Baseball – 2014 Preview: Freehold
Head Coach: Jon Block, 23rd season
Record Last Year: 12-10 (6-6, fourth in B North)
Key Losses: Jason Lundy (CF), Mike Bolton (P/1B), Jake Yanez (P), Kevin Smith (C)
Key Newcomers: Jomar Dejesus (Sr., OF), Tommy Colon (Jr., OF), Frank Granato (Jr., OF), Nick Murphy (Jr., P), Nick Lamorte (So., C), Dan Chiusano (Fr., P), Chris Cassandra (Fr., SS)
Two seasons removed from a trip to the NJSIAA Group III final, the Colonials find themselves in a bit of a transitional phase after losing their top two pitchers from that team. Jake Yanez and Mike Bolton led the team within a game of a state title as juniors but could not muster up the same magic last year as seniors. Now, the holdovers from last year’s 12-10 squad will look to step forward now that there are two big openings at the top of the rotation, as well as another in center field with the graduation of four-year starter Jason Lundy.
The Colonials got a jump on 2014 last year, when they had to plug a number of holes left by seniors on the 2012 team. That might have held them back some last year, but this group of returnees got a taste of winning against tough competition. Seniors John Bostic, Zach Mulhern, Alex Mulhern, Luke Tiefenthaler and Connor Peppard all return with experience around the diamond, while fellow seniors Dean Marino and Paul Tashian will pick up many of the available innings with some varsity experience to their credit. Junior Dante Cuzzolino will also be a key member of the rotation after contributing in each of his first two high school seasons.
Freehold could also have some freshman influence from pitcher Dan Chiusano and Chris Cassandra, who will be useful additions for coach Jon Block. Overall, the Colonials are an unproven group, and in many cases, the players just haven’t had time to show what they can do yet. It’s probably more accurate to call this an unknown year rather than a transition year because the Colonials do have numbers when it comes to returnees. Whether or not they can all play to the standard set two seasons ago is another issue.