Baseball – 2014 Preview: Monsignor Donovan
Monsignor Donovan Griffins
Head Coach: Paul Murray, 11th season
Record Last Year: 16-12 (8-6, tied for second in B South)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Russ Petranto||Jr.||3B/2B||.367, 3 2B, 8 RBI|
|Bryan Mulligan||Sr.||C/OF||.258, 1 2B, 4 R, 4 RBI|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Frank Vicari||Sr.||1B/P||2 2B, 2 RBI|
|Chris Calderone||Sr.||OF/P||.260, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|Steve Lazicki||Jr.||3B/C/P||.291, 1 2B|
Key Losses: Rich Power (P/1B), Adam Holowienka (P/1B), Aiden Ryan (P), Nick Panissidi (SS/P), Dan McGeehan (OF), James Meyreles (DH), Kevin Ortiz (OF), Tyler Fitzgerald (OF), Brad Lee (P), Jeff Rankel (C)
Key Newcomers: Alex Loffredo (Jr., OF/INF/P), Charlie Dimino (Jr., OF), Vin Della Volla (So., OF), Ian Koukos (Fr., P), Kyle Malloy (So., OF/P), Aaron Holowienka (So., IF/OF), Nick Povoa (So., P), Zach Mann (Fr., P), R.J. Berardi (Jr., C), Matt Puleo (Jr., OF/1B), Mitch Geraghty (Jr., P/OF)
No team in Class B South has more to replace than Monsignor Donovan, which stormed out of the gate, won 16 games and advanced to the Ocean County Tournament semifinals behind a senior-loaded roster in 2013. Pitching depth carried Monsignor Donovan all season long, but that won’t be the same asset that it was last year. The Griffins return almost no pitching and very few at-bats from last year’s team and will have to rely heavily on the program pipeline, as well as a number of part-time varsity players from a year ago.
The lone returning impact player from a year ago is junior Russ Petranto, whose hot start to the season was slowed by an injury that derailed his offensive season. Even while dealing with the injury, Petranto hit .367 with three doubles and now that he is 100 percent healthy, the junior should be primed for a big season, either at third or second base. The lone other returnee with starting experience is Bryan Mulligan, who will have a shot to catch and play some outfield. Frank Vicari, Chris Calderone, Matt Drake and Steve Laziki each got a handful of at-bats and will look to turn some mild success on a smaller scale into big seasons as newcomers to the starting lineup.
Even if Monsignor Donovan can put a solid lineup together, which it seems like it can, replacing four pitchers and the production that came with them is quite the chore. Senior Dante Pagano has some experience on the varsity mound and Vicari, Lazicki and senior Jimmy Maguire are ready to take on some innings, but the Griffins might have to turn to their incoming sophomores, as well as some freshmen, to log some key innings. It’s hard to see 2014 as anything other than a rebuilding year, but it’s also a chance for the Griffins to find their next wave of young talent, and in B South, sometimes young talent wins.