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Mar 14, 2023

Ranney Baseball Team Returns State Championship Talent

By Shanna O’Mara

The Ranney School baseball team made history last spring when its players captured the program’s first state championship. Returning this year with their top pitcher and most of their dangerous lineup, the Panthers are looking to conquer again.

Ranney finished 2022 with a 26-5 overall record and 11-0 in the Shore Conference. In the season-ending NJSIAA Non-Public B championship game, the Panthers scored nine runs in the last two innings to clinch a 10-1 victory over Immaculata. 

Expected to lead the team this year is AJ Gracia (Sr.), whose 12-homerun season ranked third in the state last year. He batted .492 and slugged 1.185, racking up 41 RBI. Gracia was a New Jersey ’22 Player of the Year finalist.

Diego Tavarez (Sr.) and Brett Wehringer (Sr.) are poised to fuel the offense. Tavarez hit .532 with four HRs and 24 RBI last season. Wehringer batted .435 with 21 RBI. Ricky Nagy (Sr.), Jack Tallent (Jr.) and Curtis Chropuvka (So.) bring depth to the lineup.

A transfer from Freehold Township, Ryan Costello (Jr.) is already known for his powerful swing and will bring even more firepower to Ranney. Due to NJSIAA rules, he cannot compete immediately but will be valuable in the second half of the season. 

On the mound, Ranney relies on the arm of Marcello Mastroianni (Sr.), who saw the most action and allowed just 23 hits all season. In 48 innings of work, he fanned 57 batters. Gracia, a left-handed pitcher, struck out 45 over 44.1 innings in ’22. Other returning hurlers include seniors Nick Coniglio and Jack Renaud. 

The Ranney School baseball team is led by Head Coach Pat Geroni.