Brick Township Preview

By Logan Stembel - Shore Sports Network contributor

Head Coach: Jason Groschel, 10th season (119-108 career record)

2014 record: 12-12

Key Returners

Carmen Sclafani Sr. SS .405 Avg, 3 HR, 7 2B, 21 RBI, 20 Runs scored, 8 SB

Dan Berg Sr. 2B .397 avg, 10 2B, 15 RBI, 20 runs scored, 9 SB, .510 OBP

Matt Greenberg Sr. 3B/P  .340 avg, 8 RBI, 12 runs scored

Nick Moglia Sr. 1B/RHP .242 avg, 2-1, 3.65 ERA

Ron Parliament Sr. LF/INF .230 avg

Steve Cole Sr. LHP 3-2, 1.85 ERA

Brandon Weber Sr. RHP 0-1, 3.93 ERA

Nick Chirichello Jr. LHP 3-3, 2.85 ERA

Dan Finelli Jr. 1B .356 Avg

Trevor Rowe Jr. C .285 avg

Key Newcomers 

John Canterelli Sr. DH, Dominick Nesser Sr. RHP, Matt Rosace Sr. OF, Joe Sclafani Jr. OF, Hunter Rizzuto Jr. OF/RHP, Tom Zbranak Jr. OF, Matt Schleifer Jr. OF, Tito Morales Jr. LHP, John Prato So. OF, Mike Soldo So. LHP, Jerry Hutchison So. C.

Brick comes into the 2015 season hungry for a title. Class A South is loaded once again and will be defending champion Jackson Memorial’s division to lose, but don’t count out the Green Dragons making a run. They graduated multiple talents last season, but 10th-year head coach Jason Groschel is confident that the team will be able to replace them.

The Green Dragons bring back a talented and experienced team with five players in the infield alone having played significant time on the varsity unit last season. Behind the plate, junior Trevor Rowe will be the starting catcher, with sophomore Jerry Hutchison also getting some time. Junior Dan Finelli and senior Nick Moglia will compete to man first base, senior Dan Berg (second base) and senior Rutgers commit Carmen Sclafani (shortstop) make up the middle infield, and senior Matt Greenberg will round it out at third base.

Brick’s outfield has good depth with some returning experience. Senior Matt Rosace, a Brick Memorial transfer, will see plenty of time along with Ron Parliament and Nic Chirichello, who both played in the outfield for the Green Dragons last season. Juniors Hunter Rizzuto, Tom Zbranak, Matt Schliefer, and Joe Sclafani, and sophomore John Prato will all be seeing time in the outfield as well.

Greenberg saw more time during the last half of the season for the Green Dragons, playing in the outfield and at third base and exceeding expectations in the process. Berg led the Shore Conference in hits for a majority of the early 2014 season, and was a sure-handed presence at second base.

Sclafani, a 2014 Shore Sports Network All-Class A South selection, knows what it takes to win. After transferring from Toms River North before his junior year, he piloted Brick’s football team to a Central Jersey Group IV title as a junior and led the Green Dragons to a Class A South title as a senior. He also was a key starter on the 2013 Shore Conference Tournament champion Toms River North baseball team, which finished the season as the No. 1 team in the Shore.

“I know what it takes to get there,” Sclafani said about making a run in the SCT. “We all have one goal, and we work hard every day to achieve that goal.”

On the mound, three starting pitchers from the 2014 team come back this season for Brick.

“Our rotation is deep this year,’’ Groschel said. “We won’t need guys to throw 100 pitches every game. We’ll be able to spread it out.”

Nick Moglia, Steve Cole, and Nic Chirichello all threw plenty of innings and combined for six wins last season so expect them to be on the mound even more this season. Brandon Weber and Mike Soldo also helped out last spring and look to play a larger role this season.

Brick should have plenty of offense this season, so if its pitching staff steps up, the Green Dragons have a legitimate shot to make a run at the title in a tough Class A South that includes several of the Shore’s top teams, including defending NJSIAA Group IV champion Jackson Memorial, the three Toms River schools and more.

“We lost a lot of one-run games last season, so we need to really finish those close games this season” Groschel said.

The Green Dragons open their season on April 1 in a Class A South match-up against Lacey.