Baseball – 2014 Preview: Keansburg
Head Coach: Brian Kmak, 16th season
Record Last Year: 9-11 (6-8, fifth in B Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Mike Politano||Sr.||OF/P||.366, 12 RBI, 10 SB||43 IP, 57 K, 3.21 ERA,4-4|
|Josh Heck||Sr.||1B/P||10 R||27 IP, 28 K, 4.33 ERA,1-3|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
Key Losses: Dan Markulin (SS/P), Ryan Kurtz (OF), Nick Massari (3B/P), Kevin Shepherd (C), Dan Rufo (2B), Steve Bliss (UTIL)
Key Newcomers: Ian Terry (So., INF/P), Gannon Meyer (So., INF/P), Christian Canetti (So., C)
Coming off an up-and-down season that was adequately represented by the 9-11 record, Keansburg is looking to make a push forward toward the top of the pack behind its senior ace, Mike Politano. The Titans have a lot of offense to replace in Dan Markulin, Ryan Kurtz, Nick Massari and Kevin Shepherd, but they are also the only team in the division that returns its two top starters. As a matter of fact, Keansburg is the only team other than Ranney (John Mejia) to return its No. 1. pitcher from last year, and considering how good Politano was last year, that has to worry the usual suspects of B Central.
Politano predictably had a modest overall record (4-4) thanks to an inconsistent team in the field and at the plate, but he managed to pitch to a 3.21 ERA and struck out 57 batters in 43 innings. That strikeout total trails only Andrew DiPiazza of Central (106) and Dan Serreino of Jackson Liberty (61) among returning players in the Shore Conference. While Politano garnered some recognition for his mound prowess, Josh Heck’s year went relatively overlooked. Like Politano, Heck struck out more than a batter per inning (28 K’s in 27 innings) and pitched to a 4.33 ERA. Add in promising sophomore Ian Terry, and Keansburg has the depth in its staff to handle the division schedule while also keeping Politano in their back pocket for a big postseason or non-division game if they choose.
The offense is a question mark because of the losses to graduation, but Politano brings plenty of offense to the table, as do Heck, senior Mike Keelen, junior Jim McAteer and senior Joe Breheny. Coach Brian Kmak has liked what he has seen from Keelen and Breheny dating back to the end of last season and with those two anchoring the lineup and the two seniors at the top of the rotation, Keansburg has the makings of a potential surprise team.