Lakewood, N.J. - The Mercer County Community College (MCCC) baseball team will be visiting the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, to play an exhibition game on Tuesday, April 2.
The game originated from a relationship MCCC baseball Head Coach Fred Carella sparked with Mike Morvay, Director of Grounds for the BlueClaws.
“In addition to his role with the BlueClaws, Mike has helped up out with grounds maintenance here at Mercer,” Carella said. “He mentioned that Lakewood was looking for a tune up game before their season starts up, potentially against a college team from the area and Mercer fit the bill.”
While the exhibition comes two days before Lakewood’s opener against the Hickory Crawdads, the Vikings are well into their regular season. Currently ranked 15th in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) weekly poll, the contest will give Mercer a chance to prepare themselves for the rest of the season.
“We’ll be playing in a different atmosphere, which is huge,” Carella said. He added that despite the strong competition Mercer faces throughout the season, the BlueClaws will present the Vikings with a new challenge.
“More importantly, this opportunity will help our guys envision where they could be in a couple of years,” Carella said. Mercer’s baseball program has seen some of its athletes play professionally.
Most recently, Heath Filmyer made his major-league debut with the Kansas City Royals on June 24, 2018. He made the Royals’ full-time roster a month later and has since earned 13 starts. Robert Boselli spent last season with the Greenville Reds, an affiliate of the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds, while James Pugliese currently pitches for the Somerset Patriots following eight years with the Chicago Cubs organization.
The BlueClaws are hosting the Vikings at their home stadium, the FirstEnergy Park, located at 2 Stadium Way, Lakewood, NJ 08701. Admission is free and the game will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the gates opening at 6 p.m. To see the 2019 roster and schedule, visit the Vikings' baseball home page.