Trout was The Inquirer's South Jersey player of the year in 2009. He hit a South Jersey-record 18 home runs for Millville and was the No. 1 draft choice by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
After tearing up the minor leagues for two seasons, Trout made his major-league debut July 8 as a 19-year-old outfielder. He played in 40 games for the Angels in 2011 and hit five home runs in 123 at-bats.
With a logjam of veteran outfielders, the Angels sent Trout to their triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City this spring. Through the first three games, Trout was 7 for 13 (.538) for the Salt Lake Bees of the Pacific Coast League.
"We're always texting him, asking him how he's doing, and all he wants to know is how we're doing," Hallenbeck said.
Hallenbeck said Millville plans to have a senior leader wear Trout's No. 1 every season.
"It might not mean that much to these kids now since they all know Mike," Hallenbeck said. "But as Mike gets bigger, there might be some kid whose 10 years old right now and it will be a really big deal for him to wear Mike's jersey."
Hallenbeck said it's been three years since he saw a Millville player wear No. 1.
"It's kind of funny to be yelling, 'Hey, here we go '1,' " Hallenbeck said. "I used to say that all the time."
Cheetahs roar. Building on last season's success, the Gloucester County Institute of Technology is off to a 4-0 start.
In the so-called "small ball" era of the new BBCOR bats, the Cheetahs have scored 46 runs and rapped 12 doubles.
"We've been hitting up and down the lineup," GCIT coach John Marcucci said. "It's really been refreshing to see so many different guys contributing."
GCIT went 11-10 last season. It was the Cheetahs' first winning season since the debut of the program in 2006.
GCIT also won its first tournament game, stunning Cherry Hill West in Group 3 competition.
"Last year's success helped," Marcucci said. "The kids saw what they could accomplish, and now they're a year older, a year wiser."
GCIT has been led by senior first baseman Justin Frisby and senior centerfielder Kevin Smith, along with juniors Zach Funk and Mike Macaluso, who has hit a double in every game.
"Macaluso is our No. 9 hitter," Marcucci said. "He said, 'I see nothing but fastballs down here. You can leave me here all year.' "
Slow start, fast finish? Starting the season a week late because of a senior trip, Cherokee struggled in an 8-6 loss to Williamstown on Saturday. The Chiefs hit six batters, walked four, committed four errors, and managed just three hits - one a fly ball that was lost in the sun.
But Cherokee coach Marc Petragnani isn't too worried. He knows his loaded team is expected to be a serious challenger for the Olympic American, South Jersey Group 4, and state Group 4 titles.
"I'll take 1,000 losses on April 7 to be playing June 9," Petragnani said of the date of the state finals.
This and that. Overbrook is off to a 5-1 start as Ryan Swift has two pitching victories and Shawn McGurman, Shane Graham, and Anthony Casterioto each have three extra-base hits. . . . Camden Catholic (3-0) has gotten a big lift from sophomore shortstop Joey Craig, who has a pair of home runs. . . . Holy Cross (4-0) has been led by Ohio University recruit John Adryan, who has five extra-base hits, and pitcher John Mackie, who has a pair of victories.
Senior Shaine Hughes leads Washington Township (4-0) with three doubles and a home run. . . . Tovine Potts has three triples for Sacred Heart (3-1). . . . Isaiah Hall has a pair of homers for Burlington Township (3-0). . . . Junior righthander Kyle Grim has a pair of victories for Williamstown (4-0). . . . Joe Palmer has four doubles for Gateway (2-2). . . . Devin Ruiz has four doubles for Paul VI (3-1).
Contact Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports