Baseball – 2021 Shore Conference Preview: Keansburg
The 2021 season will not be an easy one for Group I programs and Keansburg will not be exempt from that challenge. The Titans will be relying on their roster of players to be versatile and hope that the pitching staff can stay in attack mode, stay efficient and get through a Class B Central schedule that continues to get tougher.
Senior Rian Rivera returns with the most experience on the team, having finished second on the team in innings pitched in 2019 and played a starting role in both centerfield and the infield. Rivera will play the infield this season, working mainly at second base and pitching in one of the top two starting pitching spots in the rotation.
Connor Graf, Maylon Manoes and Louis Chalmers all return with a helping of varsity experience and are ready for more substantial roles this season. Chalmers will catch, Graf is lined up for the starting shortstop job and Manoes can play third base, second base and will be a top pitcher for the Titans as well. Matt Keelen, Victor Matay and Jesse Berecsky are in the mix for first base and any of the three could see designated hitter at-bats as well.
Senior Andrew Valle is the second of the two returning starters from 2019, although he was only a starter for part of the year while Rivera started for the duration. Valle will patrol centerfield and also throw important innings on the mound, while sophomores Antonio Alejandro, Ryan Comey and Aiden Flynn account for the production in the corner outfield spots.
Freshman Donald Antonucci will also be a key player in filling in all over the infield and giving Keansburg some innings as the Titans try to hold their own in an improving B Central division.
Keansburg at a Glance
Head Coach: Ryan Lillis, fourth season
Key Losses: Chris Desantis (RHP/1B), Justin Hicks (OF/1B/OF), Brandon Rizzi (OF), Ryan Agostini (OF), Dwan Davis (OF)
Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)
Catcher: Louis Chalmers, Sr.
First Base: Matt Keelen, Jr.; Victor Matay, Sr.; Jesse Berecsky, Sr.
Second Base: Rian Rivera, Sr. (.146/.314/.195, 2 2B, 8 R, 5 RBI); Waylon Manoes, Sr.; Donald Antonucci, Fr.
Shortstop: Connor Graf, Sr.; Rian Rivera, Sr.
Third Base: Waylon Manoes, Sr.; Rian Rivera, Sr.
Left Field: Antonio Alejandro, So.; Ryan Comey, So.
Center Field: Andrew Valle, Sr. (.250/.500/.333, 1 2B, 7 R); Antonio Alejandro, So.
Right Field: Ryan Comey, So.; Aiden Flynn (So., OF)
DH: Victory Matay, Jr.; Matt Keelen, Jr.; Jesse Berecsky, Sr.
Waylon Manoes, Sr., RHP
Rian Rivera, Sr., RHP (1-2, 5.67 ERA, 21 IP, 16 H, 35 BB, 28 K)
Andrew Valle, Sr., LHP
Antonio Alejandro, So., LHP
Connor Graf, Sr., RHP
Donald Antonucci, Fr.