Mendham Baseball: A Force to be Reckoned With


Emma Stark, Co-Editor for Sports

At long last, Mendham Baseball is back. Though the Coronavirus canceled their season last year, nothing is holding back the boys this year, especially with their elite coaching staff. 

Varsity head coach Brian Weingart is entering his fifth year with the Minutemen. As a high school student, Coach Weignert played as catcher for the 1997 Group III State Champion Cougars, their first state championship win in over 25 years. His training continued throughout college. He attended the University of Delaware and William Paterson University where he became an All-Conference player for the Pioneers in 2001. On the side, he trained at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. After completing his studies, he played for the Brockton Rox of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, commonly referred to as the Can-Am League. Mendham’s record has improved significantly under Coach Weingart’s watch. In 2019, the team went 13-7 as the number 4 seed in the North II Group 3 section, a highly competitive division. That year, the boys gained five more wins than the previous two seasons, making the number 4 seed their highest since 2016. Ricky Gathen and Nick Cilenti, the Varsity team’s two assistant coaches, with pitching coach Ryan Thurnes create an energetic, powerful staff. 

On Monday, April 19, Mendham competed in their first game of the season away at North Hunterdon. The boys put up a tough fight. In the top half of the inning, they scored two home runs to tie the game. However, the Lions walked off in a 5-4 final after a home run across in the bottom half.

In their home opener last Friday, the Minutemen picked up three victories against the Whippany Park Wildcats with winning pitchers Ryder Leckie (Freshman), Dylan Schoenfeld (Junior Varsity), and Tim Winters (Varsity). The freshman team started the day off strong, 28-3. Cole Hojancki pitched and had a clutch hit in a come-from-behind win in extra innings. Junior Varsity followed the freshman game 15-0. Brian Reuter pitched a no-hitter; Jack Leckie went 5/5 with two doubles and 4 RBI’s; Schoenfeld struck out 11 batters in 4 innings, and Anthony Racioppi hit three-run homers. The varsity team ended the night 4-4. At the plate, Center Fielder Brian Anderson went 3-3 with a double, while Catcher Ben Seminara went 3-4 with two doubles, and Left Fielder Matt McFadden picked up 4 Runs Batted In (RBI’s). Andrew Richter further contributed to the team’s success after an incredible double play from second. The Minutemen had a total of 17 hits.

On Saturday, the Varsity team endured their second defeat of the season, 8-4 against Ridge. Although, things began looking up for the boys this week. On Monday, the Minutemen were victorious over Morris Knolls, 8-4. The boys were led at the plate by Catcher Ben Seminara going 3-4 with 3 RBI’s and a double. That night, Pitcher Colby Craig went scoreless through 6 innings, striking out 8. Most recently, the boys faced Morris Hills on Wednesday, winning 9-2 and improving their record 3-2. Winters, scoreless through 6 innings, allowed two hits and struck out 5. This victory was even more memorable for the Seniors who were honored after the game. To finish out the week, the boys have an upcoming game at home this Saturday against Bernards. 

Mendham baseball has a spark within all three of their teams as they continue to follow the message written in James Kerr’s Legacy: “Sweep the shed. Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done.”