Baseball – 2014 Preview: Mater Dei Prep
Mater Dei Prep Seraphs
Head Coach: Pat Riddell, 10th season
Record Last Year: 11-13 (11-3, second in B Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Matt Eckert||Sr.||2B/P||.319/.405/.493, 6 2B, 2 HR, 13 R, 20 RBI|
|Sam Miles||Sr.||OF/P||.314/.400/.371, 1 3B, 10 R, 7 SB||12 IP, 15 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.25 ERA, 0-2|
|Dan Poracky||Sr.||OF||.176/.200/.265, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 R|
|Jerry Trotta||Sr.||OF||.229/.311/.260, 1 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI, 4 SB|
|Anthony Stanziale||Sr.||P/INF||.130/.214/.130, 3 R, 6 RBI||30.1 IP, 36 H, 8 BB, 27 K, 3.00 ERA, 2-3|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Vincenzo Mezzacappa||Jr.||P/OF||.462/.533/.615, 2 2B, 3 R|
|Taylor Hardy||Sr.||P/1B||6.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 6.27 ERA|
|Transfer||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Joe Ruth (Keyport)||So.||C/P||.352/.390/.507, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 16 R, 17 RBI, 15 SB|
Key Losses: Tom Delahanty (2B/SS), Connor Stimpson (3B), Bobby Klatt (P/1B), Joe Galante (C), Ryan Branagan (P/OF), John Stanziale (P/1B), Nick Benincasa (P/INF)
Key Newcomers: Tyler LaVine (Sr., C), Vinny Smith (Sr., 3B), Patrick Donohue (Jr., 3B/2B), Liam Olausen (Jr., P), Cole Hardy (So., 2B)
Like its Class B Central non-public counterpart, St. Rose, Mater Dei heads into this season looking to close the gap between itself and the teams from outside Class B Central that it will play. The difference between the Seraphs and the Purple Roses is that Mater Dei has a much larger gap to close after going 0-10 outside of B Central last year, not to mention the Seraphs are still chasing an elusive division title.
Mater Dei returns a similar amount of starting talent compared to the other B Central teams that wish to call themselves division title contenders, but St. Rose, Point Beach and even Keansburg have an advantage over the Seraphs in that each returns at least one of either a middle-of-the-order hitter or a top-of-the-rotation starter. The Seraphs return second baseman Matt Eckert off a solid junior season in which he hit .315 with a .493 slugging percentage. While Mater Dei also must replace ace and top power threat Bobby Klatt, senior Anthony Stanziale gives the Seraphs an experienced right-hander at the top of the rotation after Stanziale punched out 27 batters in 30 innings while pitching to a 3.00 ERA.
Mater Dei’s key to success will be the ability of returning starters like Sam Miles, Danny Poracky and Jerry Trotta having bounce-back seasons. It will also benefit from the addition of sophomore Joe Ruth, a catcher who transferred from Keyport and will join the lineup after sitting for the first 30 days of the season. With Ruth in the lineup, Poracky, Trotta and Miles will fit nicely around the sophomore slugger, who hit .352 with a homer and three triples as a freshman with the Red Raiders. The bad news for the Seraphs is that Ruth will not be eligible until after they are scheduled to play St. Rose, Point Beach and Keansburg for a second time. Needless to say, Mater Dei would welcome a healthy dose of April showers.