Successful Freshman Campaign

Dillon Mendel (D3/19) took Rowan University and the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) by storm. He was selected Rookie of the Week more than once during the 2016 season. His efforts earned him second team all conference as well. We at GBCA salute D3/19 on his freshman campaign and wish him continued success in the upcoming 2017 season.

D3 Ready

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He’s a thief……………

D3 has chosen a new path……………..he has decided to be a thief. He captured his first stolen base March 15, 2016. We all hope this is a habit he continues for at minimum the next three (3) years. Congrats from GBCA on your latest baseball decision.

1st college stolen base

 

 

 

 

Throw the hands young man, throw the hands. D3 recognized the off-speed pitch (slider) and promptly served up a double to right center. Good to see the M.O.P. approach is aiding in his early season success.

throw the hands young fella

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D3/Row U Travel to Auburndale, FL

Dillon Mendal and his Rowan Owl teammates traveled down south to Sunny Florida for a few games over the weekend of March 11-13, 2016. GBCA continues their support of his efforts in continuing his baseball career. Go Profs!

D3_Florida post-game D3_Florida pre-game approach D3_Florida pre-game turn2 D3_Florida pre-game

 

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D3 Row U Season One Begins

Dillon Mendel the former Long Ball Academy student, honorary Gunner begins his college career at Rowan University. Assigned the uniform number 19 and sporting a new full beard the 6’3″ D3 has worked his way onto the travel roster. A huge accomplishment for the Freshman. All of us at Gunners Baseball Club (GBCA) are proud of his efforts. Wishing D3 a successful and healthy initial campaign.

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Concordia Calling 2016

Former Gunner Isaias Zerufael (Z) is headed to Concordia University (Portland, OR) to continue his baseball career. Welcome to the Cavalier family (club President’s alma mater).

Z received an offer to become a Cav on May 13, 2015. Unfortunately or fortunately his 2015 season was derailed by his first major injury resulting in PCL reconstruction surgery. Z has been working hard to get back on the field and we’ll see him in 2016 in a Cav uniform. Congratulations from all of us associated with GBC. Go Cavs!

ZZ2Z3

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A Difficult Year, Saved By A Clutch Performance

D3GBC founders Skip and Goose were honored to see Dillon Mendel (D3) play two games and visit with his family in Sparta New Jersey April 15-19, 2015. The following article is a testament to one young man’s dedication, passion and hard work. The love for the game of baseball displayed by D3 is unfortunately rarely seen, but keeping the fundamentals taught as a seven year old kid has fueled him and will carry him to the next level at Rowan University. Thank you D3 for continuing to approach the game with Character Class Consistency.

New Jersey Harold

H.S. Baseball:
Mendel, Spartans put dent in Pope John’s plans to win American:
Posted: May 11, 2015 7:04 PM PDT Updated: May 11, 2015 7:04 PM PDT

By ANTHONY SPAULDING
aspaulding@njherald.com

SPARTA — Senior ace Dillon Mendel and the Sparta baseball team may not be having the best season this year, but they may have made up for it Monday against Pope John.

Mendel pitched a complete game and went 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBI, and the Spartans posted a 5-1 victory over the crosstown rival Lions at Sparta High School to deny the Lions their first chance at earning at least a share of the NJAC American Division title.

“This win feels amazing,” said Mendel, who allowed four hits and no earned runs and struck out four in the win.

“Unfortunately this year, we haven’t been on the winning side too often, so the wins feel that much better. But when it is against these guys (the Lions), it feels that much better. Pope John-Sparta has been a big rivalry and I’ve been a part of it for four years and it feels better every time we beat them.”

With the Spartans getting the win to put them at 6-11 on the season and 1-4 in the American Division, the Lions had their American Division record drop to 5-2 and put them in a tie for first with Mount Olive (5-2), which defeated Morris Hills, 14-4, on Monday, with one division game left against Morris Hills on Wednesday.

If the Lions had defeated Sparta, they would have earned the share of the title to claim their first American crown in school history and second NJAC division title after winning the inaugural NJAC National Division in 2010.

It also would have given them a chance to earn the title outright against Morris Hills.

But since that did not happen, the Lions now have to beat Morris Hills and see Mount Olive lose to Vernon on Thursday to win the title outright. If the Lions and Mount Olive both win, they will share the title. If the Lions lose and the Marauders win, the Lions will not be division champions.

Pope John head coach Vin Bello was upset his Lions could not get a piece of the title Monday and are now in this situation.

“It is what it is,” Bello said. “Tomorrow, we have to have a good practice and be ready to go for Wednesday.”

The Lions (15-8) felt they had a good shot at topping Sparta to grab their share of the American after beating the Spartans, 2-0, on April 15 at Pope John on the strength of a five-hitter by one of their best pitchers in Jack Nelson.

And even though they were not having a good season to date, the Spartans had something to say about that, especially Mendel, who was the hard-luck loser in that game after he allowed just one earned run on three hits and fanned four in 5 1/3 innings.

“Coming into this game, you try not to focus on it, but I had in the back of my mind all the stuff we went through, (such as) how we lost in the HWS (Hunterdon Warren Sussex) Tournament early, we’re not in the league race and we probably didn’t qualify for states,” Mendel said. “So, this was a big game for me.”

At first, Mendel and the Spartans looked to be in trouble against a Pope John squad that was coming off its best hitting performance in a 9-0 win over Hackettstown in the HWS semifinals, as they gave up four hits in the first three innings and let the Lions take a 1-0 lead. The Lions scored their run in the third inning after Jay Sanford led off with a double, moved to third base on a sacrifice fly and scored on a Sparta fielding error.

But Mendel and the Spartans bounced back in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead after Mendel hit a RBI single to left-center field and left fielder Connor Coyle hit a RBI double two batters later. The Spartans were ecstatic to get the lead.

“It was big,” Coyle said. “It was a huge momentum swing for us.”

“Whenever your pitching with a lead, you can be a little less perfect out there on the mound,” Mendel said. “The bigger the lead, the better for us.”

Once the Spartans were ahead, Mendel went into lockdown-mode, as he retired the Lions’ top of the order in 1-2-3 fashion to keep a 2-1 ballgame through the top of the fifth. Then in the bottom half, Mendel and the Spartans padded their lead to four after Mendel hit a three-run triple to corner of right field to bring home right fielder Jack Kulik, courtesy runner Louis Ferrera and second baseman Jack Simon.

“That felt good,” Mendel said of the three-run triple. “That helped us get the lead we needed.”

From there, Mendel managed to retire the Lions in order in the next two innings to cap the big victory. Sparta head coach Sam Slobodzian was happy with the way his guys played to get the victory, especially Mendel.

“He had a tremendous effort against a great team,” Slobodzian said. “He spotted his pitches right and got some key hits. I’m proud of him. He helped us play well in all facets of the game.”

Though the Spartans have eight games left, Mendel will always remember this game against Pope John since it was his final start against them.

“I’m glad we won this game,” Mendel said. “It was a great day.”

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The 2015 Season Has Expectations

Honorary Gunner Dillon Mendel has been identified and recognized as “Young and Talented.” As he embarks on his senior campaign in New Jersey, the locals acknowledge his skills. Congratulations and continued success from all of us associated with Gunners Baseball Club Association (GBCA).

D3 front page

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Long Ball Academy Alumni Honorary Gunner Commits to Play College

imageGunners Baseball Club Association (GBCA) is proud to announce Dillon Mendel (D3) has committed to play college baseball in 2015 at Rowan University, South Jersey.  Dillon has been a Long Ball Academy (affiliate of GBCA) student since he was 10 years old.  In our short history this is the second player under GBCA’s guidance to accept an offer to play college ball.  Although never wearing a Gunners uniform (family moved to New Jersey prior to having the opportunity) Dillon continued honing the skills taught at an early age.  This past holiday 2013 season he came back to the NW and worked out with staff of GBCA and shot parts of his recruit video.  Congratulations from all of us at GBCA.

D3 King FelixDillon side by side of Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners ace) 2013.

 

 

 

 

D3 GooseD3 with coach Fix, December 2013 post GBCA workout.

 

 

 

D3D3 in action 2013.

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And his journey continues:

This is the play that changed the future.

This is the play that changed the future.

Isaias Zerufael (Z) has completed his AA transfer degree and two seasons as a Titan at Lane Community College and has decided to take his talents up north to Central Washington University as a preferred walk on.

We at GBCA continue to be proud of his growth and development.  He is studying exercise and sports science so upon the completion of his playing days he can come and be a trainer at GBCA.

Gunner – Game 1.

Learning the position

Learning the position

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2014 Former Gunner Continues His Quest

Isaias Zerufael (Z) is in his sophomore season as a Lane Community College Titan.  Z has worked hard and is playing second base for the Titans.  I had a chance to attend the doubleheader at Clackamas Community College this past Saturday April 12, 2014.  Continued success Z from all of us at GBCA:

LCC Titans versus CCC Cougars, 4.12.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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