The 2014 season was a wildly successful one for Class A Central on the whole. Two teams – St. John Vianney and Shore Regional – won NJSIAA Group championships, and Rumson-Fair Haven advanced to the Central Jersey Group II championship game. In light of the widespread success of the division, the race for this year’s title remains wide open, both because of the talent throughout the collection of teams and due to a significant list of graduations from the division’s success stories.

Two non-public juggernauts have ruled A Central over the last two years and with the most recent realignment, one of them – Red Bank Catholic – is gone to Class B North. St. John Vianney, meanwhile, graduated eight of the nine players in its starting lineup and two of its top three pitchers, while Shore lost four of its top five hitters and three of its top four pitchers. The exodus leaves the division race wide open for the public schools of the group to jump into the division race, although Vianney remains a real threat because of its depth.

The regular season is anybody’s game and regardless of how the division race plays out, there are a at least five teams in A Central that could make postseason noise in either the Shore Conference Tournament, the state tournament, or both.

Already committed to Notre Dame, Manasquan sophomore Tommy Sheehan looks to head a deep Warriors pitching staff that could make a significant impact in A Central. (Photo by Matt Manley)

 

Manasquan

Head coach: Dennis Van Pelt, sixth season
2014 record: 10-12 (6-8, sixth in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Max Hawkins Sr. CF .270/.432/.349, 3 2B, 3B, 18 R, 13 RBI, 12 SB
Ty Hawkins Sr. DH .356/.407/.479, 6 2B, HR, 11 R, 17 RBI
Tyler Bradley Sr. C .212/.308/.242, 2B, 7 R, 5 RBI
Tanner Cowley Sr. RF .250/.333/.309, 2 2B, 3B, 8 R, 18 RBI, 7 SB
Matt Edwards Sr. SS .192/.250/.346, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI
Jack Sheehan Jr. 3B/P .324/.380/.408, 3 2B, HR, 12 R, 12 RBI 15.2 IP, 21 H, 4 BB, 13 K, 4.91 ERA, 1-2
Tommy Sheehan So. P/1B .273/.305/.382, 6 2B, 4 R, 11 RBI 30.1 IP, 28 H, 20 BB, 45 K, 2.54 ERA, 4-0
Matt Paturzo Sr. 2B .341/.420/.390, 2 2B, 8 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB
Marc Galvan Sr. P 26.2 IP, 27 H, 16 BB, 29 K, 3.68 ERA, 1-2

Key Losses: Tommy Toole (INF/P), Tucker Caccavale (P), Austin Saito (P)
Key Newcomers: Adam Schreck (So., 3B/OF), Liam McAllister (Sr., P), Austin Castellanos (Sr., P), Kevin Fay (Sr., P), John Masselli (Sr., P)

Like a lot of teams that are close to getting over the proverbial hump, the last piece to the puzzle for Manasquan is simply consistency. The Warriors have been able to compete with – and in some cases beat – some of the best teams in the area, but at the end of last year, the Warriors were still two games under .500. Although the concept of consistency is much simpler than its execution, Manasquan has a big chunk of it taken care of thanks to a roster full of returning starters. Eight of the nine players in the Warriors’ projected opening-day lineup were starters last season. When senior right-hander and Manhattan College recruit Marc Galvan pitches, six of Manasquan’s starters will be committed to Division I athletic programs.

Galvan is set to slot into the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind sophomore left-hander and Notre Dame recruit Tommy Sheehan, giving Manansquan its best one-two punch at the top of the rotation since coach Dennis Van Pelt took over. Sheehan struck out 45 batters in 30 innings last season thanks to a fastball-cutter-changeup mix that featured velocity in the high-80-mile-per-hour range from a freshman. Sheehan’s older brother, Jack, also committed to Notre Dame after a successful fall on the mound and was one of Manasquan’s top hitters while manning third base as a sophomore last year. Six-foot-7 senior right-hander Liam McAllister will also pick up some innings, as will fellow sophomore right-handers Austin Castellanos, Kevin Fay and John Masselli.

The Warriors return a lineup of productive hitters, led by Max and Ty Hawkins in the Nos. 3 and 4 spots in the order. Max is committed to Monmouth University and will man center field, while Ty Hawkins will hit clean-up as the designated hitter. University of Virginia football recruit Tanner Cowley returns in right field, while the senior trio of shortstop Matt Edwards, second baseman Matt Paturzo and catcher Tyler Bradley return in the middle of the diamond. Bradley recently announced his decision to play baseball at Furman University, Manasquan’s sixth Division I commitment. Sophomore Adam Schreck will play left field when Tommy Sheehan pitches and third when Jack Sheehan pitches to round out the lineup. With St. John Vianney retooling with an entirely new lineup and Rumson, Monmouth and Shore looking to replace a handful of key pieces, Manasquan goes into the Class A Central season with the most complete team and plenty to prove.

 

St. John Vianney

Head coach: Mike Morgan, ninth season
2014 record: 20-7 (12-2, first in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Nick Gugliara Sr. OF .263/.355/.263, 12 R, 6 SB
Nick DeLuise Sr. INF .308/.460/.385, 3 2B, 8 R, 6 RBI, 5 SB
Dan Schirmacher Sr. P 39 IP, 35 H, 12 BB, 36 K, 2.51 ERA, 3-2
Jeff McPeek Sr. P 17.1 IP, 16 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 2.82, 1-1
John Michael Broderick Sr. P 14 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 3.00 ERA, 3-1
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Vince Durso Sr. SS 1-for-6, 16 R, 6 SB
Ciaran Devenney Jr. C 2-for-13, HR, 5 R
Chris Perez Sr. P 7.1 IP, 9 H, 6 BB, 7 K, 6.68 ERA, 0-3
Dan Gesior Sr. P 4 IP, 0 H, 4 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
Brandon DeKovics Jr. P/INF
Steve Adami Sr. OF
Victor Jamandron Jr. INF

Key Losses: Anthony Santoro (C), Joe Rotelli (1B), Evan Pietronico (OF), Chris Morris (SS/P), Chris Loney (OF), Anthony LaVigne (3B/DH), Drew Fisher (2B), Pat Devenny (3B), Justin Chin (P), Nick Dery (P)
Key Newcomers: Zach Richards (Jr., OF), Sean Rutkiewicz (Jr., P), Chris Angolia (Sr., INF), Connor Byrne (Sr., P), Ryan Donovan (Sr., OF), Tyler Ford (Sr., INF), Kevin Callari (Jr., INF/P), Chris Cerniglia (Jr., INF/P), John Domino (Jr., OF), Nick Ficsor (Jr., INF), Joey Raia (Jr., P), Sebi Bellone (So., INF/C), Seamus Coyle (So., INF), Ryan DeMille (So., P)

It might not seem that a team that lost eight players from its NJSIAA Non-Public A championship starting lineup and two of its top three pitchers should contend for a division title, but be careful about writing off a group of hungry players who had to sit behind a talented class of players the year prior. St. John Vianney has, arguably, the most unproven collection of talent in the division this season, but it is a collection of talent, nonetheless.

While Manasquan has the pitching staff with the highest ceiling, the Lancers might have more polish in their starting rotation while reloading their batting order with a handful of players who performed in smaller roles last season. Senior right-hander Dan Schirmacher has been St. John Vianney’s No. 2 pitcher in each of the last two seasons and will headline the rotation this year. Senior right-hander Jeff McPeek was a reliable spot starter last season for St. John Vianney while senior John Michael Broderick went 3-1 in 14 effective innings last year – mostly in relief – and senior Chris Perez also returns with experience on the hill.

Senior center fielder Nick Gugliara and senior first baseman Nick DeLuise both got upwards of 40 at-bats last season, with Gugliara playing a key role in the Non-Public A title run as a source of speed and contact at the bottom of the order, while DeLuise hit over .300 with three doubles in part-time starting duty as a junior. Junior catcher Ciaran Devenney played a number of positions and did some pinch-running as a sophomore, and also belted a home run in his 13 at-bats. Shortstop Vince Durso, outfielder Steven Adami and infielder Victor Jamandron will all have a chance to move from the bench to the starting lineup, and junior Brandon DeKovics could make an impact with his bat and on the mound. The names won’t be as familiar as the ones that led St. John Vianney to its best season in four decades, but the Lancers should once again hang around in the A Central race.

 

Rumson-Fair Haven

Head coach: Kevin James, 13th season
2014 record: 14-11 (7-7, tied fourth in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Morgan Maguire Sr. P/1B/OF .600/.702/.883, 9 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 25 R, 23 RBI 53 IP, 41 H, 23 BB, 52 K, 1.45 ERA, 7-3
Max Goione Sr. SS/P .367/.458/.514, 5 2B, 2 HR, 17 R, 12 RBI
Kenny Ferrare Sr. 1B .275 Avg, 10 XBH
Shane McCabe Sr. OF .280 Avg
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Mickey Schluter Jr. C .274 Avg
Matt Fahey So. OF/P .345 Avg

Key Losses: Shane McCarthy (P), Tom Culligan (3B), Chris Drummond (OF), Chase Caruso (2B), Billy Lyons (OF), Jake D’Amelio (C), Chris Jewett (DH)
Key Newcomers: Jackson Rissucci (Jr., 3B/P), Jake Caruso (Jr., 2B), Sam Chandler (Jr., SS), Teddy Sourlis (Jr., P/1B), Sid Farber (Jr., P), Max Pfrang (Jr., C/1B), Anthony Mazzucca (Jr., P), Mike Frissor (Jr., P), Connor Dupree (So., INF)

Last year, Rumson had the pitching to compete at the top of the Class A Central division, but did not hang around in the race over the long haul because of ill-timed defensive miscues and two very tough non-public teams at the top of the division that were a little deeper than the Bulldogs were. While Manasquan, St. John Vianney and possibly Monmouth could have deeper rosters than Rumson, the Bulldogs also have an up-and-coming junior class that will complement arguably the best senior duo in the division.

Senior right-hander and Old Dominion recruit Morgan Maguire returns to the top of the rotation after teaming up with current Seton Hall freshman Shane McCarthy last year. While Maguire was dominant on the mound, he was even better at the plate. Maguire led the Shore Conference in on-base-plus-slugging (OPS), hitting .600 with an on-base percentage of over .700 and a slugging percentage approaching .900. Senior shortstop and Siena recruit Max Goione was a force in the middle of the order and the middle of the diamond for Rumson last season as well, while first baseman Kenny Ferrare and center fielder Shane McCabe were also productive in starting roles.

Junior newcomers Jackson Russucci and left-hander Teddy Sourlis lead a group of incoming talent that will help fill six openings in the starting lineup, while returning varsity players Mickey Schluter and sophomore Matt Fahey both move into the starting lineup. Both Rassucci and Sourlis will pitch and play on either side of the infield, while the junior Schluter takes over behind the plate. Fahey earned a handful of starts as a freshman and will add some innings on the mound to go with his work in right field. It could take a few weeks to sort out the best lineup and the best way to use the influx of new talent, but Maguire and Goione will headline a group of Bulldogs that might actually be better suited to compete this year than they were a year ago thanks to a more open race.

 

Monmouth

Head coach: Paul Crivello, second season
2014 record: 13-13 (7-7, tied fourth in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Matt Vincenti Sr. OF .346/.474/.550, 11 2B, 3B, HR, 28 R, 12 RBI, 7 SB
Marc Marcinak Sr. OF .271/.400/.300, 2 2B, 10 R, 11 RBI
Christian Hoplock Jr. OF/P .370/.430/.520, 5 2B, 2 3B, HR, 13 R, 21 RBI 17 IP, 21 H, 12 BB, 16 K, 4.15 ERA, 2-0
Joe Berner Sr. INF/P .244/.295/.350,  6 2B, HR, 9 R, 15 RBI
Jim Green Sr. INF .218/.282/.300, 4 2B, 3B, 6 R, 10 RBI, 3 SB
Tim Reynolds Sr. OF .282/.391/.330, 2 2B, 8 R, 5 RBI,
Garrhet Rheedy Jr. C .171/.346/.200, 2B, 9 R, 2 RBI
Christian DeFazio Sr. P 41 IP, 47 H, 13 BB, 29 K, 5.23 ERA, 2-4
Corey Shevlin Sr. P/OF .182/.317/.210, 2B, 7 R, 7 RBI 30 IP, 29 H, 17 BB, 28 K, 4.20 ERA, 2-1
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Bill Herman Sr. P/INF 0-for-1
Matt Hamilton Sr. C 1-for-2
Andrew Slinger Jr. INF/P 3-for-10, 2 R, 2 RBI
John Patti Sr. INF 2-for-7, 2 R

Key Losses: Dan Valerio (2B), John Bonczyk (SS/P), Zach Centrella (P)
Key Newcomers: Matt Doucette (Sr., INF), Preston Mellaci (Jr., OF), Chris Raike (Jr., P), Christian Boujaoude (Jr., INF/OF), Skylar Marvin (Jr., INF), Josh Jackson (So., C/INF), Mark Abrams (So., OF), Paul Birzin (So., P/INF)

Last season was a significant test for the Monmouth Regional program, and with a first-year head coach in Paul Crivello, the Falcons came out looking as strong as ever. While a 13-13 finish is not especially noteworthy for a program that has won state championships in its peak years, doing so with very little starting talent returning and with a new head coach means the transition was smooth and the Falcons will be ready to make a run at the division title in a Class A Central division that is up for grabs. Although Monmouth will again have to replace some significant pitching production, there is plenty of returning position-player talent on which to lean.

Senior outfielder Matt Vincenti was an All-Shore outfielder as a junior and will anchor the Falcons' offense once again in 2015. He will hit in front of junior Christian Hoplock, who had a breakout season as a sophomore last year and whose emergence was a major factor in Monmouth remaining competitive in A Central. Senior outfielder Marc Marcinak and senior first baseman Joe Berner combined for 26 RBI between them, while senior James Green is a good athlete who had some good moments at the plate. Senior Tim Reynolds also returns after contributing an on-base percentage just under .400, while junior Andrew Slinger and catcher Garrhet Reedy will both see increased roles after part-time duty last year.

Not surprisingly, pitching will be a key for Monmouth in its quest for a division title and postseason hardware. Departed pitchers Jon Bonczyk and Zach Centrella were the team’s top two options on the mound, so Hoplock and seniors Corey Shevlin and Christian DeFazio will look to step up in the rotation this season. Hoplock struck out 16 in 17 innings last year, while Shevlin punched out 28 in 30, so there is some potential for a dominant one-two punch to go with DeFazio, who threw 40-plus innings as a junior. If the pitching staff comes together, Monmouth will be a very tough team to outlast over the course of the season and a very tough out come tournament time.

 

Shore

Head coach: Patrick O’Neill, fourth season
2014 record: 19-9 (8-6, third in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
James Kelly Sr. 3B/P .312/.455/.425, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 17 R, 19 RBI 45.2 IP, 49 H, 14 BB, 48 K, 2.45 ERA, 2-4
Sam Parrino Sr. OF/P .273/.378/.349, 3 2B, 3B, 7 R, 7 RBI 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.62 ERA, 0-1
Matt McCarthy Sr. 1B .278/.429/.292, 2B, 11 R, 7 RBI
Justin Halper Sr. OF .269/.377/.308, 2 2B, 5 R, 8 RBI
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Ryan Campi Sr. OF/P .143/.333/.333, 2B, HR, 4 R, 4 RBI 10.2 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 7 K, 4.59 ERA, 0-1
Kevin Donegan Sr. OF .217/.217/.261, 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI

Key Losses: Matt Cosentino (CF/P), Alex Schulz (2B), Nick Blaney (C), Clayton Coffey (SS), Dylan Vosk (P), Matt Schulz (INF)
Key Newcomers: Alex Mango (Sr., 2B), Matt Recchia (Sr., OF), Dhillon Barbetti (Sr., C/P), Chas Breithoff (Jr., INF/P), Devin McLaughlin (Jr., INF/P), Michael Mendillo (Jr., OF), Michael O’Halloran (Jr., SS), Marco Parrino (Jr., OF), Alex Patton (Jr., OF), Matt Pennell (So., INF/P)

The defending Group I champions graduated four starters and a versatile pitcher from last year, which leaves a fair amount of experience for this year’s team. The challenge for Shore is that the four everyday players constituted four of the top five hitters in the lineup, and one of those hitters – current George Washington freshman Matt Cosentino – was also the team’s top pitcher. Senior right-hander and Monmouth University recruit James Kelly gives the Blue Devils an ace and middle-of-the order bat around which to build this season. A big season from Kelly alone will be enough to make sure Shore is still a factor in the Class A Central race after finishing third last year.

Shore’s returning talent is exclusively on the corners, as Kelly returns to third base, senior Matt McCarthy is back at first, and Sam Parrino, Justin Halper, Ryan Campi and Kevin Donegan are all back after playing in the outfield last year. That means Shore will be tasked with addressing the losses in the middle of the field, particularly at catcher and shortstop. Parrino played some center field last year when Cosentino pitched, but the rest of the starting jobs in the middle will have to go to first-time starters. Senior Dhillon Barbetti is lined up to be the catcher, while junior Mike O’Halloran will take over at shortstop in his first varsity season and senior Alex Mango looks to step in at second base.

Finding pitching behind Kelly will also be a priority, as Campi and Parrino look to build on their experience pitching in relief last season. Juniors Chas Breithoff and Devin McLaughlin will also look to contribute on the mound, and sophomore Matt Pennell could factor in as well. Breithoff was one of Henry Hudson’s top producers on the mound and at the plate as a freshman in 2013, but did not play much as a sophomore at Shore last season. Shore will need some surprises in some spots, but with Kelly at the top and some capable hitters returning, there is a pretty good foundation for another good season, especially by the time the Central Jersey Group I playoffs roll around.

 

Holmdel

Head coach: Gene Crimoli, second season
2014 record: 6-15 (3-11, seventh in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Tyler Fischer Jr. SS/P .333 Avg, 3B, 2 HR, 11 R, 17 RBI
D.J. Goins Sr. DH .358 Avg, .586 Slug, 9 2B, 2 3B, HR, 10 R, 17 RBI, 4 SB
Tyler Kiss Sr. 2B/P 17 K
Ashwin Jain Sr. P/OF 10 R, 4 SB 36 IP, 35 K, 3.50 ERA
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Will Van Name Jr. C/INF
Erik Alvino Sr. INF/P
Corey Nuzzi Sr. P

Key Losses: Joe Sadler (1B/C), Matt Schneiderman (3B/P), Jack Flannagan (CF), Jeff Wischerath (P), Kyle Jones (P)
Key Newcomers: Chris Ammirati (So., OF), Jordyn Brosemer (Jr., P), Mike Carranante (Jr., UTIL), Andrew DePinho (Jr., 1B), Matt Fanelli (So., 3B), Lukas Gudelis (Jr., OF), Sal Monticiollo (Fr., 1B), David Valentino (Sr., 2B)

Over the past three or four years, the Holmdel baseball program has been heavily associated with one player and that player – Joe Sadler – is no longer with the program after graduating in 2014. On the other hand, the Hornets have not been able to push into the top half of the division and in order to do so, it is pretty clear that Holmdel will need a deeper lineup and more pitching in order to make a run at teams like Rumson, Manasquan and Monmouth this season.

Fortunately, lineup depth and starting rotation strength are the two biggest improvements second-year coach Gene Crimoli cites when assessing his roster this year. While Holmdel does not have a hitter who strikes fear into the heart of the opponent like Sadler did since his freshman year, it returns two hitters who made opponents pay for pitching around Sadler last year in junior Tyler Fischer and senior D.J. Goins. Fischer socked two home runs last year, while Goins was one of the best hitters in the conference, clubbing nine doubles, two triples and a home run while hitting .358.

Fischer will also be an integral part of the pitching staff to go with experienced left-hander Ashwin Jain and second baseman Tyler Kiss. Jain is the known commodity of the group after posting a 3.50 ERA with 35 punchouts in 36 innings as a junior, but Fischer could be a wild card. He is a former promising quarterback who had to stop playing football because of a heart condition, but has garnered some interest from local Division I schools after showing high-80’s velocity in the fall. If the pitching takes shape and the middle of the order doesn’t fall apart without the presence of Sadler, the Hornets could open some eyes this year.

 

Raritan

Head coach: Jeff Struble, third season
2014 record: 5-13 (2-12, eighth in A Central)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Tom Pulcine Sr. C .326 Avg, .466 OBP, 7 R, 6 RBI, 11 SB
Jon Rodriguez Jr. OF 14 H, 1 3B
Bo Bentley Jr. 1B .308 Avg, .480 Slug, 3 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI
Johnny Guccione Jr. 3B .323/.354/.400, 5 2B, 10 R
Mike Kelleher Sr. P 52 IP, 35 K, 4.17 ERA, 3-7
Returning Players Yr. Position 2014 Batting Stats 2014 Pitching Stats
Ryan Ruziecki So. SS 1 HR  
Mason Sheehan Jr. OF
Trevor Zelienski Sr. C
Mike Lind Jr. C

Key Losses: Bruce Strickland (SS/P), Nick Glensor (2B), James Wines (OF)
Key Newcomers: Joe Cavaluzzi (So., 2B), Matt Birdsall (So., OF/P), Nick Principe (Jr., OF), Frankie DeVirgilio (Sr., 1B/DH), Bill Hutchins (Jr., DH), Matt Wotojwicz (So., INF), Ken Friend (So., OF), Zac Johnston (Fr., INF/P)

Raritan was one of the youngest teams in the Shore Conference last season and with only four seniors on this year’s roster, it will be more of the same this season. Although losing all-around standout Bruce Strickland is a big hit to the Raritan lineup, defense and pitching rotation, the Rockets return a group of juniors who performed well given their youth in a division loaded with high-level senior talent. Juniors Bo Bentley, Johnny Guccione and Jon Rodriguez all produced as sophomores, with Bentley and Guccione both hitting over .300 and slugging .400 or better.

The senior battery of right-hander Mike Kelleher and catcher Tom Pulcine also return for the Rockets, with Kelleher establishing himself as the No. 2 pitcher behind Strickland last season while leading the team in innings. Pulcine, meanwhile, hit .326 and can also play some first base and designated hitter with two other catchers on the roster in senior Trevor Zelienski and junior Mike Lind. Sophomore Ryan Ruziecki earned some time as a freshman last year and belted his first career home run during his part-time stint. Ruziecki also was a steady glove at shortstop and should help offset the loss of Strickland to some degree.

Pitching is going to be a question mark behind Kelleher as the Rockets did not have an answer in that department last year. Although it doesn’t appear that Raritan will have the pitching depth to make a run at the top spot in Class A Central, the Rockets should get back to being the prototypical hard-hitting lineup of Raritan teams past.

 

Division Lineup

Tyler Bradley, Catcher, Manasquan – Division I catching prospect (Furman) with standout defensive tools and a chance to have a career year with the bat as the Warriors leadoff hitter.

Bo Bentley, First Base, Raritan – Slugged .480 as a sophomore and part-time starter for a young Raritan team.

Tyler Fischer, Shortstop, Holmdel – After putting up one of the better offensive seasons by a sophomore, Fischer could also be an impact pitcher for the Hornets.

Max Goione, Shortstop, Rumson-Fair Haven – Siena College recruit is one of the Shore’s better returning shortstops after posting a .972 OPS as a junior.

Jack Sheehan, Third Base, Manasquan – Like Fischer, Sheehan was a top offensive player in the conference who has blossomed on the mound over the offseason.

Matt Vincenti, Outfield, Monmouth – One of the best returning outfielders in the Shore Conference, Vincenti enters the season eight doubles shy of Monmouth’s all-time career record.

Max Hawkins, Center Field, Manasquan – Monmouth University recruit offers speed, contact and defense and will likely tap into some more power during his senior season.

Christian Hoplock, Outfield, Monmouth – One of the breakout sophomores in the Shore Conference last year, Hoplock returns to anchor the lineup while looking to step up as a pitcher for the Falcons.

Ty Hawkins, Designated Hitter, Manasquan – Smooth-swinging left-hander hit .356 last year and will clean up for a deep Manasquan offense this season.

 

Division Rotation

Morgan Maguire, RHP, Rumson-Fair Haven – An Old Dominion recruit on the mound, Maguire’s offense actually overshadowed his pitching last year when he posted a Shore Conference-best 1.585 OPS.

Dan Schirmacher, RHP, St. John Vianney – While Justin Chin earned the headlines for his postseason pitching, Schirmacher was steady all year (2.51 ERA) and effective in postseason relief.

Tommy Sheehan, LHP, Manasquan – Sheehan (Notre Dame) was the first major Shore Conference recruit from the Class of 2017 to commit and it’s easy to see why: He struck out 45 in 30 innings with a high-80’s fastball from the left side.

James Kelly, RHP, Shore – Another Monmouth University recruit, Kelly pitched much better in 2014 than his 2-4 record would indicate, and he delivered a winning performance in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I final against New Egypt.

Marc Galvan, RHP, Manasquan – Signed to pitch at Manhattan College, Galvan gives the Warriors one of the better No. 2 pitchers in the conference and could even end up the No. 1 after striking out 29 in 26 2/3 innings as a junior.

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Ryan Campi, Outfield, Shore – Two of his three hits last year went for extra bases, so expect some power numbers now that Campi is in a full-time role.

Ryan Ruziecki, Shortstop, Raritan – Offered a glimpse at his potential with a home run as a freshman last year and now has a full-time job at shortstop as a sophomore.

Jackson Rissucci, 3B/P, Rumson-Fair Haven – One of a number of juniors who Rumson will look to for production to go with Morgan Maguire and Max Goione.

John Michael Broderick, RHP, St. John Vianney – Struck out 12 and walked four in 14 innings last year and picked up three wins in the process. There are plenty of open innings to be had for Vianney and Broderick should pick up a lot of them if he performs like he did last year.

Matt Edwards, Shortstop, Manasquan – Led Manasquan with two home runs last year and a little more contact would make Edwards one of the Shore’s better offensive shortstops.