Baseball – 2014 Preview: Holmdel
Head Coach: Gene Crimoli, first season
Record Last Year: 10-12 (7-7, fourth in A Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Joe Sadler||Sr.||C/1B||.552/.628/1.030, 13 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 30 R, 37 RBI, 4 SB||2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 ER|
|Matt Schneiderman||Sr.||3B/P||.271/.393/.343, 5 2B, 18 R, 14 RBI, 4 SB||15.3 IP, 13 H, 8 BB, 15 K, 1.83 ERA, 2-1|
|Jack Flanagan||Sr.||CF||.292/.352/.338, 1 2B, 1 3B, 15 R, 9 RBI, 6 SB|
|Frank Condito||Jr.||C||.268/.339/.304, 1 2B, 13 R, 7 RBI, 6 SB|
|Tyler Fischer||So.||SS||.282/.378/.308, 1 2B, 8 R, 4 RBI, 4 SB||9.2 IP, 9 H, 11 BB, 5 K, 6.83 ERA, 0-2|
|Ashwin Jain||Jr.||P||.125/.333/.125, 6 R, 2 RBI||23 IP, 25 H, 11 BB, 13 K, 3.04 ERA, 1-0|
|Kyle Jones||Sr.||P||35 IP, 39 H, 17 BB, 41 K, 4.70 ERA, 0-4|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|D.J. Goins||Jr.||OF||.190/.292/.238, 1 2B, 4 RBI|
|Dylan Popin||Sr.||P||17.1 IP, 24 H, 8 BB, 7 K, 6.59 ERA, 2-1|
|Tyler Kiss||Jr.||P||.222/.364/.222, 2 SB||1.1 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 ER|
|Jake Russo||Jr.||OF||2-for-13, 2 BB|
|Dean LaBarca||Sr.||C/1B||3-for-11, 1 2B|
|Greg Heitman||Sr.||INF||1-for-13, 2 R, 1 RBI|
|Niko Guarino||Sr.||OF||0-for-14, 2 R|
Key Losses: Frank Gagliano (OF), J.T. Licciardello (SS), Josh Parasar (OF)
Key Newcomers: Eric Alvino (Jr., INF), Corey Nuzzi (Jr., P), Will Van Name (So., C)
Add Holmdel to the list of Class A Central teams that can mash but will have to figure some things out on the mound. The Hornets were among the Shore Conference leaders in runs per game a year ago, but they also were one of the worst teams in the conference at keeping the opposing team off the board. The struggles in run-prevention stemmed from a combination of a young pitching staff and a mistake-prone defense that committed nearly three errors per game (63 errors in 22 games).
Like the teams ranked ahead of them to begin the year, the Hornets have plenty of potential. They return the best statistical hitter in the Shore Conference last season in first baseman Joe Sadler, who led the entire conference in batting average (.552), on-base percentage (.628) and slugging percentage (1.030). With Sadler’s bat in the middle of the lineup, the Hornets won’t need to ask too much of the rest of the lineup, but there are some players who should complement Sadler - who will also be doing some catching this year.
Holmdel was a relatively young team last year, particularly on the mound. Junior left-hander Ashwin Jain gave the Hornets a solid season as a sophomore and appears to be the team’s most reliable option heading into the season, while senior Kyle Jones carries with him some upside after striking out 41 batters in 35 innings last year, despite an ERA of 4.90. Sophomore shortstop and pitcher Tyler Fischer gained valuable experience as a freshman, while junior Frank Condito should bring more stability behind the plate after starting as a sophomore last year. Senior Jack Flanagan is a three-sport athlete (soccer and basketball) who was a solid hitter and defender for the Hornets last year. As is the theme throughout A Central, the lineup is in place, but some pitching questions have to be answered for Holmdel to contend in the division race.