In any given year, you can pretty much take it to the back: Class A North will be good and it will be competitive. Sure, CBA went 13-1 and coasted to a division title last year according to the records, but the Colts wont a whole slew of close games on the way to winning the outright title.

It’s no surprise that CBA enters as the favorite once again but the Colts likely won’t have a stranglehold on the division, meaning a handful of public school teams in the division are geared up to leave their mark on the 2019 season. Class A North is always near the top when it comes to the Shore’s most competitive divisions one-through-eight and while the top two teams are likely to run away from the bottom two, the middle of the pack is likely to be a free-for-all that spills into the race for the top spot.

Christian Brothers Academy

Head Coach: Marty Kenney, 47th season
2018 Record: 19-5 (13-1, first in Class A North)
Returners: Tommy DiTullio (Sr., SS), Braedin Hunt (Jr., RHP/1B), Anthony Celestre (Sr., OF/2B), Connor Baksh (Sr., OF/RHP), Joe Escandon (Sr., LHP), Mason Wolf (Jr., C/OF), Evan Mahns (Sr., LHP)
Key Losses: Nick Hohenstein (RHP/OF), Jack Harnisch (2B), Blaise Venancio (LHP), Andrea Dalatri (3B), Johnny Dudek (1B), Matt Fitzsimmons (1B), Matt Barnes (RHP), Jake Lawrie (LHP)
Key Newcomers: Jason Arnott (Jr., 2B/3B), Pat Reilly (Jr., RHP/3B), C.J. Shekian (Sr., RHP/1B), Anthony Pillari (Sr., C/RHP), Declan Hoverter (Jr., RHP/OF), Ben Settino (Jr., OF), Riley Ramins (Jr., OF), Joe Tutrone (Jr., C), Ethan Diamond (Jr., C), Matt Murray (Jr., 2B), Rob Beam (Jr., P), Dan Chun (Jr., P), Duncan Hathaway (Jr., P/OF), Peter Falconite (Jr., 2B)

CBA junior Braedin Hunt. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Any team that coasts through the Class A North schedule with only one loss has to be a scary team come tournament time but that didn’t turn out to be the case with last year’s CBA club. The Colts won 13 straight games before getting beat by Red Bank Catholic in the Monmouth County Tournament semifinals and finished the season with three straight losses – including one to Point Boro in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16 and to Notre Dame in the South Jersey Non-Public A quarterfinals. The disappointing finish can be traced back to three injuries – one to ace Nick Hohenstein, one to shortstop Tommy DiTullio and another to second baseman Jack Harnisch. Hohenstein and DiTullio tried to play through their ailments but were not the same in May and neither were the Colts.

Hope springs eternal for CBA this spring and DiTullio will get another shot to leave his mark on the program as a senior leader. He is two years removed from an All-Shore season and committed to play at Bryant University, but first would like to erase the bad taste from last year. He will have some help in the form of two returning All-Shore players – both of whom will head up CBA’s rotation. Senior left-hander Joe Escandon went 5-0 and struck out 39 while walking only five in 33 innings en route to earning a coaches’ All-Shore selection. Junior Braedin Hunt, meanwhile, posted a 1.17 ERA in 18 innings and was one of the Shore’s most imposing hitters – which eventually led to him committing to Rutgers as one of the Scarlet Knights’ prized recruits.

That trio will lead what coach veteran coach Marty Kenney expects to be a versatile CBA team with plenty of help rising through the ranks to play supporting roles and even a few starring ones. Senior outfielder Connor Baksh made only 15 trips to the plate last season but popped two home runs while going 4-for-13 with a pair of walks. Junior Mason Wolf went 9-for-30 with nine RBI while spending time behind the plate and could see some time in the outfield this year as well. Senior Anthony Celestre will take on center field after going 4-for-19 with a triple and six walks in a part-time role last year.

Junior dual threat ad Northeastern commit Pat Reilly leads a group of newcomers that will fill in a number of spots around the diamond and on the pitching staff. Jason Arnott is lined up to play second base, senior Anthony Pillari is in the mix at catcher, junior Ben Settino will get a shot in the outfield and both Declan Hoverter and C.J. Shekian will toe the rubber for the Colts in 2019. Inexperience could be a factor at times for CBA but the Colts have a talented group that could do some real damage over the course of the season, including on the tail end.

 

Manalapan

Head Coach: Brian Boyce, 13th season
2018 Record: 22-7 (10-4, second in Class A North)
Returners: Jake Pellecchia (Sr., SS), Ben Levine (Sr., LHP/1B), Billy Watters (Sr., 2B), Aaron Ayers (Sr., RHP), Michael Kuver (Sr., OF), Nick Serrentino (Sr., C), Nick DiPiertrantonio (Jr., 3B), Hunter Serrano (Jr., RHP/2B)
Key Losses: Giovanni Ciaccio (CF), Dan DeBlasio (1B/OF), E.J. Melendez (RHP), Robert Gargano (LHP/OF), Anthony Naylor (OF), Jack Schweitzer (C/OF),  Vin Lanza (2B), Anthony Jomo (LHP), Justin Korman (RHP), Nick DiMiceli (OF), Ryan Crehan (LHP)
Key Newcomers: Louis Marzo (Sr., OF), Matt Panzica (Sr., OF), Andrew Lore (Sr., 1B), Robert Belovin (Sr., C/1B), Rico Spinelli (Sr., RHP), Jake Melman (Sr., RHP), Dylan Hode (Jr., C), Chris Nicol (Jr., LHP), Kyle Sciallo (Jr., 3B), Frank Daddato (Jr., OF), Matt Terraciano (Jr., OF), Joseph Mazza (So., LHP/OF), Ethan Rodriguez (So., OF/LHP), Anthony Matteis (So., 1B), Thomas Guidice (So., 3B/C)

At first glance, Manalapan has a lot to replace from its 22-win team from a year ago and that is probably true of second and third glances as well. The Braves bid farewell to quite a bit of offensive production, particularly in two-time All-Shore outfielder Giovanni Ciaccio. Last year’s senior class was the driving force in Manalapan’s 2018 season, which ended with a 2-1 loss at Hunterdon Central in the Central Group IV final. Upon closer inspection, Manalapan returns some key players in key spots that should keep the Braves among the contenders in Class A North, Monmouth County and CJ IV.

Among the group of players back for this season, Manalapan has a double-play combination, a catcher, a third baseman, a power-hitting outfielder and, most importantly, an ace. Senior left-hander Ben Levine emerged as the Braves ace in 2018, posting the best ERA of any pitcher in Class A North while allowing fewer than one baserunner per inning (not including errors) over 48 innings. Junior right-hander Hunter Serrano will back Levine up in the rotation and although he threw only six innings last season, Serrano did not give up an earned run. Senior Aaron Ayers will also try to build on a handful of innings as a junior and be part of an imposing pitching rotation led by a dominant lefty.

Second baseman Billy Watters and shortstop Jake Pellecchia will lead both the lineup and the defense after strong seasons as juniors last year. The Braves also return starters at third base and catcher, with junior Nick DiPiertrantonio manning the hot corner and senior Nick Serrantino behind the plate. Senior Mike Kuver is back in the outfielder after hammering out 10 extra-base hits in only 60 plate appearances last season, giving Manalapan some punch in the middle of the order around its lineup of contact-oriented bats. Sophomores Joe Mazza and Ethan Rodriguez lead an incoming group of young talent that should make an impact, with Mazza lining up in the pitching rotation from the left side and Rodriguez vying for one of the open spots in the outfield. If the Braves can find some length to the lineup and production in the outfield, the foundation of pitching and defense should carry them a long way.

 

Howell

Head Coach: Eric Johnson, 10th season
2018 Record: 13-12 (6-8, tied fifth in Class A North)
Returners: Ryan Bearse (Sr., SS/RHP), Kyle Brex (Sr., SS/2B), Bryan Bernard (Sr., LHP), Tommy Talbot (Jr., OF), Ryan Gonzalez (Sr., 1B), Jake Kutcher (Sr., OF), Chris Acampora (Jr., C/OF/3B), Jack Bearse (Jr., C/1B), Max Friedman (Jr., LHP)
Key Losses: Nick Ruszczyk (OF), Eddie Morales (2B/OF), Mike Wynne (RHP/2B/OF), Anthony Limaldi (LHP/OF), Dylan Beyer (P/OF), Mike Walsh (LHP/1B)
Key Newcomers: Jake Lenardo (Jr., LHP), Logan Marmer (Sr., RHP), John Morgan (Sr., LHP), Colin Loch (Sr., OF/RHP), A.J. Furlong (Jr., OF/RHP), Nick Guerrino (Jr., INF), Antonio Gatti (So., OF), Vin Impresa (So., INF/RHP), Chris Ellison (So., 3B/OF/RHP)

Howell has developed a reputation as the Colorado Rockies of the Shore Conference – a team heavy on bats that puts up big numbers in its hitter-friendly park. Part of the analogy, unfortunately for the Rebels, is they have also struggled to find enough pitching to complement that offense and push the team over the top in the postseason. There have been some exceptions over the years but coach Eric Johnson’s recent focus has been piecing together a rotation and lining up a defense that can back them up. In the end, the offense always shows up at Howell.

If you follow Major League Baseball, you know the Rockies have begun to turn the tide behind some reliable young arms and Howell appears it could continue following the analogy for the better as well. Seniors Ryan Bearse and Bryan Bernard were Howell’s top two pitchers last year and the duo gives the Rebels a potential No. 1 starter from either side of the rubber – Bearse from the right and Bernard from the left. Both hurlers struck out better than a batter per inning with ERA’s under 3.60 – no small feat while pitching home games in one of the best home-run-hitting parks at the Shore.

For once, the primary questions in Howell’s camp surround their offense and defensive alignment. Bearse is also among the team’s best position players as well, returning to play shortstop when he is not on the mound and hitting in the middle of the order after a productive junior season with the bat (.263, 2 HR, 18 RBI). Senior Kyle Brex also returns after playing third base last year and will shift to second base alongside Bearse and to shortstop when Bearse is on the mound. Senior Tommy Talbot is back in the outfield and senior Ryan Gonzalez is back to play first base. Juniors Chris Acampora and Jack Bearse shared the catching duties last year and should both find a spot in a lineup that will be good because it always is. The key for Howel will be the two aces at the top and the rotation depth behind them.

 

Middletown South

Head Coach: Ryan Spillane, 11th season
2018 Record: 11-13 (6-8, tied fourth in Class B North)
Returners: Aurelio Licata (Sr., SS/1B), Robby Zega (Sr., INF), Trevor Brey (Sr., C/2B), Chris O’Connor (Jr., 3B/SS/RHP), Danny Minze (Jr., RHP/OF/2B), Jack Kinsella (Sr., OF), Jack Sheridan (Jr., OF/INF/RHP), Jack Roesch (Sr., RHP), Jack Lisowski (Sr., LHP), Chris Lotito (Jr., CF/P/1B), Anthony Esposito (Jr., 1B/C/RHP), Ryan Truscio (Sr., RHP), Matt Pontari (So., RHP/INF), Mike Rauso (Jr., OF/LHP), Joe Stanizone (So., 1B/RF)
Key Losses: Joe Sprake (RHP/1B), Dylan Walling (INF/OF)
Key Newcomers: Tommy Schuster (Jr., 1B/C), Pat Marinich (Jr., OF/P), Mike Keenan (So., RHP), Jack Shea (So., RHP), Pat Eagone (So., INF/OF), Brendan Bigos (So., INF), Michael Barbara (Jr., OF), Jack Shangold (Jr., RHP/INF)

If the old adage is true that pitching and defense win championships, then it is easier to understand why Middletown South went just 11-13 last season. The Eagles finished second in the Shore Conference in runs-per-game (7.8) and outscored their opponents by 32 runs over the course of the season but their 157 runs allowed were tied for second-most in Non-B-Central Monmouth County and their 6.5 runs-allowed-per-game was the fourth-highest among that same group. Scoring was not at all a problem for Middletown South last year but it also wasn’t a problem for its opponents.

This year’s Middletown South lineup should be every bit as good as last year’s which means the Eagles will once again have one of the Shore’s most dangerous offenses. Shortstop and Seton Hall commit Aurelio Licata had one of the best offensive seasons in the Shore Conference last season, leading the Shore in on-base percentage (.635) while finishing second in batting average (.514) and doubles (15). Junior Chris O’Connor rejoins Licata on the left side of the infield after O’Connor burst onto the Shore scene with a big sophomore year at the plate. Senior James Madison commit Rob Zega will be back at second base and senior catcher Trevor Brey is back for his fourth year, giving the Eagles lots of production and experience at key positions on the infield. Factor in junior outfielders Danny Minze, Jack Sheridan and Chris Lotito and junior first baseman Anthony Esposito – all of whom return with experience – and Middletown South has a deep, dangerous offense once again.

As for the pitching, the Eagles remain unproven but are hopeful they can improve on last year’s rough go of it. Minze turned in a number of strong outings despite taking some lumps as well and now that he is a junior, the right-hander should be a steady option. Sheridan and fellow senior Jack Loesch ate up some innings last year as well, with Loesch spinning 21 innings and Sheridan turning in a respectable 3.75 ERA over 9 1/3. The Eagles will also work in sophomore right-handers Jack Shea and Mike Keenan as well as junior Jack Shangold – three newcomers who could help turn Middletown South’s pitching fortunes just enough to make the Eagles an A North favorite again.

 

Freehold Township

Head Coach: Todd Smith, 10th season
2018 Record: 14-11 (7-7, fourth in Class A North)
Returners: Brandon Smith (Sr., SS), Cristian Corcione (Sr., 2B), Liam Simon (Sr., RHP), Ryan Kurczeski (Sr., RHP), Zach Gorman (So., RHP), Chris Corchado (So., 1B), Nick Portaleos (Jr., C), Mike Woods (Sr., CF), Patrick Burns (So., 3B), Andrew Reidy (Jr., C), Griffin Murphy (So., C)
Key Losses: Ryan Ford (RHP/1B/3B), Chris Goodman (OF), Bryan Reed (RHP/1B), Nick Lodispoto (LF/LHP), Luke Milchman (DH), Kevin Goodman (OF)
Key Newcomers: Brian Lee (Sr., LF), Sean Fiolek (Sr., RF), Jarrett Urban (Jr., OF), Vladimir Scriptunas (Sr., RHP), Alec Schwartz (Jr., RHP), Alex Ginter (Jr., RHP), Mason Weeks (Jr., LHP), Matt Villapiano (So., LHP)

While Howell and Middletown South are offense-heavy teams hoping for their pitching to catch up this season, Freehold Township is the inverse. The Patriots were one of the Shore’s better run-prevention outfits last year, giving up the 12th-best runs-per-game average (4.6) in the conference while playing in what is traditionally its most competitive division. The Patriots, however, only scored 5.1 per game, which was the No. 6 mark in Class A North and better than only eight other teams in Monmouth County. They also graduated their best offensive player by a wide margin in Ryan Ford, who also emerged as the team’s top pitcher as well.

Despite graduating its best all-around player and entering without a lot of proven hitters, Freehold Township has a positive outlook this season because of its deep stable of arms and an athletic lineup that should form one of the Shore’s top defenses. Senior right-hander Ryan Kurczeski stepped up as a No. 2 option behind Ford and was consistent throughout the year both as a reliever and starter. Senior Liam Simon is committed to Notre Dame and started to show his potential during the second half of his junior season. Right-hander Zach Gorman is the third Freehold Township starter after impressing as a freshman last season with a 0.71 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP in 19 2/3 innings.

Although the offense will have to figure out how to score without Ford or fellow graduate Chris Goodman, Freehold Township has some potential to grow as an offensive team. Shortstop Brandon Smith and second baseman Cristian Corcione are standout defenders and capable table-setters who should be on base enough to set the offense in motion. Sophomores Chris Corchado and Patrick Burnes got time last year and will man the two corner infield spots, with Corchado hitting in the middle of the order. Center fielder Mike Woods is another speedy defender who will try to apply those attributes to the offense, while seniors Brian Lee and Sean Folek look to add some production at the corner outfield spots. Sorting out the catching situation is another key for Freehold Township, with Nick Portaleos, Andrew Reidy and sophomore Griffin Murphy in the picture. As long as the pitching lives up to the expectations, Freehold Township will be one of Monmouth County’s more competitive teams. If the offense comes around, the Patriots could be much more.

 

Marlboro

Head Coach: Craig Helfgott, first season
2018 Record: 9-11 (6-8, tied fifth in Class A North)
Returners: Anthony Brienza (Sr., SS), Justin Kapuscinski (Sr., C), Ramon Fontanes (Jr., CF), Vin Ferrigno (Sr., 1B), Ian Li (Sr., RHP), Joe Lomangino (So., RHP/OF), Josh Schleifman (Jr., RHP), David Vignapiano (Jr., RHP), Matt Spinelli (Sr., RF), Mark Capell (So., 3B/LF), Nick Zicchinolfi (Sr., 3B/2B), Sean Donaghue (Sr., C), Jack McNiff (Jr., RHP), Josh Gruber (Sr., LHP), Matt Gomolka (Sr., RHP), Joe Iacabello (Sr., RHP)
Key Losses: Justin Levito (SS), Davonte Smith (OF), Justin Bernstein (OF), Matt LaPoff (UTIL), Karan Singh (Sr., RHP/3B), Peter Morreale (Sr., 3B)
Key Newcomers: Nick Wright (So., CF), Tyler Villa (Fr., RHP), Julian Buchman (Fr., OF), John Zarneski (Sr., LHP), Jeremy Mack (Sr., LF), Connor Benas (Sr., RHP), Anthony DiMaiuta (Sr., RHP)

In recent years, Marlboro has been known for three things: dazzling infield defense, fast starts and slow finishes to the season. Under first-year head coach Craig Helfgott, the Mustangs will look to shed one of those bullet points off the reputation by returning another strong defensive club with a roster that is ready to finish in May what it starts in early April. Last year, it was an early-season win over CBA that jump-started Marlboro’s season, only for the Mustangs to finish below .500 in both Class A North and overall.

This year’s team will have to replace All-Shore shortstop Justin Levito and will do so by shifting senior Anthony Brienza over from second base. Brienza was a plus defender at second base and should be able to handle the transition while providing solid offensive contribution again this season. Speaking of offensive contribution, Marlboro expects plenty of it from senior catcher Justin Kapuscinski and junior center fielder Ramon Fontanes. Kapuscinski is a Marist commit with big power who has been pitched-around since he started as an imposing freshman in the middle of the Mustangs order. Fontanes, meanwhile, broke out as a sophomore all-division performer who hit .386, showed some pop (seven extra-base hits including a homer) and speed (nine stolen bases) and hit in the clutch (team-high 16 RBI). Seniors Vin Ferrigno and Matt Spinelli also return to the starting lineup at corner spots – Ferrigno at first base and Spinelli in right field.

Marlboro’s pitching never quite materialized after a promising start to last year. Senior Ian Li, juniors Vignapiano and Justin Schleifman and sophomore Joe Lomangiano all had their moments over the course of the season and will try to form a more consistent unit in which the four returning pitchers compliment one another and rely on the solid defense behind them. Joe Iacabello and Jack McNiff will also figure into the pitching picture while freshman Tyler Villa looks to make an immediate impact as well. There is a potential foundation in place for the next couple seasons and with big years from Kapuscinski and Brienza, Marlboro could be ready to arrive this season.

 

Freehold Boro

Head Coach: Jon Block, 28th season
2018 Record: 12-10 (8-6, third in Class A North)
Returners: Henry Nonnamacher (Sr., C), Dominic Nonnamacher (Sr., RHP), Cam Eslager (Sr., 2B/OF), Luke Crivelli (Sr., OF), Steven Gee (Sr., RHP/OF), Dan Molina (Jr., RHP/1B), Shaun Piotrowski (Jr., 3B/C), Sean Wodell (Jr., RHP/OF)
Key Losses: Mark Costanzo (Sr., SS/RHP), Phil Marcantonio (Sr., C), Nick Aiello (Sr., RHP/OF), Matt Granato (Sr., 3B/RHP), Dane Della Valle (Sr., LHP/1B), Matt DaSilva (Sr., OF)
Key Newcomers: Kacey MacCutcheon (Sr., 2B), Frank Santarsiero (Sr., 3B), Adam Schwerthoffer (Sr., RHP/1B), Matt Donlon (Sr., 1B), Mike Lombardi (Sr., LHP/OF), Ben Okun (Sr., C), Justin Quiles (Sr., OF), Jackson Baillargeon (Jr., SS), Kyle Wenrich (Jr., RHP/1B)

The vast majority of public-school teams in N.J. would sign for the the success that Freehold Boro has had since moving from B North to A North in 2015. Over the past four seasons, the Colonials have posted winning records while playing a brutal division schedule, defeated some of the best talent the Shore and state have to offer, and came within inches of winning the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV title two years ago. Last year, the Colonials overcome some key losses in their pitching staff to put up another winning season that was good enough to finish third in a tough A North division.

With four more key position players and another left-handed ace graduating, coach Jon Block and the Colonials will face their toughest challenge since moving to Class A North. They will have new starters at catcher, shortstop and third base while seeking to replace three key pitchers. Two of the players who will be back in more-or-less the same roles will be senior right-hander Dominic Nonnamacher and senior second baseman Cam Elslager. Nonnamacher stepped up and became one of Freehold Boro’s most reliable starters as a junior, while Elslager carved out a spot near the top of the batting order. Junior Dan Molina was also a key contributor on the infield and gave Freehold Boro some quality innings as well.

Senior Henry Nonnamacher will take over for Phil Marcantonio at catcher and should keep the Colonials strong behind the plate. Seniors Steven Gee and Luke Crivelli also return with some varsity experience and Gee will help out on the mound as well. Most of Freehold Boro’s incoming varsity talent will be seniors, so the urgency and seasoning will be there from the beginning. If the pitching rotation takes shape and this group of mostly new starters doesn’t need too much time to get its sea legs, Freehold Boro will find itself in the postseason hunt again.

 

Long Branch

Head Coach: Ben Woolley, first season
2018 Record: 7-16 (3-11, eighth in Class B North)
Returners: Evan Yerman (Sr., RHP/SS), Ivan Navarro (Sr., 3B/RHP), Joseph Mazza (Sr., OF), Brendan Cuddy (Sr., 1B), R.J. Hurd (Sr., 2B/SS), Jaheire Smith-Moore (Sr., RHP)
Key Losses: Matt Mincieli (SS/RHP), T.J. Brewer (C), James Horniacek (1B/LHP), Nick Lunn (2B), Pasa Fields (CF), Jordan Pellot (OF)
Key Newcomers: Ryan Wolf (Jr., RHP/3B), Julian Moreno (Sr., RHP/OF), Andrew Conklin (So., C), Robert Baez (So., CF), Tyler Abbot (So., 2B/SS), Dave Rodriguez (So., 3B/RHP), Thomas Brewer (Fr., RHP), Xavier Camacho (Fr., RHP)

While last year’s 7-16 record might not look like much, Long Branch was much better than that mark would indicate. The Green Wave had a senior-heavy squad led by All-Shore triple-threat Matt Mancini, who was the team’s best hitter, pitcher and defender at shortstop. Mancini and Co. won only seven games but reached the quarterfinals of the Monmouth County Tournament by beating St. John Vianney and Marlboro on the road and competed in an unforgiving Class B North division – all while doing so as a program without a lot of recent success on its resume.

The division will once again be unforgiving only this time, Long Branch will not have the same top-level talent and experience to handle it. Senior Evan Yerman was one of the Green Wave’s top players last year and has already proven he can hang against a schedule like the one Long Branch will face in A North. The rest of the team will have to prove itself, with a couple of returning starters moving up in the order and a number of new starters joining them. Senior Ivan Navarro returns to third base and will hit at the top of the order. Senior Brendan Cuddy is back at first base, senior Joseph Mazza will play right field after splitting time out there last year and senior R.J. Hurd becomes a regular in the middle infield.

Navarro and senior Julian Moreno are in line to fill rotation spots behind Yerman, with senior Jaheire Smith-Moore and junior Ryan Wolf also vying for innings. First-year head coach and former Green Wave assistant Ben Woolley will have some sophomores to potentially work in as well, including catcher Andrew Conklin. Developing the next group will be one of the objectives for Long Branch against a very deep, talented A North field and on days Yerman pitches, the Green Wave could be pesky for a top Monmouth County team.

 

Division Lineup (With 2018 Stats)

C – Trevor Brey, Middletown South (.366/.464/.507, 8 2B, 1 3B, 21 R, 13 RBI)

C – Justin Kapuscinski, Marlboro (.281/.468/.456, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 R, 9 RBI)

2B – Billy Watters, Manalapan (.382/.447/.500, 9 2B, 16 R, 16 RBI, 6 SB)

2B/SS – Kyle Brex, Howell (.370/.505/.481, 6 2B, 1 HR, 23 R, 12 RBI)

SS – Aurelio Licata, Middletown South (.516/.635/.797, 15 2B, 1 HR, 32 R, 19 RBI, 14 SB)

SS – Jake Pellecchia, Manalapan (.369/.487/.400, 2 2B, 14 R, 16 RBI)

3B – Chris O’Connor, Middletown South (.361/.500/.542, 7 2B, 2 HR, 25 R, 14 RBI, 7 SB)

OF – Ramon Fontanes, Marlboro (.386/.470/.561, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 R, 16 RBI, 9 SB)

1B/RHP – Braedin Hunt, CBA (.453/.554/.717, 5 2B, 3 HR, 12 R, 19 RBI)

 

Division Rotation (With 2018 Stats)

Ben Levine, LHP, Manalapan (6-2, 48 IP, 32 H, 14 BB, 45 SO, 1.17 ERA)

Joe Escandon, LHP, CBA (5-0, 33 IP, 34 H, 5 BB, 39 SO, 1.70 ERA)

Ryan Bearse, RHP, Howell (4-2, 35 IP, 38 H, 15 BB, 36 SO, 3.53 ERA)

Liam Simon, RHP, Freehold Twp. (2-5, 30 2/3 IP, 25 BB, 34 SO, 4.11 ERA)

Ryan Kurczeski, RHP, Freehold Twp. (3-1, 27 1/3 IP, 12 BB, 16 SO, 1.79 ERA)

 

Comeback Player to Watch

Tommy DiTullio, CBA – After an All-Shore campaign as a sophomore, DiTullio got off to a modest start at the plate and then played hurt for the second half of the season. As a sophomore, the Bryant University commit flashed a great glove at shortstop and has shown pop in his bat that should return in 2019.

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Pat Reilly, 3B/RHP, CBA

Bryan Bernard, LHP, Howell

Zach Gorman, RHP, Freehold Twp.

Anthony Brienza, SS, Marlboro

Dominic Wanamacher, RHP, Freehold Boro

Evan Yerman, SS/RHP, Long Branch

 

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