Baseball – 2021 Shore Conference Preview: Matawan
While Matawan has been a competitive team over the past decade, the Huskies haven’t had many opportunities to win big, which is why losing the 2020 season was so crushing. Matawan had proven senior talent at all four positions in the middle of the diamond and will now have to figure out how to replace that while soldiering on in 2021.
The one thing Matawan did not lose much of is perhaps the most important thing a team can bring back: pitching. Senior left-hander Tim Egan was the only experienced starter coming back in 2020, but classmates Mike Caldon and Eli Gries-Smith showed with their performances during the Last Dance World Series in July that the Huskies would have had a junior trio on the mound that could have complemented the position-player talent.
The three pitchers will all be important bats in the lineup as well, with Egan playing first base, Caldon at third and Gries-Smith in the outfield. Gries-Smith could wind up Matawan’s top hitter this season – part of a solid outfield that also includes seniors Dom Salot and Luke Elliot. That fits with most of Matawan’s lineup, which will also have a senior at second base (Tyler Bull or T.J. Gaboff) and seniors and juniors in the mix for designated hitter.
The youth on the roster could be at catcher and shortstop. Junior Jack Lacovara is projected catcher with sophomore Joey Bodin pushing for time, while freshman Brandon Falco looks to take over as the starting shortstop right away. For as disheartening as losing 2020 was, it is an encouraging mix of experience and young talent that could keep Matawan in the hunt for everything the Huskies hoped to chase in 2020.
Matawan at a Glance
Head Coach: Bobby Carnovsky, eighth season
Key Losses: Jay Kalieta (CF), Griffin Falco (C), Ben Porricelli (SS), Christian Rivera (2B), Nick Trapani (INF), Matt Silva (OF), Ryan Anderson (1B), R.J. Clifton (P), John Beukers (RHP), Carlos Zeno (RHP), Luke Elliot (OF/P),
Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)
Catcher: Jack Lacovara, Jr.; Joey Bodin, So.
First Base: Tim Egan, Sr.; Mike Caldon, Sr.
Second Base: Tyler Bull, Sr.; T.J. Gaboff, Sr.
Shortstop: Brandon Falco, Fr.; Jake Brigandi, Jr.
Third Base: Mike Caldon, Sr.; Jake Brigandi, Jr.
Leftfield: Eli Gries-Smith, Sr.
Centerfield: Luke Elliot, Sr.
Rightfield: Dom Salot, Sr.; Mike DiPrisco, Sr.
DH: Joe Reinhold (Jr., 1B); Robby Cortopassi, Sr.
Other Key Hitters
Aidan Holman (Sr., OF)
Tim Egan, Sr., LHP (2-3, 2.51 ERA, 39 IP, 34 H, 14 BB, 34 K)
Mike Caldon, Sr., RHP
Eli Gries-Smith, Sr., RHP
Chris Walowitz, Sr., RHP
Brandon Falco, Fr., RHP
Luke Elliot, Sr., RHP
Jake Brigandi, Jr., RHP
Aidan Holeman, Sr., RHP
Tim Egan – University of New Haven
Dom Salot – Centenary University