The Class B Central division got a makeover last season, with Ranney getting moved out after obliterating the field in 2022 and Mater Dei Prep closing its doors. Long Branch and Lakewood replaced the two former division members, which was a welcome move for both teams after getting beat down in their former divisions. St. Rose also returned to its roots after spending four years in Class A Central to once again make B Central an eight-team division.

Although the realignment was designed to make B Central more competitive, there remain two teams that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field. Point Pleasant Beach and St. Rose split their regular-season series with one another and swept through the rest of the division to settle on a Class B Central co-championship for both.

Even with Point Beach and St. Rose likely to dominate the other six teams again this year, there will be a spirited race for the No. 3 spot in the standings, which last year went to a Henry Hudson team that brings most of its roster back. There are other experienced teams in the field, however, so the standings will still have to be settled on the field.

In predicted order of finish

1. Point Pleasant Beach

Up until May of 2022, Point Pleasant Beach baseball’s championship success was limited to the occasional outright Shore Conference Class B Central title or the more-frequent-but-less-prestigious public division title. Then, the Garnet Gulls shocked perennial Group I favorite Middlesex in the 2022 Central Jersey Group I final, which transformed the Garnet Gulls from also-ran to a team that should be expected to compete for titles, as well as a spot in the Shore Conference rankings.

Last year, Point Beach won 23 games, a share of the outright Class B Central title with St. Rose and a second straight Central Jersey Group I championship on the way to finishing the season ranked in the Shore Top 10 for the first time in program history. The bar is now raised for the Garnet Gulls, who will have to replace a lot of big-game innings and an injured slugging shortstop in order to take the next step toward an overall Group I title.

Point Beach senior Bryan Matuschat. (Photo: Bob Badders)
Point Beach senior Bryan Matuschat. (Photo: Bob Badders)

Senior shortstop, closer and Sacred Heart commit Bryan Matuschat will miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing elbow surgery earlier in the year and the Garnet Gulls will miss his power at the plate (18 extra-base hits, .727 slugging percentage in 2023) and on the mound (15 strikeouts, no walks in eight innings). His absence is an unexpected loss to go with the planned replacements of Kyle Kolans, James Larsen and Jackson Killian – Point Beach’s top three pitchers in innings during 2023.

Senior Ryan Doyle will lead the staff after an impressive 14 1/3 innings as a junior in which he struck out 32 and walked only five. Classmate Liam Dolan and junior Noah Banick each pitched to a sub-2.00 ERA and will pitch some of the tougher games on Point Beach’s schedule this season.

Banick is one of four returning starters in the lineup who hit .400 or better last season, led by sophomore third baseman Dan Lubach. As a freshman, Lubach hit .462 with five doubles and six homers, while classmate Tommy Conroy hit .500 with 20 stolen bases. Senior first baseman John Coakley is the other starter coming off a .400 season at the dish while junior catcher Nate Clayton hit .362 with seven extra-base hits and 28 RBI. Senior Quinn Cali and junior Dan Storch also return in the corner outfield spots – Storch as a starter and Cali after getting 24 plate appearances in a part-time role.

In addition to a new pitching staff, Point Beach will have a new double-play combination on the infield. Senior Nick Larsen replaces 2023 RBI leader Colin Reinhard at second base and sophomore Antonio Acevedo – a transfer from Brick – will be tasked with replacing Matuschat at shortstop. Acevedo will bolster the Point Beach defense with his standout glove and with plenty of offense throughout the rest of the lineup, he won’t need to live up to Matuschat’s offensive ceiling.

The injury to its best player is a blow to a team that should be considered a contender in not only Group I but also the Ocean County Tournament. With that said, coaches Angelo Fiore and Joe Mazza have built a program that now has the depth to deal with such a loss and even if the lineup is less imposing and there is one fewer hard thrower on the pitching staff, the Garnet Gulls don’t have to alter their lofty goals in 2024.

Point Beach at a Glance

Head Coach: Angelo Fiore, 10th season
2023 Record:
23-6 (13-1, tied first in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Kyle Kolans (RHP/3B), James Larsen (RHP/1B), Colin Reinhard (2B), Jackson Killian (RHP)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Nate Clayton, Jr. (.368/.451/.513, 5 2B, 2 HR, 17 R, 28 RBI, 1 SB)

First Base: Noah Banick, Jr. (.429/.536/.518, 3 2B, 1 3B, 20 R, 16 RBI, 1 SB)

Second Base: Nick Larsen, Sr. (5-for-11, 1 2B, 5 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB)

Shortstop: Antonio Acevedo, So. (transfer from Brick)

Third Base: Dan Lubach, So. (.462/.578/.846, 5 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 31 R, 26 RBI, 8 SB)

Leftfield: Dan Storch, Jr. (.235/.304/.294, 3 2B, 10 R, 8 RBI, 3 SB)

Centerfield: Tommy Conroy, CF (.500/.628/.571, 5 2B, 36 R, 19 RBI, 20 SB)

Rightfield: Quinn Cali, Sr. (5-for-14, 1 2B, 1 HR, 16 R, 10 RBI, 6 SB)

DH: John Coakley, Sr. (.429/.500/.589, 5 2B, 2 3B, 19 R, 23 RBI, 4 SB); Bennett Moberg, So. (6-for-13, 4 2B, 7 R, 6 RBI, 1 SB); Gabe Pavone, So. (3-for-9, 1 R, 3 RBI)

Other Hitters

Bryan Matuschat, Sr., SS – injured; out for season (.394/.476/.727, 15 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 26 R, 24 RBI, 8 SB)

Chris Napolitano, Jr., 2B/SS

Brody Powers, Fr., UTIL

Liam Brosnan, Jr., OF

Bennett Mayer, Jr., OF

Pitching Staff

Ryan Doyle, Sr., RHP (14.1 IP, 3.42 ERA, 10 H, 5 BB, 32 K)

Liam Dolan, Sr., RHP (12.2 IP, 2-0, 1.66 ERA, 8 H, 3 BB, 11 K)

Noah Banick, Jr., LHP (11 IP, 2-0, 1.27 ERA, 4 H, 5 BB, 22 K)

Tommy Conroy, So., LHP (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)

Antonio Acevedo, So., RHP

Bennett Moberg, So., RHP

Gabe Pavone, So., RHP

Bryan Matuschat, Sr., RHP – injured; out for season (8 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 15 K)

College Commitments

Bryan Matuschat – Sacred Heart University

Ryan Doyle – Felician University

Quinn Cali – Ursinus College

2. St. Rose

St. Rose’s return to Class B Central was a triumphant one, with the Purple Roses beating Point Beach at home to assure themselves a share of their first Class B Central championship since the last year they played in the division back in 2018. The Roses also tested themselves with a number of quality opponents outside the division and picked up a couple of name-brand wins over St. John Vianney in the Monmouth County Tournament and Howell toward the end of the regular season.

With three proven pitchers and seven players with at least some starting experience back, the Purple Roses can again be considered the Class B Central co-favorite along with Point Beach. Senior Jack Tiernan and juniors Chris Zahlman and Brendan Brophy will lead the pitching staff, with junior Anthony Crudo and senior Peter Nolan poised to take on more innings as well. Tiernan was one of St. Rose’s top two starters a year ago and his higher ERA compared to his returning teammates reflects the fact that he took the ball against his team’s toughest opponents. Zahlman also pitched against tough competition while Brophy ate Class B Central alive to the tune of a perfect 0.00 ERA in 19 innings.

Tiernan is also St. Rose’s top returning hitter after hitting well over .400 with nine extra-base hits, 27 runs and 25 RBI. The Garnet Gulls have an excess of outfield talent, which will prompt Crudo moving to first base, allowing him to focus more on pitching while keeping his potent bat in the lineup. Brophy, senior James Doster and senior Brendan Sherman make up the starting outfield, with all three posting an on-base percentage of at least .477 in 2023.

St. Rose senior Jack Tiernan. (Photo: Tom Smith |
St. Rose senior Jack Tiernan. (Photo: Tom Smith |

A trio of sophomores will play at key spots on the dirt, with Nolan returning at shortstop after playing both second base and shortstop as a freshman. Classmate James Alesso will be a first-year starter at second base and Frank Soos moves behind the plate in place of 2023 graduate Dave Bookbinder. Soos started as a freshman at first base and brings power upside to the position in his second varsity season.

With Tiernan leading the operation, St. Rose has a chance at its best season since reaching the Monmouth County Tournament final and winning 20 games in 2018. Despite the graduation of 2023 co-ace Jack Lomerson, the pitching has a chance to be better than it was a year ago, while the offense looks deeper and comes with upside thanks to a group of talented sophomores and juniors who are poised to take the next step.

St. Rose at a Glance

Head Coach: Rich Lanko, seventh season
2023 Record:
16-9 (13-1, tied first in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Jack Lomerson (3B/RHP), Dave Bookbinder (C), Joe Sestito (1B), Jack Donahue (LHP/OF), Ryan Murray (OF)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Frank Soos, So. (.275/.370/.304, 2 2B, 15 R, 19 RBI, 5 SB)

First Base: Anthony Crudo, Sr. (.381/.487/.556, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 25 R, 18 RBI, 2 SB)

Second Base: James Alesso, So. (0-for-1, 2 R, 1 RBI); Brendan Brophy, Jr.

Shortstop: Peter Nolan, So. (.289/.448/.333, 2 2B, 16 R, 10 RBI, 1 SB)

Third Base: Jack Tiernan, Sr. (.451/.524/.620, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 27 R, 25 RBI, 19 SB); Chris Zahlman, Jr.

Leftfield: Brendan Brophy, Jr. (.346/.477/.385, 2 2B, 22 R, 12 RBI, 7 SB); Anthony Crudo, Sr.

Centerfield: James Doster, Sr. (.355/.500/.484, 4 2B, 14 R, 11 RBI, 12 SB); Dom Crudo, Fr.

Rightfield: Brendan Sherman, Sr. (.345/.507/.382, 2 2B, 23 R, 13 RBI, 7 SB); Anderson Looney, Sr.

DH: Chris Zahlman, Jr. (1-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 1 RBI); Max Glassberg, Jr. (7-for-18, 2 2B, 7 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB)

Pitching Staff

Jack Tiernan, Sr., RHP (25.2 IP, 1-4, 3.82 ERA, 22 H, 9 R, 28 K)

Chris Zahlman, Jr., RHP (25 IP, 1-1, 3.08 ERA, 23 H, 8 BB, 27 K)

Peter Nolan, So., RHP

Anthony Crudo, Sr., RHP (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 9 K)

Brendan Brophy, Jr., RHP (19 IP, 4-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 H, 7 H, 31 K)

James Doster, Sr., RHP (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K)

James Alesso, So., RHP

Tyler Hager, Fr., RHP

College Commitments

Jack Tiernan – Stockton University

Brendan Sherman – College of Mount St. Vincent

James Doster – Alvernia University

3. Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson surged to third place in the Class B Central division behind only Point Beach and St. Rose, but that is not the most exciting part for the upstart program. The Admirals authored that turnaround with just three seniors in the starting lineup and, more notably, with their best pitcher unable to pitch in 2023.

Left-hander Chris Parmigiani turned in a promising sophomore season in 2022 but could not contribute on the mound in 2023, instead contributing what he could at the plate. This year, however, Parmigiani will be back at the top of the rotation and will give Henry Hudson a legitimate shot if coach Mike Herrmann can give him the ball against either Point Beach or St. Rose.

Beyond Parmigiani, senior Aiden Winters has been a successful pitcher since his freshman season and went 5-1 with 67 strikeouts in only 34 1/3 innings as a junior. Winters is also the team’s shortstop and one of its top two hitters in the lineup. Henry Hudson’s best bat a year ago is returning senior centerfielder Hayden Kurdes, who led the Shore Conference in 2023 with a .658 on-base percentage while finishing fifth with a .480 batting average.

Winters, Kurdes and Parmigiani will be the core of the team with senior Nick Dowd, junior Teddy Fariello and sophomore David Ortore playing key supporting roles as returning starters. Dowd will play third and serve as the No. 3 pitcher to open the season, with both Farriello and Ortore providing depth in the rotation. Fariello also starts at second base while Ortore will play leftfield.

Freshman catcher Marshall Colangelo and sophomore rightfielder Nathan Boms are the two new projected starters while sophomore Jeter Woods, freshman Jack Burton and freshman Nico Kurdes will all fill in spots based on who is pitching. Coming off a 21-season by its basketball team, Henry Hudson is experiencing an athletic resurgence and while climbing past St. Rose and Point Beach to win the division might be an unrealistic goal, Henry Hudson is as close to the top of the division as it has been in more than a decade.

Henry Hudson at a Glance

Head Coach: Mike Herrmann, third season
2023 Record:
12-8 (9-5, third in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Nick Bigotto (RHP/1B), Jesse Jacobs (OF), Eddie Payne (OF)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Marshall Colangelo, Fr.

First Base: Chris Parmigiani, Sr. (.333/.484/.479, 7 2B, 18 R, 17 RBI, 7 SB); Jack Burton, Fr.

Second Base: Teddy Fariello, Jr. (.222/.274/.267, 2 2B, 12 R, 9 RBI, 6 SB); Jeter Woods, So. (2-for-8, 4 R, 1 RBI)

Shortstop: Aiden Winters, Sr. (.389/.522/.519, 5 2B, 1 3B, 23 R, 16 RBI, 21 SB)

Third Base: Nick Dowd, Sr. (.279/.317/.279, 17 R, 20 RBI, 1 SB); David Ortore, So.

Leftfield: David Ortore, So. (.297/.437/.351, 2 2B, 8 R, 10 RBI, 3 SB); Jack Burton, Fr.

Centerfield: Hayden Kurdes, Sr. (.480/.658/.560, 2 2B, 1 3B, 30 R, 18 RBI, 17 SB)

Rightfield: Nathan Boms, So. (1-for-7, 4 R, 4 RBI); Nico Kurdes, Fr.

Pitching Staff

Chris Parmigiani, Sr., LHP (2022 Stats: 25 IP, 1-4, 4.76 ERA, 22 H, 23 BB, 40 K)

Aiden Winters, Sr., RHP (34.2 IP, 5-1, 2.62 ERA, 24 H, 26 BB, 67 K)

Nick Dowd, Sr., RHP (24.2 IP, 2-2, 3.97 ERA, 29 H, 11 BB, 33 K)

Teddy Fariello, Jr., RHP (14.1 IP, 7.81 ERA, 22 H, 13 BB, 12 K)

David Ortore, So., RHP (5 IP, 14 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

Nathan Boms, So., RHP

Jack Burton, Fr., LHP

Nico Kurdes, Fr., RHP

4. Long Branch

In its Class B Central debut, Long Branch finished with a division record better than .500 and was an overall great addition to the division. The Green Wave had to get out of Class A North, where it went 0-42 in divisional play and 5-61 overall as a member of the division from 2019 to 2022. Class B Central was its sanctuary and while the Green Wave were no match for Point Beach and St. Rose, its games vs. everyone else in the division were either competitive or convincing wins in Long Branch’s favor.

This year’s Long Branch team will have to replace a strong senior group that grew up playing in Class A North before getting its shot at B Central in 2023. Graduate Will Reyes was one of the division’s top players, serving as the shortstop, the ace of the pitching staff and a top hitter for the Green Wave. This year, Long Branch will need junior Carlos Torres and sophomore Kellen Campbell to do something similar in order to stay in the top-half of the division while also making a run at the No. 3 spot in the standings. Both Torres and Campbell were beat up on the mound last season, but both beat up their share of pitchers at the plate as well with a combined average better than .400 and 26 RBI between them.

Junior Noah Hoogmoed will move to catcher after mostly starting as an infielder in 2023. Seniors Jose Cuevas and Romeo Martinez return to the outfield, with Martinez leading Long Branch with a .429 average in 2023. In addition to Hoogmoed moving to catcher, Long Branch will have new starters at the other three up-the-middle positions. Juniors Jaylen Brooks and Korey Castillo are set to start at second base and centerfield, respectively, and freshman David Jules is Long Branch’s new shortstop. Long Branch has a much younger group than it had last year, but the underclassmen on last year’s team proved they belong on the varsity field and should continue to do so in 2024.

Long Branch at a Glance

Head Coach: Ben Wooley, fifth season
2023 Record:
9-16 (8-6, fourth in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Will Reyes (SS/RHP), Andre Jackson (CF), Matt Lorme (2B), John Hebron (OF/RHP), Clinton Campbell (C)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Noah Hoogmoed, Jr. (.239/.407/.261, 1 2B, 9 R, 12 RBI, 7 SB)

First Base: Kellen Campbell, So. (.393/.541/.571, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 R, 7 RBI, 5 SB)

Second Base: Jaylen Brooks, Jr. (1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI)

Shortstop: David Jules, Fr.

Third Base: Carlos Torres, Jr. (.409/.458/.455, 2 2B, 6 R, 14 RBI, 4 SB)

Leftfield: Jose Cuevas, Sr. (.348/.500/.435, 2 2B, 7 R, 8 RBI, 1 SB)

Centerfield: Korey Castillo, Jr.

Rightfield: Romeo Martinez, Sr. (.429/.525/.571, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, 7 SB)

Other Hitters

Justin Cuevas, So., 1B

Havier Gonzales, Jr., INF

Garry Ribiero, So., 3B

Damion Carrero, Sr., OF (0-for-3, 3 R, 2 SB

Bryan Morataya, Sr., OF

Mikel Rodriguez, Sr., OF

Max Glantzberg, Fr., OF

Pitching Staff

Carlos Torres, Jr., RHP (18.2 IP, 2-2)

Kellen Campbell, So., LHP (15.2 IP, 0-2)

Noah Hoogmoed, Jr., RHP (8.1 IP, 1 SV)

Gary Ribiero, So., RHP

Justin Cuevas, So., RHP

David Jules, Fr., RHP

5. Keyport

Scoring runs was a struggle for Keyport in 2023, but the Red Raiders have reason to be optimistic coming off its four-win season a year ago. Keyport returns its four best hitters from last season, as well as its left-handed ace atop the rotation. Senior Erik Schmidt was both a top performer at the plate and the ace of the staff during his breakout junior campaign. His return on the mound will give Keyport a chance to compete against the rest of the Class B Central field, particularly the teams outside St. Rose and Point Beach.

Senior Carter Williams is also a returning starter on the mound and in the field after hitting .396 as a junior, while sophomores Tristan Knoblauch and Jacob Pinto are coming off productive freshman seasons. Knoblauch returns to centerfield after finishing second in the Shore Conference with 28 stolen bases, while Pinto hit better than .300.

Ryan Byrne is another sophomore returner and will start at shortstop with the ability to also catch, if needed. Keyport will open the season with freshman Paxton Douglass behind the plate and Douglass can also play at multiple spots on the infield. Sophomore Danny Metrick will play third base, junior Liam Killian returns at first base, junior Jeremiah Rivera takes over in rightfield and senior Andrew Staeger will get an opportunity in the outfield when Williams pitches.

If Williams, Staeger and Pinto can improve on the mound and give Keyport some depth beyond Schmidt, the Red Raiders will have a chance to get back to the top-half of the standings. They are not close to running down Point Beach or St. Rose and Henry Hudson has the decided advantage in varsity experience, but there is a path to a top-four finish and a chance to advance in the NJSIAA Tournament in front of Keyport in 2024.

Keyport at a Glance

Head Coach: Kyle Keelen, 12th season
2023 Record:
4-13 (4-10, sixth in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Mason Hospital (1B), Ben Morgan (3B), Roman Blanks (Jr., OF)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Paxton Douglass, Fr.; Ryan Byrne, So.

First Base: Liam Killian, Jr. (.226/.467/.290, 2 2B, 8 R, 6 RBI, 13 SB)

Second Base: Jacob Pinto, So. (.314/.400/.371, 2 2B, 6 R, 5 RBI, 14 SB)

Shortstop: Ryan Byrne, So. (.231/.388/.256, 1 2B, 12 R, 9 RBI, 15 SB); Paxton Douglass, Fr.

Third Base: Danny Metrick, So. (3-for-14, 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB)

Leftfield: Carter Williams, Sr. (.396/.453/.438, 2 2B, 10 R, 15 RBI, 16 SB); Andrew Staeger, Sr. (2-for-16, 4 R, 1 RBI, 3 SB)

Centerfield: Tristan Knoblauch, So. (.367/.508/.490, 2 2B, 2 3B, 16 R, 10 RBI, 28 SB)

Rightfield: Jeremiah Rivera, Jr.

DH: Erik Schmidt, Sr. (.450/.569/.500, 2 2B, 10 R, 11 RBI, 16 SB)

Other Hitters

Casey McCarthy, So., 1B

Axsel Ferm, So., 2B

Gabriel Carbone, Fr., OF

Jamison Geraldi, Fr., OF

Pitching Staff

Erik Schmidt, Sr., LHP (26.1 IP, 2-3, 2.13 ERA, 17 H, 15 BB, 48 K)

Carter Williams, Sr., RHP (23 IP, 2-2, 6.09 ERA, 28 H, 16 BB, 23 K)

Jacob Pinto, So., RHP (11.2 IP, 0-2, 1.20 ERA, 14 H, 4 BB, 9 K)

Andrew Staeger, Sr., LHP (9.2 IP, 0-4)

Paxton Douglass, Fr., RHP

Danny Metrick, So., RHP (7.1 IP)

Tristan Knoblauch, So., RHP

6. Keansburg

Led by one of the better all-around players in Class B Central in Donny Antonucci, Keansburg finished in the middle of the Class B Central pack and, most importantly for the Titans, placed ahead of rival Keyport. This year, Keansburg will need to replace Antonucci and three other key cogs on last year’s team in order to get the better of its rival and challenge for a top-four spot in the division.

Senior Phil Sears is Keansburg’s top returner on the mound and he also produced at the plate. Catcher Manny Ramirez certainly has the name and showed some game as well by hitting .323 as a sophomore with eight RBI. Senior John Gilliland led the Titans with 14 RBI, sophomore Mike Burke hit .282 as a freshman and junior James Valle brings athleticism as a returning starter in centerfield.

Gilliland is the lone returning starter around the infield, with sophomore Shawn Retta taking over at first base and freshmen Justin Marrero and Mikey Clayton playing up the middle – Marrero at second base and Clayton at shortstop. Junior Kevin Perez is the other new starter and will play in a corner outfield spot.

With questions to answer on the pitching staff and multiple spots in the batting order, Keansburg will have a hard time holding off Keyport for the No. 5 spot in the standings, but the Titans still have enough to remain competitive against the B Central field outside of the top two teams in the division.

Keansburg at a Glance

Head Coach: Uriel Morfin, third season
2023 Record:
6-9 (6-8, fifth in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Donny Antonucci (RHP/2B), Antonio Alejandra (OF/RHP), Kyle Scott (1B), Aiden Flynn (2B)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Manny Ramirez, Jr. (.323/.432/.355, 1 2B, 2 R, 8 RBI)

First Base: Shawn Retta, So.

Second Base: Justin Marrero, Fr.

Shortstop: Mikey Clayton, Fr.

Third Base: John Gilliland, Sr. (.263/.404/.289, 1 2B, 11 R, 14 RBI, 5 SB); Mike Burke, So.

Leftfield: Kevin Perez, Jr.

Centerfield: James Valle, Jr. (.100/.325/.100, 8 R, 5 RBI, 3 SB)

Rightfield: Mike Burke, So. (.282/.317/.308, 1 2B, 10 R, 8 RBI, 7 SB)

DH: Phil Sears, Sr. (.250/.467/.250, 11 R, 9 RBI)

Pitching Staff

Phil Sears, Sr., RHP

James Valle, Jr., RHP

Kevin Perez, Jr., RHP

Mikey Clayton, Fr., RHP

Mike Burke, So., RHP

7. Lakewood

Lakewood’s move to Class B Central did not go as well for the Piners as it did for Long Branch, but Lakewood did manage to win a couple of games in the division – including one against Long Branch early in the season. The Piners relied heavily on four pitchers – Jiovanni Genao, Cris Rosario, Angel Vega and Derek Nolan – just to make it through the season and only Rosario returns from that quartet.

In losing Genao, Nolan and Zack Kencik, Lakewood also lost a catcher, shortstop and centerfielder from its 2023 lineup. Piecing together a lineup should work out for coach Gene Drumright, who has junior Leandro Garista to play at catcher, as well as junior Adolfo Abarca to play at second base as a 2023 returnee. The outfield will also remain capable with Rosario (when he’s not pitching), junior Alejandro Correjal and junior Christopher Ramos.

Justin Pascual Garcia will take the first crack at shortstop and freshman Isaiah Shade gets the nod a first base. Correjal, Garista and Shade will round out the pitching staff, which will be stretched thin over the course of the season but does have a capable No. 1 in Rosario. Only a sophomore, Rosario will be a bright spot for Lakewood this season and going forward, as the Piners look to move up the B Central pecking order in its second year as a member of the division.

Lakewood at a Glance

Head Coach: Gene Drumright, 19th season
2023 Record:
3-11 (2-11, seventh in Class B Central)
Key Losses: Jiovanni Genao (C/RHP), Derek Nolan (SS/RHP), Angel Vega (RHP), Zack Kencik (CF)

Around the Diamond

Returning Starters in Bold

Catcher: Leandro Garista, Jr.

First Base: Isaiah Shade, Fr.

Second Base: Adolfo Abarca, Jr.; Jasson Gonzalez, Fr.

Shortstop: Justin Pascual Garcia, Jr.

Third Base: Christopher Herrera, So.

Leftfield: Cris Rosario, So.; Fernando Gomez, So.

Centerfield: Alejandro Correjal, Jr.

Rightfield: Christopher Ramos, Jr.

DH: Jhonny Gonzalez (3B); Antoni Szymenski (Sr., 2B)

Other Hitters

Jose Vidal, So., OF

Pitching Staff

Cris Rosario, So., RHP

Alejandro Correjal, Jr., RHP

Leandro Garista, Jr., RHP

Isaiah Shade, Fr., RHP

8. Asbury Park

Head Coach: Caleb Correa, first season
2023 Record:
0-13 (0-13, eighth in Class B Central)

*Check Back for Asbury Park Preview*

Class B Central Division Lineup

Nate Clayton, Jr., Catcher, Point Beach

Noah Banick, Jr., 1B/LHP, Point Beach

Aiden Winter, Sr., SS/RHP, Henry Hudson

Dan Lubach, So., 3B, Point Beach

Carlos Torres, Sr., 3B/RHP, Long Branch

Tommy Conroy, So., CF, Point Beach

Hayden Kurdes, Sr., CF, Henry Hudson

Brendan Brophy, Jr., OF/RHP, St. Rose

Anthony Crudo, Sr., 1B/OF/RHP, St. Rose

Class B Central Division Rotation

Jack Tiernan, Sr., RHP/3B, St. Rose

Ryan Doyle, Sr., RHP, Point Beach

Erik Schmidt, Sr., LHP/DH, Keyport

Chris Parmigiani, Sr., LHP/1B, Henry Hudson

Chris Zahlman, Jr., RHP/DH, St. Rose

Liam Dolan, Sr., RHP, Point Beach

Class B Central Breakouts to Watch

Antonio Acevedo, So., SS, Point Beach

Quinn Cali, Sr., OF, Point Beach

Frank Soos, So., C, St. Rose

James Doster, Sr., CF, St. Rose

David Ortore, So., OF/RHP, Henry Hudson

Carlos Torres, Jr., RHP/3B, Long Branch

Kellen Campbell, So., 1B/LHP, Long Branch

Danny Metrick, So., 3B/RHP, Keyport

Mike Burke, So., OF/RHP, Keansburg

Alejandro Correjal, Jr., CF/RHP, Lakewood

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