Baseball – 2014 Preview: Toms River East
Toms River East Raiders
Head Coach: Bill Frank, 30th season
Record Last Year: 13-10 (8-6, tied for third in A South)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Charlie Mulé||Sr.||3B||.461/.474/.526, 5 2B, 9 R, 14 RBI, 4 SB|
|Jerry Caporale||Sr.||LF||.397/.481/.426, 2 2B, 16 R, 8 RBI, 10 SB|
|Jon Meola||Jr.||SS||.329/.427/.500, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 SB|
|Anthony DeBlasio||Sr.||P||2.51 ERA, 4-2|
|Jeff Cannova||Sr.||P||3.28 ERA, 4-2|
|C.J. Hirschy||Sr.||P||1.94 ERA, 3 Saves|
Key Losses: Christian Danyo (3B), Paul Schifilliti (P), Dave Lewis (OF), Tyler DeFellipo (C), Brandon Bloodgood (1B/P)
Key Newcomers: Tommy Vincent (Sr., 2B), Noah Clark (Sr., 1B), Josh Sommerer (Jr., RF), Ron Calantoni (Sr., C)
Picking the winner of this division is a futile task, but at least Jackson Memorial makes it a little simpler after separating itself last year with a similar team. After the Jaguars, the next five teams can check in any order possible because they are all similarly constructed and all very even. Toms River East is the pick for No. 2 in the division simply because it has the edge in senior influence, both in the field and on the mound, which could be the difference in a big game. Only two juniors are projected to crack the starting lineup and one – shortstop Jon Meola – is a University of Virginia recruit.
Toms River East is at its best on the left side of the field, with Meola manning shortstop and senior Charlie Mulé back at third base. Mulé hit .461 as a junior last year, while Meola slugged .500 and homered off of Toms River North ace and current Duke freshman Karl Blum. Senior Jerry Caporale is also back in left field after hitting .397 last year.
Just as the Raiders have a standout trio on the left side of the field, they also have one on the mound. Senior pitchers Anthony DeBlasio, Jeff Cannova and C.J. Hirschy anchored the staff along with the now-graduated Paul Schifilliti and Hirschy will go from a relief specialist role to a starter after posting a 1.94 ERA last year. DeBlasio, meanwhile, leads the staff fresh off a 4-2 junior season with a 2.51 ERA.
It’s been seven years since Toms River East was in the hunt for the division title and while the division is still Jackson’s to lose, the Raiders look to have their most complete team in a while.