Baseball – 2021 Shore Conference Baseball Preview: Marlboro
During the last high school baseball season, Marlboro was a perfect example of how deep the Class A North division is. The Mustangs finished in the bottom half of the regular-season standings but made it to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV semifinal round – one win away from making it an all-A-North final against eventual champion Manalapan.
The Mustangs will have a different cast on the whole, but a few names from the deep state tournament run of 2019 return. Mark Capell and Nick Wright are experienced senior infielders who will help pace the lineup and junior centerfielder Julian Buchman is one of the Shore’s more talented all-around outfielders after putting up impressive numbers over a half-season as a freshman.
Marlboro will run out a quality infield defense with shortstop Joe Lomangino and second baseman Josh Mack playing up the middle and sophomore Alex D’Ambrosio emerging as a candidate at third base. Alex Jankowski will be a key pitcher but can also play on the left side of the infield and Wright also figures into the picture either at second, third or designated hitter. Catcher was up in the air last season but Andrew Bellone enters as the projected 2021 starter.
Junior right-hander Tyler Villa was a freshman workhorse in 2019 and will top the Marlboro rotation. Jankowski will back him up as the second end of the one-two punch at the top. The position players will be important innings-eaters behind the top two, along with junior left-hander Jake Kalfayan. If the pitching rounds into form, there is enough defense and power in the lineup to help Marlboro stack up with A North’s best.
Marlboro at Glance
Head Coach: Craig Helfgott, second season
Key Losses: Ramon Fontanes (CF), Josh Schleifman (RHP), Jeremy Briskin (1B/DH), Jack McNiff (RHP), David Vignapiano (RHP), Jason Lewis (P), Nick Campisi (C), Dylan Chirichello (C), Jon Spatola (Jr., 2B/SS)
Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)
Catcher: Andrew Bellone, Jr.
First Base: Mark Capell, Sr. (.281/.453/.404, 7 2B, 8 R, 8 RBI)
Second Base: Josh Mack, Jr.; Nick Wright, Sr. (.268/.386/.286, 1 2B, 16 R, 6 RBI)
Shortstop: Joe Lomangino, Sr.; Alex Jankowski, Sr.
Third Base: Alex D’Ambrosio, So.; Alex Jankowski, Sr.
Leftfield: Antonio Vitale, Sr.; Josh Mack, Jr.
Centerfield: Julian Buchman, Jr. (.297/.381/.568, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI)
Rightfield: Frank Talarico, Sr.; Josh Mack, Jr.
DH: Nick Wright, Sr.; Daniel Talarico (So., OF)
Other Key Hitters
Shawn McNiff (Jr., 2B/SS)
Tyler Villa, Jr., RHP (2-2, 5.25 ERA, 28 IP, 33 H, 17 BB, 20 K)
Alex Jankowski, Sr., RHP
Mark Capell, Sr., RHP
Josh Mack, Jr., RHP
Jake Kalfayan, Jr., LHP
Antonio Vitale, Sr., LHP
Alex D’Ambrosio, So., RHP
Ryan Coluccio, Sr., RHP
Shawn McNiff, Jr., RHP
Nikolas Gomolka, Jr., RHP
Mark Capell – Yale University