PENNSAUKEN - Friday nights are special in the fall. Kevin Lammers realized this watching his cousin, Sean Bell, play football for Bishop Eustace Prep just a few years ago. He wasn’t the biggest player on the field, but Bell made people stand up and take notice.
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When Tyler Phillips was in first grade, the teacher asked him and his classmates to write down their career ambition.
"I wrote down that I wanted to play in the major leagues," said Phillips, a senior at Bishop Eustace Prep. "I wrote it down every year after that."
Phillips still is a long way from realizing his dream. But he could take a step closer if he is selected in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft next week.
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Chris Jones has smiled more this season.
He's hit more, too.
That's not a coincidence, according to Bishop Eustace Prep baseball coach Sam Tropiano.
It was a bang-bang play that ended the top of the sixth inning and ignited the cheers among the Gloucester Catholic faithful.
It also turned up the flame inside of Bishop Eustace pitcher Tyler Phillips.
KM: As a four-year starter, where has been your biggest growth?
CJ: From junior to senior year. Just being a senior is something totally different. You're one of the oldest kids on the team and you know what to expect. I know how Coach Tropiano will be in every situation. It's being a veteran.
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The road to the championship is grueling.
To win the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, you need to win four games — three in less than 24 hours. It takes scoring runs, but more importantly having enough arms to produce quality innings on the mound.
Sam Tropiano said he tries not to be overly reflective when it comes to milestones. But it's almost as if the baseball gods tried to force his hand on this one.
Bishop Eustace Preparatory School
5552 Route 70, Pennsauken, NJ 08109-4798