Baseball – 2014 Preview: Long Branch
Long Branch Green Wave
Head Coach: John Perri, third season
Record Last Year: 6-15 (3-9, tied for sixth in B North)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats|
|Connor Mullan||Sr.||SS/P||.358/.373/.531, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 R, 14 RBI|
|Juan Martinez||Sr.||INF/P||.242/.306/.242, 5 R|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats|
|Able Delgado||Jr.||INF||.235/.235/.235, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB|
Key Losses: Tom McGlennon (OF/P), Tom McCauslin (OF/P), Ashwin Mudiraj (P/3B), Josh Amato (C), Spencer Franz (1B/P)
Key Newcomers: Zach Piatkowski (Jr., C), Steve Kologi (Jr., OF), Sean Cuddy (So., OF), Lou Trezogolou (Jr., INF), Xavier Chatman (Jr., OF), Saiond Washington (Jr., OF/P), Christian Sanchez (Jr., P)
Although the Green Wave finished at the bottom of the division with Neptune, a few of its players proved to be all-division-level talents. Seniors pitcher Ashwin Mudiraj was one of the more underrated pitchers in the division, evidenced by a one-hitter than he threw against A.L. Johnson in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II Tournament in a 1-0 Long Branch loss. Senior Tom McCauslin was also a standout at the plate, as was current senior Connor Mullan, who leads this year’s group of returning talent.
Mullan will man shortstop and also lead the pitching staff after hitting .358 with two homers, six doubles and one triple. Long Branch boasted a senior-heavy team last year, which leaves Mullan and senior Juan Martinez as the only returnees to the starting lineup. Seniors Nick Menkin and Shaun Lowney also played some last year, and Long Branch will also rely on its collection of juniors that got a taste of the varsity level as sophomores.
If Mullan can perform anything like Mudiraj did on the mound last season, Long Branch will again have a chance to put an isolated scare in a top team here and there and could potentially pull off some upsets along the way. The overall season will be more of a challenge with so much inexperience, but the Green Wave can go farther than expected if Mullan can take them there.