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Although Ocean looks considerably different from the team that reached the Monmouth County Tournament championship game in 2019, the Spartans still have two of the sophomore starters from that team heading into this spring as senior leaders on the 2021 squad.

Senior Nick Callano is a two-way standout who was Ocean’s No. 3 pitcher as a sophomore and a top-of-the-order centerfielder with the requisite speed to fit the profile. Classmate Kevin Novobilsky, meanwhile, was the 2019 team’s starting third baseman and was all set to make the move to shortstop last season before the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a halt.

Ocean senior Kevin Novobilsky. (Photo by Steve Meyer)

Senior catcher Nick Vaughn and senior left-hander Lucky Perrotto were also key contributors in 2019, with Vaughn handling the catching duties when starter Max Winters – now at William & Mary – pitched and Perrotto getting key outs out of the Spartans bullpen. Both will be full-time contributors this year, with Vaughn hitting in the heart of the order and Perrotto joining Callano at the top of the rotation.

Junior first baseman and sophomore outfielder George Krenkel will be impact newcomers to the starting lineup, with Krenkel coming off a summer in which he started for Ocean’s Last Dance Tournament team as, essentially, a freshman.

Jack Zabarsky and Harry Greenspan will be key juniors and seniors Riley Morrow, Dylan Stewart and Dean Flannigan all figure to make an impact as starters somewhere around the diamond. Morrow is also a pitcher who will join juniors Rich Alderiso, Will Calderone and Shane Flanagan as right-handers to fortify the staff behind Callano and Perrotto.

There is not an ace the caliber of Shane Panzini at Red Bank Catholic and Rumson-Fair Haven has a lot more returning talent, but Ocean has a nice mix of top players, experienced depth and a winning tradition that make the Spartans dangerous in this A Central field.

Ocean at a Glance

Head Coach: Cip Apicelli, 11th season
Key Losses: Kevin Schoenberger (RHP), Kevin D’Auria (OF), Cole Kelly (1B), Brian Yatcilla (2B), Mark Schell (LHP), Jack Fisher (OF), Nick Schneider (OF), Sam Prud'homme (INF/P), Alejandro Villaraga (INF/P)

Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)

Catcher: Nick Vaughn, Sr.

First Base: Cord Birzin, Jr.

Second Base: Jack Zabarsky, Jr.; Dean Flannigan, Sr.

Shortstop: Kevin Novobilsky, Sr. (.273/.449/.288, 1 2B, 11 R, 14 RBI)

Third Base: Riley Morrow, Sr.

Leftfield: Dylan Stewart, Sr.; Harry Greenspan, Jr.; Dean Flannigan, Sr.

Centerfield: Nick Callano, Sr. (.290/.364/.362, 3 2B, 1 3B, 12 R, 5 RBI, 10 SB); Dylan Stewart, Sr.

Rightfield: George Krenkel, So.; Dylan Stewart, Sr.; Harry Greenspan, Jr.; Dean Flannigan, Sr.

DH: Dean Flannigan, Sr.; Zach Robinson (Jr., 1B/3B)

Other Key Hitters

Dillon Downs (Sr., C/1B)

Shane Garrett (So., 1B)

Colin Latzsch (Sr., SS/OF)

Grady Stefankiewicz (Jr., 2B)

Steven Gambino (Sr., 3B)

Aaron Tretsky (Jr., OF)

Pitching Staff

Nick Callano, Sr., RHP (4-1, 3.14 ERA, 29 IP, 34 H, 10 BB, 30 K)

Lucky Perrotto, Sr., LHP

Rich Alderiso, Jr., RHP

Riley Morrow, Sr., RHP

Will Calderone, Jr., RHP

Shane Flanagan, Jr., RHP

Shane Garrett, So., RHP

Collin Latzsch, Sr., RHP

Zach Robinson, Jr., RHP

Ayden Miles, Jr., RHP

George Krenkel, So., RHP

Jack Giglio, Jr., RHP

Matt King, So., RHP

Ryan Boeckman, So., RHP

 

College Commitments

Nick Callano – Salve Regina University

Lucky Perrotto – Catholic University

Kevin Novobilsky – Stockton University