Baseball – 2014 Preview: St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney Lancers
Head Coach: Mike Morgan, eighth season
Record Last Year: 16-9 (9-5, second in A Central)
|Returning Starters||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
|Anthony Santoro||Sr.||C||.436/.510/.615, 8 2B, 2 HR, 21 R, 15 RBI, 10 SB|
|Evan Pietronico||Sr.||OF||.519/.581/.831, 10 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 21 R, 31 RBI, 10 SB|
|Joe Rotelli||Sr.||1B||.453/.533/.787, 10 2B, 5 HR, 19 R, 20 RBI, 5 SB|
|Anthony LaVigne||Sr.||3B||.391/.418/.676, 10 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 14 R, 20 RBI|
|Justin Chin||Sr.||P||33 IP, 37 H, 13 BB, 32 K, 1.25 ERA, 4-4|
|Dan Schirmacher||Jr.||P||48 IP, 45 H, 20 BB, 36 K, 2.02 ERA, 5-1|
|Returning Players||Yr.||Position||2013 Batting Stats||2013 Pitching Stats|
Key Losses: Andrew Lewnes (OF), Steve Callari (OF)
Key Newcomers: Nick Bueti (Sr., OF), Nick DeLuca (Sr., P), Matt Murphy (Sr., P), Steven Adami (Jr., OF), John Michael Broderick (Jr., P), Nick DeLuise (Jr., INF), Tyler Ford (Jr., INF), Dan Gesior (Jr., P), Nick Gugliara (Jr., OF), Jeff McPeek (Jr., P), Victor Jamandron (So., INF/OF), Ciaran Devenney (So., C)
Like everyone else that has played in a division with Red Bank Catholic over the past four seasons, St. John Vianney has not been able to get over the hump against the Caseys, which was a non-issue in 2011 and 2012 when the two rivals were in different divisions. If ever there was a year for St. John Vianney to reclaim Class A Central from RBC, it would be this one. The Lancers return their top three pitchers and their top four hitters by OPS (on-base-plus-slugging-percentage) and enter this season in better shape than they did during last year’s injury-marred April.
Senior catcher and Rutgers recruit Anthony Santoro anchors the defense, leads the pitching staff, and was the team’s third-most productive hitter last year. Outfielder and NJIT recruit Evan Pietronico is coming off an All-Shore performance last year and will combine with Santoro and senior Joe Rotelli to form one of the better offensive trios in the Shore Conference. All three of the Lancer offensive standouts slugged over.700 last season and third baseman Anthony LaVigne slugged over .676 in a breakout junior season.
While offense should be no problem for St. John Vianney over the course of the season, the Lancers pitching will make or break its year. Seniors Chris Morris and Justin Chin both battled injuries last year and come into 2014 ready to lead the pitching staff. Despite shoulder problems, Chin was effective in 33 innings, over which he posted a 1.25 ERA. Right-hander Dan Schirmacher had a breakout season on the mound for SJV and was a big reason the Lancers stayed afloat despite the rash of injuries on the mound. If St. John Vianney’s pitchers can stay healthy all year, the Lancers will have a chance to run with RBC from start to finish.