Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Cairn baseball 2024
Entering his third year as head coach at Cairn, Brett Marks exudes confidence in his Highlanders as they prepare to compete in the newly restructured United East Conference. 
With junior first baseman Tyler Warr and junior right-hander Ronaldhio Alcin, both distinguished as First Team All-Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) honorees, returning as seasoned veterans, the team enters the season buoyed by momentum from four consecutive conference postseason appearances. 
Despite finishing last season with a 22-21 record, including a solid 12-6 mark in the CSAC, the Highlanders are poised for greater success. 
"We've got a great group with some key returners," Marks commented. "We faced various challenges last year, including injuries and backend bullpen issues, but we've learned and grown from those experiences." 
Warr, a standout player from Langhorne, Pa., representing Neshaminy, showcased his batting prowess in the previous season with a remarkable .491 batting average, ranking third-highest in Division III. He also chipped in with ten doubles, seven triples, and four dingers.
"He's out of Neshaminy and was fantastic there," Marks said of Warr. "Just seeing how much he matured last year, it all clicked for him. He had an approach at the plate and was able to slow the game down. It made him into an All-Conference player, and now he's aiming to be an All-American player." 
Another player to watch is sophomore catcher Zach Bauers, hailing from Cooper City, Fla. Bauers made an immediate impact in his rookie season, earning CSAC Second Team recognition after starting 42 games and hitting .370 with 31 RBIs. His solid defensive skills and offensive contributions make him a valuable asset to the team. 
Marks shares a special connection with Bauers, having coached him during his senior year at Cairn. Marks is also from Cooper City, Fla. 
"I always had the goal to become a coach, and though I didn't know I'd have a chance to do it this quickly, I stayed in touch with him after coaching his RBI team when I was a senior, and now he's here, and it's great," Marks reflected. 
Alcin, a native of Miami, Florida, provided stellar leadership on the mound for the Highlanders' pitching staff, setting a single-season program record with 59 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings. 
"His growth last year was great to see," Marks said. "He put the time in during the bullpens and trained to improve his mechanics and he earned some fantastic results."
Fifth-year right-hander Sam Spadea from Yardley, Pa. (Pennsbury), is expected to play an increased role as a conference starter. He impressed last season with a 4-1 record over six starts while also making significant contributions offensively, including a team-best 11 homers to go along with 60 RBIs. 
"We're excited about the mix we have of returning arms and new talent," Marks remarked. "It's just a matter of getting these guys some experience and staying healthy. Overall, we have a very experienced lineup, but our pitching staff is going to be young." 
The Highlanders kick off the 2024 season against local rival Cabrini on February 17. Following this, they face a challenging road trip, including matchups against Rowan and Swarthmore, before heading to Myrtle Beach for the Ripken Experience Spring Break. The home portion of the schedule commences on March 15 with a doubleheader against Valley Forge. 
"We are playing a very challenging non-conference schedule," Marks acknowledged. "This includes the No. 1 team in the country with Johns Hopkins, and all of this will be work to build upon taking down last year's CSAC champion in Keystone."

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis