 displayed as it battled down the stretch.
“Our last four, five games we responded by winning a bunch of ones that we had to,” said Gonzalez. “We knew when we won against Allentown, we clinched it. We said guys, congratulations, you didn’t not let it go to fate.” more