Baseball – 2014 Preview: Shore
Shore Blue Devils
Head Coach: Patrick O’Neill, third season
Record Last Year: 11-15 (3-11, tied for seventh in A Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Matt Cosentino||Sr.||OF/P||.545/.687/1.000, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 11 R, 8 RBI, 11 SB||21.1 IP, 27 H, 12 BB, 23 K, 5.90 ERA, 0-3|
|Andrew Schulz||Sr.||2B/P||.383/.474/.469, 3 2B, 2 3B, 22 R, 15 RBI, 11 SB||25.1, 30 H, 17 BB, 21 K, 6.63 ERA, 1-2|
|Nick Blaney||Sr.||C||.215/.311/.304, 5 2B, 1 3B, 9 R, 8 RBI, 4 SB|
|Clayton Coffey||Sr.||SS||.318/.366/.409, 4 2B, 1 3B, 14 R, 9 RBI|
|James Kelly||Jr.||3B/P||.310/.461/.422, 5 2B, 1 HR, 18 R, 6 RBI||13.2 IP, 21 H, 13 BB, 5 K, 11.26 ERA, 0-2|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Kevin Donegan||Jr.||OF||.095 Avg|
|Matt Schulz||Sr.||2B||2-for-8, 2 BB|
|Transfer||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Chas Breithoff (Henry Hudson)||So.||P||.308, 11 R|
Key Losses: Mike Blaney (P/1B), Chris Vaccaro (1B/P), T.J. Sempkowski (SS), Ben Hess (OF), Tyler Vivian (OF/P)
Key Newcomers: Dylan Vosk (Sr., P), Matt McCarthy (Jr., 1B), Alex Mango (Jr., 2B), Justin Halper (Jr., OF), Ryan Campi (Jr., OF), Sam Parrino (Jr., OF), Devin McLaughlin (So., 3B/DH)
After a 1-10 start to 2013, the Blue Devils salvaged their season by going 10-5 over their last 15 games and making a run to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I final, where they lost to Middlesex. A major reason for the turnaround was the return of Matt Cosentino, who missed the early part of the year with a shoulder injury and was limited upon his return. If the senior George Washington recruit was limited at the plate, it sure didn’t show in the numbers. In only 32 plate appearances, Cosentino reached base 22 times and of his 12 hits during the year, six of them went for extra-bases (three doubles, two triples, one home run). He also drew 10 walks while striking out only once and stole 11 bases to boot.
Shore is one of several Class A Central teams that will swing the bats, but pitching will be a major question mark heading into the season. Cosentino has been a successful pitcher at the high school level and should be able to anchor the staff now that he’s closer to 100 percent health. He still showed an ability to miss bats upon his return last year, but his command was not all there, evidenced by 12 walks and an ERA just under 6.00 in 21 innings. Andrew Schulz and James Kelly – both of whom had stellar seasons at the plate in 2013 – also combined for 39 innings last year and like Cosentino, both Schulz and Kelly will look to cut down on the walks to help bring down the high total of runs allowed.
Seniors Nick Blaney and Clayton Coffey – the latter of whom moves from the outfield to a full-time spot at shortstop – should see increased production this year, which will give Shore a lineup that can score with Red Bank Catholic or St. John Vianney. If a couple of the pitchers can find their groove, the Blue Devils will be dangerous in the postseason, especially in Group I.