Baseball – 2014 Preview: Ocean
Head Coach: Cip Apicelli, fifth season
Record Last Year: 13-15 (7-5, third in B North)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Zack Godfrey||Sr.||C||.313, 6 2B, 1 3B, 10 RBI|
|Jimmy McGrorry||Sr.||3B||.282, 4 2B, 1 HR, 16 R, 20 RBI, 4 SB|
|Miles Moody||Sr.||OF||.250, 1 HR, 14 R, 8 SB|
|Glenn Davis||Sr.||OF||.286, 15 R|
|Ryan Lillie||Sr.||P||49 IP, 34 K, 2.19 ERA, 4-1|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|John Walsh||Sr.||1B||4 RBI|
|Dan Verderese||Sr.||P||2.62 ERA|
Key Losses: Jerome Cevetello (1B), Nick Ferrara (2B), Andrew Mehr (SS), Nick Price (OF), Jordan Bell (OF), Kevin Buell (P), Dan Maguire (P)
Key Newcomers: Lucas Snow (Sr., P/INF), Jack Hadden (Sr., P/OF), Ray Acerra (Sr., INF), Eric Delaluz (Sr., C), Anthony Bartolomei (Jr., P/1B), Frank Henry (Jr., INF), Jon Zimmerman (Jr., P/C), Marcus Blackmon (Jr., OF), Jake Talarico (So., P/OF), Marc Chernin (So., C), Tyler Rossback (So., INF)
The Spartans finished with a losing record for the first time under fifth-year coach Cip Apicelli and one of the culprits was a 3-7 record in games decided by two runs or fewer. Ocean has been one of the more fundamentally sound teams in the conference under Apicelli and previously Del Dal Pra, and the Spartans usually find a way to pull games like that out. It was not to be last year and Ocean went out rather quietly.
The Spartans look to come back in grand fashion this season, and they will have a chance to make an impression with two games against Wall this year. Ocean looks like the clear challenger to Wall in Class B North and the two programs have waged some classic battles over the years, regardless of which program is more talented in a given year. Wall is arguably the top team in the Shore Conference heading into the year and a top-20 team in the state, so if Ocean can beat them, it’s going to help the Spartans’ profile.
Despite the losing record last year, the Spartans were pretty solid on the mound and their most reliable pitcher from a year ago – senior left-hander and University of Rhode Island recruit Ryan Lillie – is back to lead the rotation. Senior Dan Verderese and junior Blake DeMeter also return with some experience to compete with newcomers Anthony Bartolomei, Jon Zimmerman, Jake Talarico, Lucas Snow and Jack Haden.
Ocean loses some key cogs in the offense, but returns catcher Zack Godfrey, third baseman Jimmy McGrorry and outfielders Miles Moody and Glenn Davis after each chipped in as starters last year. This group will have a lot to prove after coming up short of a winning record last year, but they also have a little more to work with than some of the other B North teams, which should help keep Ocean in the division race for a while.