One reason Class A South has been one of the toughest divisions in the state over the last couple of decades is that whenever there is a loaded team at the top, it’s never easy for that team to run the table against a league of talented Group IV and larger Group III schools. This year, there is no team that is head-and-shoulders above the rest on paper, which could make for a particularly wild regular-season in a division that doesn’t have a bad roster.

Last year’s division champion, Toms River North, will have to test its program depth on the mound right away, second-place Jackson Memorial and Toms River South each lost a lot of production at the plate, which should leave the door open for a surprise team or two to break into the division race. Those three mainstays in A South certainly won’t fall out of the race, but the competition for the top spot should be fierce and it won’t be limited to just two or three teams.

Jackson Memorial senior Chris Hawryluk. (Photo by Bill Normile)

In predicted order of finish

Jackson Memorial

Head Coach: Frank Malta, 12th season
2015 Record: 22-7 (10-4, tied second in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Kyle Johnson Sr. SS .426/.545/.702, 11 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 41 R, 25 RBI, 25 SB
Chris Hawryluk Sr. P/1B .444/.550/.622, 5 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 24 R, 21 RBI, 5 SB 33.2 IP, 36 H, 15 BB, 22 K, 2.91 ERA, 3-1
Kyle Lona Sr. CF .324/.422/.455, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 14 R, 10 RBI
Returning Players Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Dylan Kanner Jr. P/1B 6-for-15, 3 2B, 5 R, RBI 22 IP, 20 H, 14 BB, 16 K, 5.73 ERA, 1-1
Lorenzo Spinelli Sr. P/INF 0-for-3 14.1 IP, 21 H, 8 BB, 8 K, 7.33 ERA, 1-2
Ryan Boyle Jr. INF 1-for-1, R 1 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Connor Takacs Jr. OF/P 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI
Transfer Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Mike Dimino (Donovan Cath.) So. P/INF 20.2 IP, 5 BB, 10 K, 2.37 ERA, 2-1

Key Losses: Brandon Janofsky (SS/P), Joe DeMaio (CF), Rich Rountree (OF), Matt Crispe (OF), Nick Rocco (DH/C), John Carello, (2B), Ryan Takacs (SP), Matt Castronuova (INF/P), Jim Plaganis (P)
Key Newcomers: Dallas Sheard (Sr., C/OF), Chris Peruggia (Jr., C/OF), Tim Halasnik (Jr., 1B/P), Krystian Potok (Jr., 1B), Jake Fox (Jr., INF), Aaron McCulligh (Jr., INF), Mike Koslowski (So., INF), Pat Byrnes (Sr.), Mike Christie (Sr.), Alex Iadisernia (Fr., OF), Colin McCulligh (Jr., P), Dave DeJesus (Jr., OF), Nick Cronce (Jr., P), Shawn Kelich (So., P/OF)

Losing players to graduation is a burden for every program, but certain programs just don’t show it as much as others. Jackson Memorial is one of those programs that always has talent coming up through the system and during his first 11 years running the show, Frank Malta has always gotten whatever there is to get out of the talent on hand. According to Malta, this year’s team will have more new faces at the varsity level than any team he has coached, but that does not mean it will be hurting for talent. The Jaguars return All-Shore infielder and Rider University recruit Kyle Johnson, who played both third base and shortstop last year and is slated to spend most of this season at shortstop after the graduation of Brandon Janofsky.

Jackson Memorial’s other two returning starters are right-handed hurler and first baseman Chris Hawryluk and fellow senior Kyle Lona. Hawryluk is a Monmouth University recruit and will head the Jackson Memorial pitching staff after fighting through some shoulder discomfort to deliver 33 2/3 innings as a junior. Lona, meanwhile, moves from behind the plate out to center field to replace three-year starter Joe DeMaio. The Jaguars have depth at catcher with senior Dallas Sheard and junior Chris Peruggia that allows Lona to move out to captain the outfield. Juniors Dylan Kanner and Connor Takacs will get more time this season after both swung the bat well in small sophomore samples. Both will also file into the pitching staff behind Hawryluk as the Jaguars again look to lean on their depth. Last year, both Hawryluk and Janofsky missed time due to injury and the Jaguars still managed to piece things together with Ryan Takacs and newcomers like current senior Lorenzo Spinelli.

Sophomore Mike Dimino also serves as an intriguing addition to the rotation after he pitched to a 2.73 ERA in 20 1/3 innings with Donovan Catholic as a freshman last year, which included a strong start at Toms River South in an Ocean County Tournament loss to the Indians. Dimino and junior slugger Tim Halasnik are part of a quality crop of sophomores and juniors that will be thrown into the fire this year. With Johnson, Hawryluk and Lona leading the way, the Jaguars have a good base around which to build and the young talent to get it done. Health will be more important than ever this year, but if the Jaguars can avoid the injury pitfalls this year, they will compete for the A South, Ocean, Shore and Group IV titles as they seem to every year.

 

Toms River North

Head Coach: Andy Pagano, third season
2015 Record: 17-6 (12-2, first in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Joey Rose Sr. 3B .388/.533/.701, 7 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 27 R, 16 RBI, 4 SB
Jeff Ciervo Sr. OF .362/.471/.500, 5 2B, HR, 19 R, 13 RBI
Mike Nyisztor Jr. SS .353/.368/.471, 4 2B, 7 R, 6 RBI, 4 SB
Brandon Fischer Sr. 2B/OF .314/.333/.414, 7 2B, 14 R, 14 RBI
Returning Players Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
David Cordoma Sr. CF .231/.333/.231, 7 RBI, 4 SB
Anthony Deceglie Sr. P/1B 1-for-1, BB, RBI 8.2 IP, 16 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Craig Larsen So. P/2B 1-for-4, BB, R 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K
Brendan Mullins So. P/INF 3 IP, H, 0 ER, BB, 2 K
Alex Klalo So. OF/P 1-for-1, R
Jared Bellissimo So. P 1 R

Key Losses: Ryan Larsen (P/DH), Brett Hyers (P), Doug Molnar (P), Mike Tiplady (1B), Kevin Blum (CF), Joe Venditto (OF), Zach Burns (Sr., P) – Injured; out for season; Owen Sulfrain (Sr., C) – Injured; out for season
Key Newcomers: Pat Marinaccio (Sr., OF), Austin Feigin (Jr., Util), Ian Mindas (Jr., C), Jared Klecan (Sr., P), Anthony Sasso (So., P/3B), Thomas Spiwak (So., P), Joe Bisogno (Jr., 1B), Garrett Rosenboom (Sr., OF), Brody Sprinkle (Jr., P)

Speaking of injuries, Toms River North has already been beset by them heading into the season and they are at the two most important positions on the field. The Mariners lost senior right-hander Zach Burns and senior catcher Owen Sulfrain – who was also set to pitch this year – due to injury and will be even thinner on a pitching staff that already faced the challenge of replacing three starters. As usual, however, the Mariners have a wealth of talent and even if the pitching remains an issue all season long, they have the offense to make a run at a championship despite it. Senior third baseman and Oklahoma State recruit Joey Rose is one of the top offensive players in the state and he’ll be backed up by senior outfielder and third-year starter Jeff Ciervo. Junior shortstop Mike Nyisztor also returns after his fast start to 2015 was derailed by a broken collarbone. Brandon Fischer stepped into more playing time in Nyisztor’s absence and is back as a senior this season as an option on the infield as well as the outfield.

Although Toms River North has questions in the pitching staff, the Mariners also have talent. Junior Jared Bellissimo and sophomore Anthony Sasso lead a plentiful collection of arms, while senior Anthony Deceglie and sophomores Craig Larsen and Brendan Mullins also return after logging some time on the varsity mound. Larsen, in particular could be a key addition to the starting lineup as a second baseman in addition to whatever he can provide on the rubber. He headlines a host of new offensive blood, which also includes senior Pat Marinaccio, whose older brother Ron starred for the Mariners. He’ll man the outfield with Ciervo and center fielder David Cordoma, who played a part-time role last year. There might be some anxious moments early on because of the inexperience on the mound, but Toms River North still has the makings of a roster that can roll through Class A South.

 

Toms River South

Head Coach: Ken Frank, 38th season
2015 Record: 19-9 (10-4, tied second in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Trevor Wagner Sr. OF/P .194 Avg, 2B, HR, 2 RBI 19 IP, 20 K, 2.21 ERA, 2-1
Tyler Wisnewski Sr. C .208 Avg, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Michael Conover Sr. CF .348 Avg., 15 R, 7 RBI
Ben Montenegro Jr. 3B/P .250 Avg, 2 2B, HR, 12 R, 9 RBI
Justin Fall Jr. P/1B 27.1 IP, 25 K, 3.33 ERA, 3-0
Returning Players Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Matt Shiffer Jr. INF/P 2-for-13, 3 RBI
Connor Feeney Sr. 1B/P 2-for-14, 3 RBI
Transfer Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Tom Campo (TR North) Jr. INF 3-for-12, HR, 4 RBI

Key Losses: Jake Ryan (RF), Ryan Shiffer (C/OF), Ray Liguori (P/3B), Spencer Kapp (1B/OF), Anthony Carfora (INF/P), Austin Gonella (INF), Chandler Thompson (P), Vinnie Scrudato (P), Tyler Mellot (P), Corey Nase (DH)
Key Newcomers: Nick Scrudato (Sr., INF/P), Jake Regan (Jr., INF), Dylan Danelson (Jr., OF), Joe Lodato (Sr., INF), Mark Fitzpatrick (Jr., OF/1B), Anthony Genchi (Sr., INF), Rich Thomas (Sr., DH), T.J. Clarke (Sr., OF), T.J. Scuderi (So., OF/P), Jared Kwicinski (Jr., OF/P)

Toms River South has routinely pumped out 20-plus-win seasons during Ken Frank’s legendary career in the dugout, but the Indians have gone three seasons without reaching the 20-win mark. They came up just shy last year and with a couple of standouts on the mound and some offensive promise within a wide-open A South, the Indians seem like a good bet to grab the division title and get back to the 20-win mark. Senior right-hander and Monmouth recruit Trevor Wagner missed the first part of last year and pitched only 19 innings, albeit quality ones. In his absence, left-hander Justin Fall emerged and set himself up for a big junior season in 2016. Pitching coach Mitch Powitz has been able to put pitching staffs together with more shallow talent pools, and Wagner and Fall give this year’s club a strong top of the rotation that should make life for the rest of the pitchers easier.

The Indians will have to replace their five most productive offensive players from a year ago, but once again, Wagner could hold the key there. Although he never fully got going, Wagner did launch a homer and a double in a limited number of at-bats and will have to have a breakout year at the plate to help pick up the lost production. Senior catcher Tyler Wisnewski gives the Indians some continuity behind the plate, while center fielder Michael Conover and infielder Ben Montenegro both got a helping of at-bats. Junior Matt Shiffer and Connor Feeney will both have a chance at more at-bats as well, while Toms River South transfer Tom Campo and sophomore T.J. Scuderi both bring some potential production to the table in their first season with the team. Pitching should not be a problem and if the Hitting Indians live up their nickname, they will be tough to take down in A South.

 

Brick Memorial

Head Coach: Evan Rizzitello, sixth season
2015 Record: 12-14 (4-10, tied sixth in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Matt Cuppari Sr. SS/P .397/.467/.603, 8 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 26 R, 20 RBI, 13 SB 10.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 6 K
Brian Markoski Sr. 1B/OF .295/.421/.365, 4 2B, 16 R, 5 RBI, 6 SB
Tim Santiago Sr. OF .379/.494/.561, 6 2B, 2 HR, 21 R, 14 RBI, 9 SB
Justin Bates Sr. C .407/.433/.407, 5 RBI
James Donlon Sr. OF/P .310/.364/.521, 5 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 R, 20 RBI, 8 SB 6.2 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 6 K
Teddy Gonzalez Sr. 3B .256/.310/.308, 2 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI
Alec Merritt Sr. P 33.2 IP, 47 H, 14 BB, 18 K, 3.74 ERA, 2-2
Dylan Evans Sr. OF .222/.353/.259, 2B, 7 R, 4 RBI, 6 SB
Returning Players Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
D.J. Wilson Sr. P 14.1 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 3.91 ERA, 0-1
Dave Clark Sr. 2B/P 3-for-10, R, RBI
Andrew LaRosa Sr. INF/P 0-for-6
Dylan Nolan Sr. C 1-for-2, 2 RBI
Antonio Laborte Jr. OF 6 SB

Key Losses: Nick Matteo (OF), Matt Cathey (2B), Corey Cathey (CF), Ian Ambrose (P), Drew Zytko (P)
Key Newcomers: Noah DeAlmeida (Sr., P), Ryan Shornock (Sr., P), Nick Pipher (Sr., 1B/DH), Elie Lavarin (Sr., OF), Nick Reyes (Sr., 1B/DH), Mike Kraft (Sr., OF), Ray Lutick (Jr., 3B/P), Anthony Garcia (Jr., 2B), Joey Howell (Jr., 2B), Justin Hans (So., OF), Nick Stephan (So., INF/P), Mike Murphy (Fr., C)

It took the 2015 version of the Mustangs a while to get going, but once it did, Brick Memorial transformed into a potent offensive team that is bringing a wealth of senior hitting back to this year’s roster. Shortstop Matt Cuppari was an All-Shore player as a junior and will anchor the lineup along with first baseman Brian Markoski, who is looking to return to the form he showed as a sophomore. In Cuppari, Markoski, Tim Santiago and James Donlon, the Mustangs have four players who have recorded a slugging percentage of .500 or more in a season, with Cuppari, Santiago and Donlon doing it last year. Brick Memorial also returns experience at two more key positions, with senior catcher Justin Bates back after winning the job last year and senior Teddy Gonzalez returning to third base.

Brick Memorial took some time to figure out what worked on the mound last year and the Mustangs were at their best when they split games up and relied on Drew Zytko and D.J. Wilson on the back end. While Zytko and his sub-2.00 ERA are gone, Wilson returns to the rotation along with Alec Merritt. Cuppari and Donlon will also look to contribute to the pitching staff, which holds the key to a big year for the Mustangs considering how good the returning crop of position players is.

 

Toms River East

Head Coach: Dan Dietrich, second season
2015 Record: 9-12 (6-8, fifth in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Chad Leonard Sr. CF .356/.427/.521, 5 2B, 2 3B, HR, 17 R, 13 RBI, 18 SB
Tyler Idzinski Sr. OF
Connor Robbins Sr. C
Cole Robbins Sr. SS
Bailey Engelhard Sr. 1B
Returning Players Yr. Position
Brandon Burdge Sr. DH
James Papamakariou Sr. 2B
Jarod Pollaro Sr. P
Nick DeGennaro So. P
Nick LaVecchia Sr. RF

Key Losses: Jon Meola (SS), Josh Sommerer (RF), Will Johnson (3B), Matt Corsi (2B), Kyle Catania (P), Nick Cottone (P), Jon LoBello (P), Kevin Brown (P)
Key Newcomers: Brad Brush (So., P/INF), Mike Calabrese (Sr., C), Fletcher Gest (Jr., P), Darren Scholl (Jr., P), Rich Longo (Jr., 2B), Jay Longo (So., OF), Nick Silvia (So., OF), Ahmer Cournier (Fr., SS)

The 2016 season marked a transition year for Toms River East, which played its first season in three decades without longtime coach a 500-plus game winner Bill Frank. Toms River East did have current University of Virginia freshman Jon Meola at shortstop last year, but the rest of the team was relatively inexperienced at the varsity level – even a senior-heavy pitching staff. This year’s team does not have a talent like Meola, but the lineup has a chance to be deeper and the pitching staff has the potential to be the best in A South in short order. Center fielder Chad Leonard produced an all-division-level season as a junior and will lead the way from the top of the lineup. Tyler Idzinski, Cole Robbins and Bailey Engelhard were also key contributors on offense and Connor Robbins will join them this year by sliding behind the plate to catch.

The pitching staff meanwhile, will be much different than last year’s in that it won’t have any seniors. Sophomore right-hander Nick DeGennaro showed lots of upside in his late-season showing and will look to lead the staff as a sophomore. Sophomore Brad Brush, and juniors Fletcher Gest and Darren Scholl will also factor into the picture as the Raiders try to construct a young pitching staff that will help them compete right away. The pitching staff is not as experience as the one that Toms River South has, and the offense does not look as dynamic as that of Jackson Memorial, Toms River North and Brick Memorial at first glance, but the Raiders could have a nice balance of pitching, defense and hitting if the young pitching talent plays right away.

 

Lacey

Head Coach: Corey Hamman, fourth season
2015 Record: 7-16 (3-11, eight in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Anthony Elefante Jr. P/INF/OF .239/.303/.343, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 6 R, 13 RBI 39 IP, 28 H, 20 BB, 33 K, 2.33 ERA, 0-5
Don Zelleman Jr. P/INF/OF .222/.300/.228, 2B, 10 R, 2 RBI 36.1 IP, 36 H, 14 BB, 28 K, 3.27 ERA, 3-1
Anthony Ruggerio Sr. Util .283/.488/.283, 11 R, 4 RBI
Paul Carluccio Jr. C .259/.283/.293, 2 2B, 15 RBI

Key Losses: Ray Hughes (P), Brett Kinsey (OF/P), George Peddie (P/1B)
Key Newcomers: Jorden Jurkiewicz (Fr., 3B), Tom McFarland (Sr., P), Keith Apostolos (So., SS)

If there is a program in the Shore Conference on the cusp of a major breakout, it is most likely Lacey. The Lions are coming off a last-place finish in A South and struggled to score runs, but they also return two junior pitchers who have shut-down stuff and have already proven in their young careers that they can keep quality lineups at bay. Junior right-hander Anthony Elefante went 0-5 last year despite a 2.33 ERA and just 28 hits allowed in 39 innings, including a no-hitter in a loss to Toms River North. Elefante is drawing Division I interest despite the fact that he has yet to break out offensively. That breakout is likely to come this season, and Lacey will need it in order to have the offense to complement the promising pitching. Junior right-hander Don Zellman is Lacey’s other ace, and he will also look to add more offense this year to the Shore’s lowest-scoring team on a per-game basis in 2015.

Senior Anthony Ruggerio and junior catcher Paul Carluccio return with varsity experience at the plate, with Ruggerio set to serve as a table-setter and Carluccio as a run-producer. Even for a low-scoring team, Carluccio managed to knock in 15 runs as a sophomore. Those four returnees will look for a boost from a crop of newcomers that includes freshman third baseman Jorden Jurkiewicz and sophomore shortstop Keith Apostolos. Senior Tom McFarland will also play a key role on the pitching staff as its top left-hander. This year has been one that Lacey and fourth-year coach Corey Hamman has been looking toward as a breakthrough year and with some exceedingly talent players heading into their junior years, that hope might be justified.

 

Brick

Head Coach: Jason Groschel, 11th season
2015 Record: 13-11 (7-7, fourth in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
John Prato Jr. CF .343/.430/.358, 2B, 19 R, 2 RBI, 5 SB
Nick Chirichello Sr. P 1-for-5 36.1 IP, 49 H, 15 BB, 27 K, 6.36 ERA, 4-6
Hunter Rizzuto Sr. OF/P 1-for-2, R, RBI 27 IP, 30 H, 10 BB, 15 K, 3.89 ERA, 1-0
Mike Soldo Jr. P 0-for-2 21.1 IP, 20 H, 6 BB, 18 K, 2.63 ERA, 3-0
Returning Players Yr. Position 2015 Batting Stats 2015 Pitching Stats
Gerry Hutchinson Jr. C .120/.120/.160, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Trevor Rowe Sr. C .200/.393/.200, 6 R, 4 RBI
A.J. Serrino Jr. C/OF/2B .250/.313/.333, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Jake Scott Sr. 3B 0-for-2, RBI
Jayden Tissenker Jr. 2B/P 2.1 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
Matt Stadelberger Jr. 2B/P 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Key Losses: Carmen Sclafani (SS), Dan Berg (2B), Nick Moglia (1B/P), Matt Greenberg (3B), Matt Rosace (OF), Ron Parliament (OF), Steve Cole (P)
Key Newcomers: Tito Morales (Sr., P/1B), Marc Wissen (Sr., SS), Justin Santiago (Sr., OF), John Zurawski (Jr., P/SS), Pat McAlinden (Jr., OF/P), Kenny Bala (Jr., OF), Ed Zarzynski (Jr., OF/P), Vincent Gualdieri (So., SS), Cole Groschel (Fr., OF/P), Jim Leblo (Fr., OF/P)

Like Lacey, Brick will be running out a quality class of junior players, although Brick’s have a little less experience carrying the load. On the bright side, one of the reasons for that is because the Green Dragons have been a competitive team that has had some impact upperclassmen in recent years who have blocked a lot of the younger talent. Among the key departures from last year’s team are its four top bats, headlined by Rutgers freshman Carmen Sclafani. In order to remain a potent offensive team, Brick will need breakout performances from juniors like John Prado, Gerry Hutchinson, A.J. Serrino and John Zurawski. Prado is the top returning producer in the lineup and will man center field, while Hutchinson will move to a full-time starting job behind the plate. Serrino is a versatile player who can also catch, while Zurawski now has a path to take over at shortstop with the graduation of Sclafani.

Junior Mike Soldo, meanwhile, will be an x-factor in the pitching staff after 21 1/3 quality innings last year. Seniors Nick Chirichello and Hunter Rizzuto are the two starters with the most innings a year ago, with Chirchello looking to rebound from a an ERA that climbed over 6.00 in his 36 1/3 innings. If that trio of pitchers improves on last year’s performance, Brick will likely have enough pitching to support a balanced lineup and get back to the top-half of the division for the second straight year.

 

Southern

Head Coach: Keith Coccuza, first season
2015 Record: 9-15 (4-10, tied sixth in A South)

Returning Starters Yr. Position
Ronnie Velardi Sr. 3B/P
Jared Lubanski Sr. P/SS
Zach Fillmore Jr. P
Noah Brown Jr. OF
Returning Players Yr. Position
Joey Robertson Jr. 2B
Nick Simone Jr. P

Key Losses: Zach Mason (P), Mike Lee (2B), Matt Malatesta (OF), T.J. Ring (C)
Key Newcomers: Pat Barrett (Jr., SS/P), Nolan Watson (Jr., C), Trent Markley (Jr., 1B), Marco Matias (So., OF), Vaughn Walker (Jr., OF), Garret Lange (Jr., OF)

Southern had some memorable moments last season, but its most memorable moment was short-lived as an Ocean County Tournament win over Toms River North was erased because the Rams used an illegal pitcher. A coaching change followed and after taking over on an interim basis for Tom Natoli, Keith Coccuza is now the head coach. The Rams lost a number of significant pieces, but they do return two noteworthy players to this year’s team. Senior Ronnie Velardi was the team’s top hitter a year ago and will once again anchor the lineup while manning the hot corner. He is also likely to pick up some innings with the graduation of left-hander and top innings logger Zach Mason. Senio Jared Lubanski, meanwhile, is slated to be the No. 1 starter for the Rams after emerging as the team’s go-to option on the mound. Lubanski will also play shortstop when he’s not pitching.

Juniors Zach Fillmore, Noah Brown, Joey Robertson and Nick Simone all look to assume larger roles with more playing time after contributing last year. The unfortunate finish to last year derailed what appeared to be a program that was about to turn a corner and the Rams are going to have to find that spark again. They are not completely starting from scratch, so while A South is always a tough mountain to climb, Southern has shown it can compete if it can get back on track.

 

Division Lineup

Paul Carluccio, Catcher, Lacey

Brian Markoski, First Base, Brick Memorial

Kyle Johnson, Shortstop, Jackson Memorial

Matt Cuppari, Shortstop, Brick Memorial

Joey Rose, Third Base, Toms River North

Jeff Ciervo, Outfield, Toms River North

Chad Leonard, Center Field, Toms River East

Tim Santiago, Outfield, Brick Memorial

Trevor Wagner, Outfield/RHP, Toms River South

 

Division Rotation

Chris Hawryluk, RHP, Jackson Memorial

Anthony Elefante, RHP, Lacey

Justin Fall, LHP, Toms River South

Don Zellman, RHP, Lacey

Nick DeGennaro, RHP, Toms River East

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Connor Takacs, OF/LHP, Jackson Memorial

John Prato, CF, Brick

Tom Campo, INF, Toms River South

Craig Larsen, 2B/P, Toms River North

Pat Marinaccio, OF, Toms River North