East baseball team completes trip to Florida over Spring Break


Courtesy of Peter Longo

Peter Longo (’23) waits for a pitch in a Cherry Hill East baseball game in Florida.

The Cherry Hill East baseball team took a trip to Florida over spring break to play four games at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. The team departed from Philadelphia on April 2nd and returned back home on April 7th. East split their games with a record of 2-2 and played teams from multiple different states.

The Cougars opened up their trip with a 7-2 loss to Spencerport High School located in New York. East outhit Spencerport 8-6 but two errors were costly to the team. Mike Schulke (‘24) got the start for the Cougars going 4.2 innings while Donny DiDonato (‘23), Alex Tanaka (‘23), and Jimmy Staepel (‘24) all appeared out of the bullpen. Ethan Haddock (‘23) and Peter Longo (‘23) each had an RBI and Zach Chhabria (‘23) led the team with two hits.

Game 2 pitted the Cougars and Monroe High School in Ohio in which East dropped their second consecutive game by a score of 9-2. John Schweitzer (‘24) got the start going five innings allowing four earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Thomas Piotrowski (‘24) shined out of the bullpen pitching a scoreless inning. Offensively, Zach Chhabria led the team again with two hits and a walk. Longo once again added another RBI.

East was able to win their first game of the season against Appleton East High School in Wisconsin by a score of 6-3. Zach Salsbery (‘24) and Brandon Dekerlegend (‘24) each had 2 hits while Dekerlegand also had 2 RBIs. DiDonato got the start this game after previously coming out of the bullpen and pitched three innings while allowing 3 runs. Tanaka dominated out of the bullpen with three scoreless innings. Dekerlegand also pitched a scoreless inning.

In their final game, the Cougars had a rematch with Monroe and dominated with a win by a score of 12-2 in five innings. Ethan Gwara (‘23) started the game for East going three innings while allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts. Staepel pitched two scoreless innings to close it out. Offensively, the Cougars had 15 hits with Chhabria leading the team with four hits. Salsbery drove in three runs while Haddock, Longo, Chhabria, Eric Luo (‘23), and Brett Mclaughlin (‘24) all also had RBIs. 

In addition to baseball, this was also a great bonding experience for the team as they get ready to play the rest of the season. They had a lot of team dinners together and the players were able to build closer relationships with each other.

The home opener for the Cougars is Thursday (4/13) at 3:45.