Baseball Season Recap

Looking back at the 2023 baseball season


Nico Dimaria

The Varsity Baseball Team in a team huddle during the game against Bergen Catholic in the Semi Finals

It’s the end of an era. After four unconventional years, the graduating boys baseball class of 2023 played their last game as Golden Knights forever. Along with having multiple standout players, their success this season was driven by the team chemistry that has become a recurring characteristic of Old Tappan baseball.

As a team with 11 seniors, dedication came easy for the Golden Knights. The class of 2023 lead the team in stats, with senior Alex Gioffre having 23 hits, 17 runs, and 16 runs batted in. On the mound, Alex Kranzler led the team with 98 season strikeouts. The senior class also accounted for five of the team’s eight pitchers, proving their presence on the field. Still, regardless of position or role on the team, each senior contributed in a meaningful way. “Their fire and energy was always prominent during practice, games, even just team bonding at a restaurant,” said sophomore Alex Orecchio.

The leadership on this team is further reinforced by Coach Tim Byron, who named Kranzler, Gioffre, and Elan Ofeck team captains at the start of the season. “I haven’t had team captains in ten years,” Byron said.  That’s because the role of a team captain is more than just having experience: “You don’t get to be a captain just because you’re a senior or because you have been on the team for a long time,” Byron said. “You have to earn it, and only true leaders can do that.” 

This unity helped the team attain many goals this season. They started off the season with a 4-2 win over Ridgewood on April 3, led by pitchers Kranzler and Eric Cha. This momentum carried through their regular season games, giving them an 8-2 final record in the division. A key 10-6 win over Bergenfield on May 15 secured them the Big North National Division title. “It’s always a team effort, and this win showed how well we worked together as a team,” Kranzler said.

They started off the Bergen County Tournament with a 2-1 win over Hackensack and a 5-1 win against Glen Rock. Kranzler pitched both games, and seniors Gioffre and Ryan Cleary led the team in hits for each game respectively.

In the state sectional tournament, the team beat Tenafly 7-4 on May 22 before losing to Roxbury 4-2 later that week. The team ended their season 17-10 with a 4-2 loss against Bergen Catholic in the quarterfinals round of the county tournament.

“We had a great season both on and off the field,” said Gioffre. “Win or loss, we put our best out there and I’m so proud of these boys and how much they’ve grown this season.” As for the future, the seniors hope that their legacy will be continued – not only in the form of fun traditions like team dinners and posting after every win, but also through the high standards they set since the start of the season. “Team chemistry has been a crucial part of this team, and I have no doubt that these guys will continue to bring that in the future,” said Kranzler.