Baseball – 2021 Shore Conference Preview: Point Beach
The 2019 ended with such promise for Point Pleasant Beach’s baseball team, which reached the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship game and gave favored Middlesex a battle in a tough, season-ending loss. Without any seniors playing a major role and just one junior figuring prominently into the championship run, the Garnet Gulls had the makings of a team with two more deep postseason runs in them.
Heading into 2021, with the 2020 already wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, Point Beach is hoping to rekindle that magic at some point in 2021. The team is already facing a program shutdown until April 29 and will now have to deal with a revamped, pitching-loaded Ranney team that has gone from scrappy young upstart in 2019 to a bubbling volcano of a program.
Those challenges aside, Point Beach has all the ingredients to put together a strong season and make another memorable postseason run once it gets rolling. The pitching staff will be plenty deep, with returning starters Matt VanBrunt and Andrew Banick leading the way and junior left-hander Owen West joining the rotation after missing his freshman year due to injury and losing last year to the pandemic. Junior Phil Trebour threw 21 2/3 innings of relief as a freshman as well and is once again in line to close games.
Trebour is also the starting shortstop, infield leader and top-of-the-order threat for the Point Beach lineup. VanBrunt will play second base when he is not on the mound and junior Colin Matuschat will return to third base after winning the job as a freshman. Point Beach’s top returning hitter, meanwhile, is back at first base, with Alec Glen looking to follow up a 27-RBI sophomore campaign in which he also hit .473.
Speedy centerfielder Hunter Alia is the lone returning outfielder, but Banick has some experience out there and fellow juniors Hunter Roselli and Braden Ryan are ready to step in.
Getting rolling after the shutdown and keeping up with Ranney’s talented young squad won’t be easy, but Point Beach has the experience to tackle a lot of on-field obstacles in 2021. If the off-field issues remain limited to the early shutdown, the Garnet Gulls will be fired up for their series with Ranney on May 3 and 5 and should round into form in time to be a threat in the Group I playoffs.
Point Beach at a Glance
Head Coach: Angelo Fiore, seventh season
Key Losses: Will Baranello (LHP/OF), Aiden Conway (OF), Jeff Wall (OF/RHP)
Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)
Catcher: David Terra-Nova, Sr. (.318/.423/.485, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 R, 13 RBI)
First Base: Alec Glen, Sr. (.473/.518/.581, 6 2B, 1 3B, 12 R, 27 RBI)
Second Base: Matt VanBrunt, Sr. (.250/.311/.279, 2 2B, 8 R, 16 RBI)
Shortstop: Phil Trebour, Jr. (.290/.432/.377, 2 2B, 2 3B, 18 R, 14 RBI, 10 SB)
Third Base: Colin Matuschat, Jr. (.167/.431/.271, 5 2B, 9 R, 10 RBI)
Left Field: Andrew Banick, Jr.
Center Field: Hunter Alia, Sr. (.313/.409/.313, 22 R, 8 RBI, 15 SB)
Right Field: Hunter Roselli, Jr.; Braden Ryan, Jr.
DH: Owen West, Jr.
Other Key Hitters
Connor DeLorenzo (Jr., 2B/SS/OF)
Cliff Smith (Jr., C)
Nate Clayton (Fr., C)
Colin Reinhard (So., INF)
Matt VanBrunt, Sr., RHP (3-2, 2.24 ERA, 25 IP, 28 H, 10 BB, 15 K)
Andrew Banick, Jr., RHP (3-2, 4.10 ERA, 29 IP, 34 H, 10 BB, 15 K)
Owen West, Jr., LHP
Phil Trebour, Jr., RHP (0-0, 2.58 ERA, 21.2 IP, 14 H, 13 BB, 18 K)
Guiseppe Taurozzi, Jr., RHP
Jackson Killian, So., RHP
Colin Matuschat, Jr., RHP
Nate Van Norman, So., RHP
James Larsen, So., RHP
Colin Reinhard, So., RHP
Steven Hrisafinis, Sr., LHP
Matt VanBrunt – McDaniel College
David Terra-Nova – Methodist University