VERONA, NJ - A Verona baseball player is a great hitter, a star pitcher and an all-around skillful athlete. Now, Ian Metzger can add something else to that list: this week’s TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week.

“It feels amazing to be Athlete of the Week,” Metzger said. “I never even thought I would be able to get it.”

The high school junior said the Hillbillies have had an “ok season” so far, with a record of eight wins and eight losses.

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“We've been playing better teams than we're used to and we're still adjusting to losing our seniors from last year,” Metzger added.

The Hillbilly has been batting around .300 this season and has scored six runs. He has also had 10 hits and leads the team with seven RBIs. In terms of pitching, Metzger said he is 1-3 and things are starting to turn around for him.

“I love baseball for a lot of reasons but my favorite one is that you can do terrible one day and the next day you can come out and play the best game of your life,” Metzger said. “You just never know how the game will go.”

One game that really stands out to Metzger – who plays first base, third base and pitcher – is the April 24 game against Bloomfield because he threw a complete game. The team also won that game 4-2.

Metzger hopes to hit above .300 by the end of the season and come out with a winning record in pitching. For the team, he hopes that the Hillbillies will win states.

With a player like Metzger and the leadership of Coach Joe Phelan – who recognizes Metzger’s talent and skill -- that goal may be possible to achieve.

“Ian is a combination of a great hitter and a very good pitcher,” Phelan said. “He has the highest batting average on the team and also leads the team in Runs Batted In.”  

Needless to say, Metzger has been a valuable player and continues to be someone the Hillbillies can count on.