Allentown baseball seeking to repeat as state champion

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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a fly ball at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Chris Reeder (17) collects his equipment before he gets back behind the plate during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Chris Reeder (17) catches a ball behind the plate and makes a throw during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) fields a ground ball off the pitchers mound and throws to first base during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) throws a pitch during an at bat at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) throws a pitch during an at bat at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and makes a throw to home plate to throw out a runner trying to score during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a ball and puts a tag down on the runner to get an out during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a ball and puts a tag down on the runner to get an out during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and makes a throw to first base during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during an away game against Jackson Liberty High School on May 29. The Allentown Redbirds went on to win the game 12-4.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Austin Ferrier (12) patiently reads the next pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Matt Bethea (9) swings and makes contact during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) reads the sign the catcher shows before the next pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  20 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during an away game against Jackson Liberty High School on May 29. The Allentown Redbirds went on to win the game 12-4.SCOTT JACOBS
  21 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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Allentown High School's Guisseppe Arcuri (5) swings and makes contact during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
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  1 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a fly ball at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  2 / 22 
Allentown High School's Chris Reeder (17) collects his equipment before he gets back behind the plate during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  3 / 22 
Allentown High School's Chris Reeder (17) catches a ball behind the plate and makes a throw during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  4 / 22 
Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) fields a ground ball off the pitchers mound and throws to first base during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  5 / 22 
Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) throws a pitch during an at bat at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  6 / 22 
Allentown High School's Jack Nitti (8) throws a pitch during an at bat at a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  7 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and makes a throw to home plate to throw out a runner trying to score during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  8 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a ball and puts a tag down on the runner to get an out during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  9 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) catches a ball and puts a tag down on the runner to get an out during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  10 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball and makes a throw to first base during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  11 / 22 
Allentown High School's Justin Marcario (3) fields a ground ball during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  12 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during an away game against Jackson Liberty High School on May 29. The Allentown Redbirds went on to win the game 12-4.SCOTT JACOBS
  13 / 22 
Allentown High School's Austin Ferrier (12) patiently reads the next pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  14 / 22 
Allentown High School's Matt Bethea (9) swings and makes contact during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  15 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  16 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  17 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  18 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  19 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) reads the sign the catcher shows before the next pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  20 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during an away game against Jackson Liberty High School on May 29. The Allentown Redbirds went on to win the game 12-4.SCOTT JACOBS
  21 / 22 
Allentown High School's AJ Ariano (28) fires a pitch during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS
  22 / 22 
Allentown High School's Guisseppe Arcuri (5) swings and makes contact during a game against Hightstown High School on May 14. The Redbirds was defeated in the game 3-1.SCOTT JACOBS

Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

The Allentown High School baseball team is accustomed to this time of the season.

The state tournaments are in full bloom and Allentown is zeroing in on repeating as the Group 3 state champion.

Allentown took a step closer to achieving that lofty prize when the Redbirds knocked off Jackson Liberty High School, 12-4, in the Central Jersey, Group 3 state sectional semifinals on May 29 in Jackson.

Coach Bob Nice would not compare his current crew to the unity that won the Group 3 state title a season ago.

“It’s a new year,” Nice said. “It’s nice to be back. But, it’s a different year, with a different group. These guys are just as hungry as the guys were last year.

The Redbirds played Wall High School in the state sectional title game, where they won, 6-5, on June 1 in Wall. Now the Redbirds go after the Group 3 state title.

Nice felt that the Redbirds are able to accomplish the finer points of the game.

“We executed,” Nice said. “That’s really the bottom line. We did the little things that we’re supposed to do to win. We were able to draw walks and stuff like that. The big thing is we got bunts down. That’s something we haven’t been doing the last few weeks. We worked on it the other day, and it opened up big innings for us today. Two of our four-run innings got started because we had good bunts.”

Nice thinks that it will be a total team effort in order to capture another state title.

“Everybody,” Nice said. “That’s the neat thing about our club. We’re not relying on one guy to do everything. Or even two guys. We have nine guys in the lineup that can beat the other guy on any given day. We don’t rely on any one guy which is a good thing.”