Allentown baseball focused on repeating as state group champion

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Allentown High School's Guisseppe Arcuri (5) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Matt Bethea (9) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Dante DiSilvestro (4) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Dante DiSilvestro (4) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Zach Elwell (34) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Jimmy Frein (13) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Brandon Gaul (2) fields a ball thrown from across the field and makes sure to tag first in time during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ryan Miller (1) trots down to first as he tosses his bat after he drew a walk at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Mike Zupko (33) dives across the field attempting to catch a fly ball during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Mike Zupko (33) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Guisseppe Arcuri (5) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  2 / 18 
Allentown High School's Matt Bethea (9) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  3 / 18 
Allentown High School's Dante DiSilvestro (4) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  4 / 18 
Allentown High School's Dante DiSilvestro (4) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  5 / 18 
Allentown High School's Zach Elwell (34) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  6 / 18 
Allentown High School's Jimmy Frein (13) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  7 / 18 
Allentown High School's Brandon Gaul (2) fields a ball thrown from across the field and makes sure to tag first in time during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and throws to first base during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  10 / 18 
Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Ben Mashkevich (10) throws a pitch during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
  16 / 18 
Allentown High School's Ryan Miller (1) trots down to first as he tosses his bat after he drew a walk at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Mike Zupko (33) dives across the field attempting to catch a fly ball during a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Mike Zupko (33) swings and makes contact during an at bat at a game against Monroe on May 3. The Redbirds went on to win the game 23-20.SCOTT JACOBS

Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

The expectations are high as usual for the baseball players at Allentown High School.

“We want to win the Mercer County Tournament and states,” said Allentown’s senior pitcher, Zack Elwell. “We want to repeat. That’s the goal at this point.”

Allentown is focused on repeating as the Group 3 state tournament champion.

Allentown appears to be ready to hit its way to the title when the Redbirds welcomed Monroe Township High School on May 3 to Allentown.

On that warm afternoon, the Redbirds swung hot bats when they out slugged Monroe, 23-20.

“Well, we definitely hit the ball well today,” Elwell said. “We made plays when we really needed to. Like [shortstop Justin] Marcario throwing the runner out at third base was huge. [pitcher Matt] Bathea coming in and shutting them down in the seventh was really big too.”

That wild victory –the game lasted just under four hours– left Allentown with a 14-2 record this spring.

But the Redbirds, who stand in first place in their division in the Colonial Valley Conference, realize that they must improve on defense, especially after the victory against Monroe.

Allentown had built a 20-7 lead but Monroe sliced that deficit when the visiting Falcons erupted for 10 runs in the fifth inning.

“Definitely defense,” Elwell said. “Situational hitting. We stress that a lot in practice. It’s the little things. We can hit the ball well, but it’s the little things.”

In order to repeat as the group champion, Elwell believes the Redbirds will need all hands on deck.

“Everybody,” Elwell said. “It’s really the team as a whole. Our pitching is going to be big come postseason time, but everyone is going to have to pitch in if we want to win this thing.”

The Redbirds will continue their flight to a championship season on May 11 when they play as the host to Hopewell Valley High School. The game is slated to start at 4 p.m.