Baseball – 2014 Preview: Manasquan
Head Coach: Dennis Van Pelt, fifth season
Record Last Year: 4-16 (3-11, tied for seventh in A Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Tyler Bradley||Jr.||C||9 RBI|
|Ty Hawkins||Jr.||OF||.333, 3 2B, 1 HR|
|Max Hawkins||Jr.||1B/2B||.313, 5 2B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 8 SB|
|Tommy Toole||Sr.||2B/SS/P||21 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 13 R, 8 RBI||27.2 IP, 34 K, 3.80 ERA, 1-3|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Tucker Caccavale||Sr.||P/OF||20.2 IP, 12 K, 3.73 ERA, 1-2|
Key Losses: Justin Morgan (OF), Jimmy Walsh (P/OF), Jimmy Kineally (3B), Jack Fay (INF)
Key Newcomers: Jack Sheehan (So., 3B/P), Tom Sheehan (Fr., P/INF/OF), Pat Reilly (Sr., P), Matt Paturzo (Jr., INF/OF), Nick Furmato (Sr., P), Kevin Fay (Jr., P/1B), Liam McAllister (Jr., P)
The difference between a good season and a bad season is often reflected in a team’s record in one-run games, and it’s hard to come up with a better example of such a theory than the 2013 Manasquan baseball team. The Warriors finished 2013 with a record of 4-16 thanks to a 1-8 record in games decided by one run and a 2-12 record in games decided by three runs or less. Six of those eight losses came against the top three projected teams in the division, with two one-run losses each to Red Bank Catholic, St. John Vianney and Rumson. The Warriors also lost a 1-0 game to Wall, which enters the season as a favorite for the preseason No. 1 ranking in the Shore. Throw in two separate long losing streaks – one of six games and another of eight – that bookended a three-game winning streak, and 2013 was one that returning Manasquan players would like to put behind them as soon as possible.
Fortunately for the Warriors, they should have a pretty good chance to do that. Despite last year’s struggles, Manasquan showed it had developing talent to go along with top seniors Walsh and All-Shore outfielder Justin Morgan. Junior Max Hawkins, Ty Hawkins and catcher Tyler Bradley all enjoyed strong sophomore seasons in the field and at the plate, while classmates Tanner Cowley and Matt Edwards both cracked the lineup in the outfield and at shortstop, respectively. Senior Tommy Toole also returns as an anchor in the pitching staff and the infield and should be the No. 1 beneficiary of a more mature roster around him.
The Warriors will also continue to plug young talent into the lineup this year in the form of third baseman Jack Sheehan and freshman left-hander Tom Sheehan. Both will see time on the mound behind Toole and senior Tucker Caccavale and could fortify the depth of the rotation, which has been thin at times over the past several seasons. Manasquan will have to defend better behind its staff and more than anything, the Warriors need some bounces to go their way. The top three teams on the preseason list look a little more advanced, but the Warriors have a strong chance to crack the top half of the division and once again play competitive games against anyone.