Baseball – 2014 Preview: Monmouth
Head Coach: Paul Crivello, first season
Record Last Year: 17-10 (8-6, third in A Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Dan Valerio||Sr.||2B||.267, 2 2B, 1 3B, 18 R, 4 SB|
|John Bonczyck||Sr.||SS||.366/.406/.402, 1 2B, 1 3B, 11 R, 11 RBI|
|Matt Vincenti||Jr.||C/OF/INF||.261/.367/.315, 5 2B, 23 R, 8 SB|
|Zach Centrella||Sr.||P||25.1 IP, 13 K, 2.76 ERA, 2-3|
Key Losses: Tom Broyles (P/1B), Rich Burner (C), Brian Quinn (OF/P), Jeff Farrah (OF), Matt Casper (2B/SS), Zach Defino (OF), Tyler Colonelli (SS)
Key Newcomers: Joe Berner (Jr., INF/P), Christian DeFazio (Jr., P), James Green (Jr., INF), Marc Marcincak (Jr., OF), Corey Shevlin (Jr., P/OF), Tim Reynolds (Jr., OF), Bill Herman (Jr., P), Mike Nardone (Jr., P), Matt Hamilton (Jr., C), Brian Popovich (Jr., P), John Patti (Jr., OF/INF), Christian Hoplock (So., P/OF), Garrhet Reedy (So., C/OF/INF), Andrew Slinger (So., INF/P)
The Falcons not only lost one of the more accomplished coaches in the history of the Shore Conference with the retirement of Ted Jarmusz, but they also lost most of their Central Jersey Group II championship team. While three position-player starters and a 25-inning pitcher do return, the Falcons will have to replace a significant amount of production at the plate and on the mound in order to have another winning season in a very competitive Class A Central division.
While Monmouth has been able to replace top-level talent in years past, the biggest difference between this year and those years is that there is not an obvious ace pitcher ready to take over. When the Falcons graduated several senior starters in 2011, current Seton Hall right-hander Luke Cahill was ready to carry the load as a senior in 2012. Then, with Cahill gone in 2013, Tom Broyles stepped in after an All-Shore season as a junior and delivered a first-team performance as a senior while pitching the Falcons to the sectional championship game. This year Zach Centrella returns as the team’s lone pitcher with varsity experience and will have to assume the role as staff ace. Centrella is capable of posting a season like the one Brian Quinn did last year, but that still leaves the Falcons needing some help in the pitching department.
Seniors Jon Bonczyk and Dan Valerio are ready to step into leading roles in the lineup and junior Matt Vincenti showed some promise as a sophomore last year, but the Falcons lack the explosive element at the plate that every other team in the division has. If the lower levels of the program produce a handful of pitchers who are ready to get good varsity hitters out, Monmouth will surprise. The Falcons have the pedigree to make the most out of their talent, so if there turns out to be a hidden gem or two in the lineup and the rotation, the Falcons will run with the opportunity.