Baseball – 2014 Preview: Colts Neck
Colts Neck Cougars
Head Coach: Mike Yorke, 15th season
Record Last Year: 12-11 (6-8, tied for fourth in A North)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Paul Marinello||Sr.||2B/SS||.255/.349/.255, 11 R, 10 RBI, 5 SB|
|Gianni Magliaro||Sr.||1B/P||.208/.259/.358 , 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI|
|Tyler Kay||Jr.||OF||.345/.383/.364, 1 2B, 10 R, 7 RBI|
|Jordan Gonzalez||Jr.||OF||.350/.422/.650, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 7 R, 10 RBI|
|Tyler Kapusczinski||Jr.||3B||.326/.364/.348, 1 2B, 5 R, 6 RBI|
|Robbie Warendorf||Sr.||P||25 IP, 21 H, 15 BB, 24 K, 3.92 ERA, 4-1|
|Chris Murphy||Jr.||P||29 IP, 26 H, 12 BB, 29 K, 2.93 ERA, 2-1|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Kyle Murrin||Jr.||OF/IF/P||.125/.125/.375, 1 3B, 5 R||2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB|
|Sam DeVitis||Jr.||INF||.364/.364/.364, 4 R|
|Mike Antico||So.||OF||.200/.333/.400, 1 2B, 1 3B, 6 R, 2 RBI|
Key Losses: Matt Kleinstein (C), Jon Baturgil (SS), Lucien Della Fera (OF), Alex Walenczyk (OF), Casey Wall (P), Mike Pepio (P), Scott McNally (1B), Ryan Younghans (1B)
Key Newcomers: Nick Dispenza (Sr., C); Joe Varile (Jr., OF/INF/P), Lou Rondinella (Jr., OF); Mario Ferriaoli (So., P); Willie Baron (Sr., P), Matt Schaeffer (Sr., P), Dillon Jacoby (Sr., P), Ethan Bellen-Begrowitz (Sr., 1B), John Giordano (Sr., OF)
Last year was Colts Neck’s best chance to make some noise in a number of years and while the Cougars had their moments, they did not have enough firepower to overcome the parity among A North’s public school teams to challenge CBA. With five senior starters in the field graduating and two pitchers also moving on to graduation, the Cougars have a lot of replacing to do in the starting lineup in a division that returns a fair amount of talent.
That does not mean Colts Neck is without its share of strengths. Pitchers Chris Murphy and Robbie Warendorf stepped up as reliable options on the mound last season, with Murphy enjoying a particularly impressive sophomore season. Murphy struck out 29 batters in 29 innings and pitched to a 2.93 ERA, while Warendorf pitched in 25 innings with 24 punchouts and a 3.92 ERA. Pitching was a question mark going into last year and the two players who stepped up the most to answer those questions are back in the rotation this year.
Colts Neck will have to replace a lot of offense and defense in the lineup with the graduation of catcher Matt Kleinstein, outfielder Lucien Della Fera and shortstop Jon Baturgil, but the Cougars boast three more juniors who had success as sophomores last year. Junior outfielder Tyler Kay handled both sides of the ball well, which included hitting .345 at the plate. Junior Jordan Gonzalez, who saw time at first and in the outfield as a sophomore, crushed three home runs and posted a .650 slugging percentage as a part-time starter, while third baseman Tyler Kapucszinski also hit .328 as a sophomore. Colts Neck also returns experienced seniors Paul Marinello and Gianni Magliaro (one homer, three doubles and a triple last year) on the infield, which should help boost the offense.
The top three teams in this set of rankings are a little more proven than Colts Neck to open the season, and Manalapan and Middletown South have proven more as programs in recent years, but the Cougars have the makings of a team that could break out behind a strong group of juniors. If seniors Magliaro, Marinello and Warendorf lead the way for the younger players, Colts Neck can certainly break into the top half of the standings.