Baseball – 2019 Preview: Class B North
Even with a perennial non-public power like Red Bank Catholic in the running last year and a deep stable of competitive teams, Wall blew away the competition in the B North race and was not far off from doing the same to the rest of the Shore Conference. The Crimson Knights return as much talent as any public school team in the state and a repeat as the Class B North champion only scratches the surface of what the Crimson Knights expect to accomplish.
Realignment has chanced the look of Class B North and a couple of teams from last season that were set up to have big seasons are gone. Despite that, there are six teams after Wall that all look poised to challenge for the No. 2 spot in the division based on what they bring back and while there appears to be an overwhelming favorite in the division, the race for No. 2 should be intense and could very well involve a team or two knocking off Wall in the process.
Head Coach: Todd Schmitt, 22nd season
2018 Record: 22-6 (13-1, first in Class B North)
Returners: Trey Dombroski (Sr., LHP), Grant Shulman (Sr., 3B/RHP), Ryan Napolitano (Sr., RHP), Teddy Sharkey (Jr., OF/RHP), Johnny Volpe (Sr., 2B/RHP), Dylan Richey (Sr., SS), Tanner Powers (Sr., 1B/LHP), David Howarth (Sr., C), Doug Wetzel (Sr., OF), Sean Nocera (Jr., C), John Iradi (Sr., OF)
Key Losses: Jason Horowitz (RHP), Andy Lenneper (OF), Anthony Velasquez (OF)
Key Newcomers: Tyler Winkowski (Sr., P/OF), Drew Tidwell (Sr., 1B), Jason Bant (So., 3B/RHP), Sean Brannon (Jr., INF), Gus Setteducato (Jr., OF), Alfredo Dipaola (Jr., OF), Matt Cronson (Jr., UTIL)
For most of 2018, Wall barreled through the season as the No. 1 team at the Shore but despite being one of the Shore’s most consistent squads, the Crimson Knights once again could not find a way to turn their dominant pitching staff and balanced lineup into tournament success. Wall suffered stunning defeats in the Monmouth County Tournament (to Colts Neck in the round of 16) and in the Shore Conference Tournament (to Central in extra innings in the semifinals) and then fell to Allentown in the Central Jersey Group III championship game after spotting the two-time champion four runs in the first two innings. It was a missed chance to win a sectional championship and perhaps even an overall Group III title for a team loaded with juniors who would have had a chance to defend that title this year.
Instead, Wall’s experienced roster returns seeking redemption rather than a repeat. The Crimson Knights return their entire starting pitching staff and all but one hitter in the lineup, with only closer Jason Horowitz graduating from the pitching staff and left fielder Andy Lenneper in the lineup. Senior left-hander Trey Dombroski was last year’s star, going 8-1 with a 0.54 ERA en route to winning the Shore Sports Network Pitcher of the Year Award. Senior Grant Shulman was not far behind, not only putting up ace-like numbers on the mound but also producing an All-Shore season at the plate as well. Senior Ryan Napolitano was another standout right-hander for the Crimson Knights and junior Teddy Sharkey returns with a track-record of dominance over a smaller sample size of innings. Sharkey, who recently committed to play at Florida State, is also Wall’s center fielder and a top power threat in the conference.
Seniors Johnny Volpe and Dylan Richey are back as the double-play combination and top two hitters in the Wall lineup, setting the table for Shulman and Sharkey. Senior first baseman Tanner Powers and catcher David Howarth are back in the middle of the order as well, with Powers also poised to provide some more innings. Senior right fielder Doug Wetzel was a hidden gem at the bottom of the order and a clutch hitter as a junior while seniors John Iradi and Sean Nocera also contributed to the offense along the way.
One key member of last year’s team who might not be back is coach Todd Schmitt, who is recovering from an injury that put him on disability from work. Longtime assistant Jim Rochford has been running the team while Schmitt clears the last few hurdles before his return. Regardless of who is coaching the team, these seniors are starving for a title and have the firepower and the motivation to win every tournament they enter this season.
Head Coach: Cip Apicelli, 10th season
2018 Record: 13-13 (6-8, tied fourth in Class B North)
Returners: Max Winters (Sr., C/RHP), Ryan Toomey (Sr., SS), Nick Callano (So., CF/RHP), Kevin D’Auria (Jr., OF), Cole Kelly (Jr., 1B), Scuba Hagerman (Sr., 3B/RHP), Kevin Schoenberger (Jr., RHP), Ian Greenspan (Jr., RHP), Michael Cascaes (Sr., LHP), Brian Yatcilla (Jr., 2B)
Key Losses: Jack D’Auria (OF), Matt Redbord (1B), Mark Butler (RHP/INF), Evan Arbeeny (C), Will Callano (OF)
Key Newcomers: Dylan Thomas (Sr., RHP), Mark Schell (Jr., LHP), Kevin Novobilsky (So., INF), Jack Fisher (Jr., OF), Nick Schneider (Jr., OF), Nick Vaughn (So., C), Matt Munoz (Sr., INF), Lucky Perrotto (So., LHP), Tyler Talbot (Sr., RHP)
Ocean was right in the middle of the Class B North pack last year and the Spartans had a season that reflected a fourth-place team in a stacked division – they won some, lost some and had a memorable win or two mixed in. The most memorable of the season was a 5-3 win over Red Bank Catholic and considering Ocean has some impact talent coming back this season, the Spartans have to feel as well-positioned as any B North team to challenge Wall for the top spot in the division.
What makes challenging Wall so difficult is the Crimson Knights have a whole team back after a 22-win season, so it stands to reason that any team that wants to beat them will have to have some established talent on hand ready to challenge the division champs. Ocean has a good deal of that with the returns of Max Winters and Ryan Toomey – two all-division players who play key spots on the diamond. Winters is an All-Shore catcher headed to play at William & Mary and also took over as Ocean’s top pitcher last year as well. Toomey is the regular shortstop who led the team with 27 RBI. The Spartans also return sophomore center fielder Nick Callano, junior first baseman Cole Kelly, senior third baseman Scuba Hagerman and junior outfielder Kevin D’Auria to a lineup looking to improve on its 129 runs in 26 games.
After Winters, Ocean brings back some more experience on the mound. Callano is one to watch as a sophomore after posting a 2.59 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 27 innings last year as a freshman. Junior right-handers Kevin Schoenberger and Isaac Greenspan will look to take the next step on the mound and senior left-hander Michael Cascaes will also look to build off a solid showing on the mound in 2018. There exist the makings of a deep, effective pitching staff as well as a core of dangerous hitters that should make the Spartans a lock to finish in the top half of the division and a credible threat to knock off the division favorite.
Head Coach: Mike Yorke, 20th season
2018 Record: 8-17 (5-9, seventh in Class A North)
Returners: Reece Horneck (Sr., OF), Rob Mannino (Jr., C), Adrian Jimenez (Sr., 3B/RHP), Dan Cowles (Jr., 1B), Brooks Condon (Sr., RHP/SS), Nick Torres (Sr., OF/LHP), Chase Masterson (Jr., LHP)
Key Losses: Anthony Galason (OF/RHP), Hunter Boag (OF/RHP), Jack Tirrell (SS), Joe Kohm (OF), Nick Straub (2B), Shawn Scully (UTIL), Anthony Sasso (RHP)
Key Newcomers: Justin Coppola (Jr., RHP/INF), Logan Boag (So., OF/C), Colin Kratcher (Fr., INF/P), George Zemlanicky (Sr., OF/C), Walter Jordan (Sr., INF/RHP)
For a program with a lot of winning seasons under its belt with coach Mike Yorke at the helm and some talented players in its ranks, an 8-17 showing in 2018 was nothing short of a disappointment for Colts Neck. Even on the way to a down season, however, the Cougars still delivered some high points. After coming up just short of upsets of Manalapan and CBA, Colts Neck finished the job in an 11-8 win over Wall in the Monmouth County Tournament round of 16. After that MCT upset, Colts Neck’s season fell apart as the Cougars lost 10 of 11 games to close out 2018. The first order of business this season will be for the returning players to wash that bad taste out of their collective mouth.
Colts Neck returns a handful of starters from one of the five Shore Conference teams to beat Wall last season and will naturally lean on that group. Senior outfielder Reece Horneck is the top returning hitter of the bunch and junior and fellow Rutgers commit Rob Mannino is entering his third season as the starting catcher. The two future Scarlet Knights will attempt to drive and offense that will miss All-Shore slugger Anthony Galason and four other starters from last year’s lineup. Senior Adrian Jimenez is back at third base and junior Dan Cowles is coming off a solid varsity debut as the Cougars first baseman.
The pitching never really materialized for Colts Neck last year and patching that up will be essential for the Cougars to flip their record. Jimenez returns with the most experience of any Colts Neck pitcher after posting a 3.06 ERA in 27 2/3 innings last season. Horneck, Cowles, junior left-hander Chase Masterson and senior right-hander Brooks Condon – who will also play shortstop – got a helping of innings last year as well and will fill out the pitching staff, along with junior Justin Coppola. Last year’s overall record doesn’t totally convey how close Colts Neck was to making major noise and if the Cougars can close out some close wins that slipped away last year and keep their foot on the gas, a bounceback season could be in order.
St. John Vianney
Head Coach: Mike Morgan, 13th season
2018 Record: 11-8 (8-4, tied second in Class A Central)
Returners: Spencer Margulis (Sr., OF/C), Luciano Fabrizzi (Sr., C), Robert Skinner (Sr., INF), Brendan Martin (Sr., RHP), Ryan Sekman (So., INF/RHP), Ryan Chin (Jr., RHP/OF), Anthony Altomonte (Sr., C/INF), Domenic Cerniglia (Jr., INF/OF)
Key Losses: Logan Marter (OF/LHP), Evan Perette (2B), Michael DiPede (SS), Frank D’Alessio (OF), Matt McCormack (P)
Key Newcomers: Matt Dellea (Sr., P), Tristen Delaney (Jr., INF/P), Robert Lehan (Jr., P), Robert Smith (So., P), Joe Todaro (Sr., INF), Thomas Wistuba (Sr., INF), Ryan DiPede (Jr., OF), John Higgins (Jr., OF/RHP), Brian Stuart (Jr., RHP), Thomas Wright (So., P), John Furch (So., 1B), Evan Pollack (So., RHP), Jacob Ramirez (So., C/INF), Dominic McCaffery (So., P), Rocko Brzezniak (Fr., INF/RHP)
Before Raritan went on to win the Central Jersey Group II championship and nearly knock off the state’s No. 1 team in the Group II final, the Rockets had to go through St. John Vianney in the Class A Central race. The Lancers beat Raritan the first time through the division schedule and finished 8-4 in league play with a roster that got plenty of contributions from players who are back on this year’s team. Throw in a promising collection of up-and-coming talent and the Lancers have a lot to look forward to now that they are in Class B North following a long stretch in A Central.
Senior center fielder Spencer Margulis is coming off a big offensive season in which he crushed four home runs, including a stretch in which he hit one in three straight games. Margulis and classmate Luciano Fabrizzi return as the two heavy hitters from a year ago, with Fabrizzi hitting .425 while splitting time between catcher and first base. Senior Robert Skinner played all over the infield as a junior and sophomore Ryan Sekeman showed he belonged at the varsity level as a freshman and part-time player last year. Sekeman will play on the infield with Skinner, while senior Anthony Altomonte and junior Domenic Cerniglia also contribute again this year. A newcomer to watch at the plate will be freshman Rocko Brzezniak, who will play a corner infield spot and highlights a talented incoming group of newcomers.
On the mound, St. John Vianney returns senior Brendan Martin and junior right-hander Ryan Chin, who will hope to make up for the graduation of two-way talent Logan Marter. Martin has enjoyed success during his last two seasons as a big-game pitcher for the Lancers while Chin looks to build on the handful of innings he got last year. Sekeman also got some experience on the mound and will be joined in the pitching staff by junior right-handers Brian Stuart and John Higgins and sophomores Robert Smith, Evan Pollack, Thomas Wright and Dominic McCaffery. The Lancers have a chance to put up some runs and if the pitching can develop quickly in front of a solid defense, they could find themselves with an edge over Colts Neck and Ocean.
Head Coach: Bobby Carnovsky, seventh season
2018 Record: 10-10 (6-6, fourth in Class A Central)
Returners: Chris Gendi (Sr., RHP/SS), Jay Kalieta (Jr., OF), Griffin Falco (Jr., C), Jackson Hercek (Sr., OF/RHP), Danny Hirujo (Sr., RHP/1B), Tim Egan (So., P/OF), Ben Palumbo (Sr., UTIL), Nick Trapani (Jr., INF)
Key Losses: Steven Salot (INF), Derek Jordan (OF), Christian Rodriguez (OF), Rich Olsen (OF/LHP),
Key Newcomers: Ben Porricello (Jr., INF)
A 10-10 season in Class A Central might not seem like all that much but from Matawan’s perspective, it was an encouraging performance turned in by a young team missing a key contributor. Matawan’s two best performers last season were current senior Chris Gendi and junior Jay Kalieta and the two Huskies stepped up with teammate Jackson Hercek battling injury for most of the season. Hercek was limited to 18 plate appearances and two innings on the mound after performing at an all-division level as a sophomore at Matawan. Getting Hercek back healthy is the first step to a bounceback season for Matawan and consindering the Huskies were already pretty solid, that makes them a real sleeper in this division.
Gendi stepped up in more ways than one last year, building on a successful sophomore campaign on the mound by improving as a pitcher, taking over the shortstop job when he was not on the mound and turning in a solid season at the plate as well (.270, 4 doubles, 15 RBI). Kalieta, meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar season in his first varsity experience. During an all-division campaign as a sophomore, Kalieta hit .431, which was the fourth-highest mark in the A Central division and better than all but one returning player in B North – Wall’s Grant Shulman (.443).
Matawan’s pitching rotation should be strong as the top three innings-eaters from last year are back. Senior Danny Hirujo returns to the rotation after putting up a 2.72 ERA in 38 2/3 innings last year and sophomore Tim Egan tossed 16 1/3 as a freshman. Hercek will join the trio of Gendi, Hirujo and Egan to form a formidable four-man staff that should make Matawan one of the division’s more consistent teams. On top of that, junior Griffin Falco will handle the pitching staff for the second straight year, giving Matawan experience at multiple key spots. It’s enough to make the Huskies an under-the-radar team to watch in the Shore and a strong candidate to rise to the top two or three teams in their new division.
Head Coach: Kevin Frederick, fifth season
2018 Record: 3-16 (1-13, eighth in Class A North)
Returners: Ron Cole (Sr., RHP/1B), Sebastian Jno-Baptiste (Sr., CF), John Gannon (Jr., C), Rocco Richard (Jr., SS), Jett Tinik (Jr., OF), Jack Smith (Jr., 2B), Brian Young (So., LHP/OF), Kyle Bailey (Sr., 3B/RHP), Arden Underwood (Sr., P/1B)
Key Losses: Devon Furges (Sr., C), Matt Bonderant (Sr., LF), Sam Draper (Sr., P), Greg Millaway (Sr., P/1B)
Key Newcomers: Connor Moloughney (Jr., 1B/C), Andre Harris (So., OF), Tommy Gamba-Ellis (Jr., P), Danny Moran (Fr., INF)
The Neptune program experienced two totally different feelings from the end of 2017 to the 2018 season. After the Scarlet Fliers shocked the Shore with its run to the Central Jersey Group III final and lost to powerhouse Allentown in an extra-inning classic, it seemed like a given that Neptune would be contenders for at least the next two seasons with so much young talent complementing the seniors from that 2017 squad. Instead, Neptune endured a nightmare 2018 season in which the Scarlet Fliers went 1-13 against a brutal Class A North schedule but also managed to win only two games outside the division – which came in Neptune’s last two games following a 1-16 start. As a result, Neptune did not even qualify for the NJSIAA Tournament and did not get a chance to replicate the feel-good run of 2018.
While the Scarlet Fliers have a few key players to replace from last year, they still have a number of players who played important roles as sophomores and freshmen during the 2017 postseason. Chief among those is senior right-hander Ron Cole, who is committed to pitch at the University of Kentucky. Although Cole’s performance last year was a mixed bag, he had to overcome some defensive miscues and the general malaise that comes with losing as often as Neptune did. He is still armed with a fastball that sits in the low-90-mile-per-hour range and has the big-game experience from 2017 on his resume. Fellow senior and center fielder Sebastian Jno-Baptiste was also a key contributor as a sophomore in 2017 and, along with Cole, will be the key to the offense.
Juniors John Gannon and Rocco Richard also played as freshman two years ago and will be stepping up to more prominent positions this season – Gannon at catcher and Richard at shortstop. Juniors Jack Smith and Jett Tinik also return from last year’s lineup, with Smith returning to second base and Tinik flanking Jno-Baptiste in a corner outfield spot. Neptune lost 52 innings with the graduation of Sam Draper and Greg Millaway but sophomore Brian Young and seniors Kyle Bailey and Arden Underwood each posted better ERA’s while combining for 34 innings. If that pitching trio can perform similarly in a larger sample of innings, Cole can remain healthy and the defense plays more like it did in 2017, Neptune will again be a team no one will want to see come May.
Head Coach: Nick Tucker, sixth season
2018 Record: 9-11 (5-7, fifth in Class A Central)
Returners: Jack Povey (Sr., RHP/INF), Aidan Kelly (Sr., SS), Luke Jurek (Sr., OF), Colin Chatto (Sr., C/3B), Max Stamer (Jr., LHP/OF), Andrew Glauber (So., RHP/INF), C.J. Paolino (So., C)
Key Losses: Mike Eulner (1B/RHP), Zach Yates (INF/RHP), Nick Quaranta (3B/RHP)
Key Newcomers: Sean O’Mara (So., INF), Jack McCabe (Jr., RHP), Joe Pallante (Jr., OF/RHP), Ryan Lahey (Jr., RHP/C/INF), Doug Scales (Jr., RHP), Nick Ferrogine (So., RHP), Kyle Weisman (Jr., RHP/INF), Mike Gilson (Sr., OF), Gavin Mahoney (Sr., OF)
On paper, Red Bank’s roster has a lot of similarities to Neptune. The Bucs turned in a memorable postseason performance two years ago when they reached the North Jersey Section 2 Group III semifinals as a No. 15 seed after beating Middletown North in a 15-inning marathon. Last year, while their 9-11 record was much better than Neptune’s 3-16, the Bucs also missed qualifying for the NJSIAA Tournament one year after a memorable run as a double-digit seed. The last, and likely most important, of the prominent similarities is Red Bank’s considerable list of returning starters, including a legitimate No. 1 pitcher.
Senior right-hander and Villanova commit Jack Povey was one of the stars of the state tournament run as a sophomore and followed that postseason performance up with a strong effort during his junior year. Povey’s ERA was a respectable 3.50, but higher that one might expect considering the power right-hander punched out 54 batters while walking only 12 in 34 innings. The underlying performance suggests with another year under his belt and a more seasoned defense behind him, Povey could be primed for a huge year. If he delivers, returning junior starter Max Stamer will be a suitable No. 2 pitcher after posting a 2.23 ERA in 31 innings from the left side last season.
While the pitching should remain a strength with Povey and Stamer, the offense is looking to improve after it produced only 83 runs in 20 games last season. Red Bank will miss graduates Michael Eulner and Luke Yates in the rotation and especially in the lineup after the they were two of the team’s top-three RBI men. Senior shortstop Aidan Kelly is the team’s best defender and its most consistent hitter from a year ago, while third baseman Colin Chatto and junior catcher C.J. Paolino both posted some encouraging stats – Chatto a .406 on-base percentage and Paolino a team-high 12 RBI as a sophomore. Stamer also chipped in a .300 average and played the outfield last year, so Red Bank has some potential to take a step forward in the lineup and around the diamond. With a reliable one-two punch on the mound and some potential for growth in the lineup, the Bucs have the makings of a team that could make an impact in B North and in the Central Jersey Group III section.
Head Coach: Ryan McCabe, first season
2018 Record: 7-14 (4-10, seventh in Class B North)
Returners: Sean Gardiner (Sr., RHP), Michael Roditis (Jr., 2B/RHP), Ryan Rozinski (Jr., RHP/OF/1B)
Key Losses: Tyler Ras (RHP/INF), Brendan Doherty (OF), Garrett French (SS/RHP), Nick Donato (3B), Chris Price (RHP), Jake Dillon (C), , Brian Quinn (1B), Mike Adamson (2B/OF), Danny Frontera (So., SS/RHP) – Injured (elbow), out for season
Key Newcomers: Andrew Lombardi (Fr., C), Colin Dowlen (So., RHP/3B/1B), Tony Sansone (So., LHP/OF/1B), Dom Scerbo (So., OF/RHP), Tyler Sharkey (So., RHP/UTIL), Kernan Alba (Jr., SS/RHP), Jack Costigan (Jr., OF/C), Anthony Alfano (Jr., OF/INF), Shane Doyle (Jr., 1B), Tyler Kondratiuk (Jr., C/1B), Matt Maguire (Jr., RHP/UTIL), Jantony Rosario (Jr., C/3B/OF), J.J. Schaller (Jr., RHP/UTIL), Richie Wall (Jr., OF/2B), Khaniel Alba (Sr., LHP/OF)
It’s hard to classify the 2018 season for Middletown North as anything other than a disappointment. The Lions entered the season with sky-high expectations stemming from the return of Tyler Ras, who is currently shining as a freshman at the University of Alabama after being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June of 2018. Other notable pitchers at the Shore in recent years, including several last year, have put up more eye-popping numbers than what Ras did on the mound but they were still befitting of an ace: 1.56 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 40 innings. Despite those numbers, Ras ended the season with an 0-5 record. Part of that could be due to a cautious approach to managing his innings leading up to the draft and the other was a Middletown North offense that scored a total of four runs during the 40 innings Ras was in the game as a pitcher.
Improving that offense will be among the goals for first-year coach Ryan McCabe, but it is one item on a long to-do list. Most of Middletown North’s lineup and starting pitching staff graduated, leaving a number of holes to fill for McCabe in year one. One of those holes is left by sophomore Danny Frontera, who was a bright spot last year as a freshman pitcher and shortstop, but will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow. With Frontera out of the mix this year, Middletown North will rely on senior Sean Gardiner, who is the only player on this year’s Middletown North roster who pitched at the varsity level last year, for innings. Junior Ryan Rozinski, who made a strong impression at the plate as a freshman two years ago, will also get a look on the mound.
A wave of incoming sophomores and juniors will eat up some innings as well and account for a lot of the starting spots on the field in hopes of laying the foundation for winning seasons in 2020 and 2021. One returning junior is second baseman Michael Roditis, the lone starting position player back from last year. With only Gardiner heading into his final high school season, Middletown North looks to do a lot of developing this year in hopes of jumping back into contention as soon as possible.
Division Lineup (With 2018 Stats)
C/RHP – Max Winters, Ocean (.373/.436/.542, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 R, 15 RBI)
C/1B – Luciano Fabrizzi, St. John Vianney (.425/.547/.553, 6 2B, 13 R, 13 RBI, 7 RBI)
2B – Johnny Volpe, Wall (.333/.459/.402, 6 2B, 19 R, 11 RBI, 14 SB)
SS – Ryan Toomey, Ocean (.362/.469/.450, 7 2B, 15 R, 27 RBI, 4 SB)
3B/RHP – Grant Shulman, Wall (.449/.490/.674, 7 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 17 R, 26 RBI, 5 SB)
OF/C – Spencer Margulis, St. John Vianney (.276/.382/.603, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 19 R, 14 RBI, 9 SB)
OF – Jay Kalieta, Matawan (.431/.532/.508, 3 2B, 1 3B, 23 R, 13 RBI, 15 SB)
OF – Reece Horneck, Colts Neck (.261/.375/.435, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 19 R, 16 RBI, 15 SB)
OF/RHP – Teddy Sharkey, Wall (.296/.426/.494, 7 2B, 3 HR, 21 R, 24 RBI, 5 SB)
Division Rotation (With 2018 Stats)
Trey Dombroski, LHP, Wall (8-1, 64 2/3 IP, 29 H, 10 BB, 71 SO, 0.54 ERA)
Ryan Napolitano, RHP, Wall (7-1, 46 IP, 44 H, 25 BB, 54 SO, 2.89 ERA)
Ron Cole, RHP/1B, Neptune (1-3, 27 1/3 IP, 30 H, 12 BB, 26 SO, 4.87 ERA)
Jack Povey, RHP, Red Bank (2-3, 34 IP, 30 H, 12 BB, 54 SO, 3.50 ERA)
Chris Gendi, RHP/SS, Matawan (4-3, 42 2/3, 41 H, 16 BB, 33 SO, 2.13 ERA)
Comeback Player to Watch
Jackson Hercek, Matawan – Injury limited Hercek to only 18 plate appearances last year, but the two-way senior is just two years removed from hitting .375 and serving as one of Matawan’s top pitchers as a sophomore.
Breakout Players to Watch
Rob Mannino, C, Colts Neck
Nick Callano, CF/RHP, Ocean
Brooks Condon, RHP, Colts Neck
John Gannon, C, Neptune
Rocko Brzezniak, 3B/1B, St. John Vianney