Bordentown pitcher Kyle Marchetti has high expectations for the Scotties baseball team this season. (Photo by Rich Fisher.)

If any one player mirrors the improvement of the Bordentown High School baseball team over the past three years, it’s pitcher Kyle Marchetti.

As a freshman, Marchetti had a 1-6 pitching mark with a 4.70 ERA while the Scotties went 5-15. The following season, Marchetti improved to 4-4 (2.93) and Bordentown jumped to 16-9. Last year, the right-hander went 6-2 (2.24) and his team was 17-6.

With a group of veterans surrounding Marchetti, it’s safe to say the Scotties seniors are hoping this four-year run culminates in a big way.

“I’m looking for a huge year from us,” Marchetti said. “We all have big expectations but we have to carry them out. We can’t just say we’re gonna be good, we actually have to be good. We have an older team this year, a big senior class. We’ve all been together this whole time. We have some really good juniors, some really good sophomores. I think we can put it all together. “

Marchetti will play a huge role in any success Bordentown has. Coach Chris Glenn feels he is his number one pitcher in terms of experience, but quickly noted that senior Kyle Kato and junior Nick Nemes can be 1A and 1B.

“Kyle Kato had a great year last year, he made the Carpenter Cup along with Kyle Marchetti,” Glenn said. “And Nick Nemes got his first varsity start in our Diamond Classic Game last year against Washington Township. He got the loss but was impressive in that game. Realistically speaking, I feel comfortable with any of them any day going out there.”

Marchetti loves the fact he has some arms to back him up, saying, “We have a little three-headed snake at the top. We know there’s less pressure on us and we can rely on each other.”

The Scotties relied heavily on Marchetti last year and he came through in a big way.

After a career with the Bordentown Little League and the Hamilton A’s travel team, Kyle made varsity as a freshman and was quickly put into the rotation. The numbers were not pretty, but the groundwork was being laid.

“I think the 1-6 was a little deceiving,” Glenn said. “He was a freshman and he ended up pitching a lot of our big games that year. In the division we’re in, he had a lot of tough games and did a really nice job. He grew a lot that year.”

Marchetti admitted it was a tough season because the team was not winning, but knew that personally he was just getting started.

“I was frustrated but I knew it was growing pains,” he said. “I knew I’d be getting better every year, and I’d be working hard to get better to help my team.”

Marchetti began working with Scotties pitching coach Mike Oliver on improving his breaking ball and developing his change-up. Slowly but surely those pitches are rounding into shape.

“I knew I had to develop my off-speed,” Marchetti said. “You need more than one pitch at this level so I had to develop my off-speed and learn how to throw it, where to place it. That just kept getting better and better over the years. I changed my grip a couple times and then last year it started getting really good. I had to make sure I was getting on top of the ball, keeping my fingers on top and I was able to almost kind of perfect it. Mr. Oliver helped me a lot.”

Glenn feels Marchetti’s ability to hit spots during key counts has been huge, and says he will throw it anytime.

“I’ve thrown it bases-loaded with a full count,” the hurler said. “If I have to strike someone out, I know I can get my curveball in there. I have a lot of faith in that curveball. I know I can throw it for a strike.”

As for the change-up, Marchetti said, “It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting better.”

One thing that Glenn noticed early on is that Marchetti possesses a strong mental toughness. Even as he struggled through his freshman year, his concentration held firm.

“He’s tough on himself but when he’s on the mound he just focuses on what he has to do,” the coach said. “In that aspect he’s matured a lot. He understands not everything is gonna go his way. Even last year, he pitched a lot of big games and had to pitch his way out of a lot of tough situations. Having to endure that freshman year, you look past the record and it was really helpful to where he’s at now.”

Marchetti also blossomed at the plate as a junior. After hitting .219 and .214 in limited plate appearances as a freshman and sophomore, he hit .333 with 17 hits, five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI last year.

Glenn said his at-bats will depend on match-ups, and he will likely play first base when Dylan Wood pitches. But like most pitchers, Marchetti wants to get his hacks as often as possible.

“I love hitting, I just keep working for it,” he said. “I want to hit. I don’t want to just pitch and sit the whole game. I want to contribute more to my team and help us out. It feels good, especially last year when you break through with the hitting. It’s so much fun. You can’t not like hitting.

“I kind of try to work on it in the off-season. I make sure pitching is my main focus, though, because I’m going to college to pitch.”

Marchetti has decided on national junior college power Mercer County Community College; for both financial reasons and the fact that the Vikings have drawn tons of college and pro scouts to their games over the recent seasons. Kevin Kerins stepped down as head coach and long-time assistant Fred Carella has taken over.

“I thought it was a good fit for him,” Glenn said. “He’s a big kid but I don’t think he’s reached his physical potential yet. When he gets into a college weight lifting program and things of that nature, I think you’ll see him blossom. He’ll be at Mercer for two years and hopefully he’ll get an opportunity to go elsewhere after that.”

That’s the plan; to pitch at the next level.

“I have a lot of faith in coach Carella,” Marchetti said. “I know that over the past few years they’ve had a lot of success with people getting drafted or going (Division I). When you have other good people around you, it brings exposure to you as well.”

As for this year, Marchetti hopes the good people around him could bring his best season yet at Bordentown.