Baseball – 2021 Shore Conference Preview: Rumson-Fair Haven
While most of the programs in the state enter the 2021 season anxious to see what rosters full of first-time varsity players can do, Rumson-Fair Haven is a unique position. The Bulldogs have a slew of players with varsity experience, but are lacking experience at one very important position: head coach. Owen Stewart will finally manage his first game this spring and it will be with a roster that has both talent and seasoning.
Shortstop Andrew Schmid headlines Rumson’s proven lineup after all-division-caliber seasons as both a freshman and a sophomore. Centerfielder Thomas Elgrim is another senior all-division player in the middle of the diamond and he will be flanked by two more quality athletes and hitters in junior Brian Doherty and senior Dylan Sakele.
Doherty play more outfield this season, opening up third base for junior Charlie Tallman, who played some second base as a freshman. Across the diamond, junior Matt Rigby is a big bat at first base. Liam Murphy and Reece Moroney are the candidates for the second base job and the winner of the position battle will likely be one of only two first-time starters in the opening-day lineup.
The Bulldogs have a one-two punch of experience and young talent at catcher, with senior Hank Hyduke the returning starter and sophomore Owen Kenney one of the Shore’s top underclass backstops. Both are starting caliber players who could start at other positions – a good problem for Stewart to have in his first year.
There is enough talent on hand to allow the junior one-two punch of right-hander Charlie Jones and left-hander Mike Amendola to focus on pitching. Amendola had an impressive freshman season and Jones has honed his craft since pitching to mixed results as a freshman with promising stuff. Sophomores Jackson Hinchcliffe and John Goodes will be contributors and Sakele is a good mound option as well, with the junior duo setting the tone at the top of the rotation.
Rumson-Fair Haven at a Glance
Head Coach: Owen Stewart, first season
Key Losses: Kevin Shanes (LHP/OF)
Around the Diamond (Returning 2019 starters in bold with available stats)
Catcher: Hank Hyduke, Sr., Owen Kenney, So.
First Base: Matt Rigby, Jr. (.339/.439/.393, 3 2B, 9 R, 7 RBI)
Second Base: Liam Murphy, Jr.; Reece Moroney, So.
Shortstop: Andrew Schmid, Sr. (.323/.392/.462, 3 2B, 2 HR, 15 R, 15 RBI, 8 SB)
Third Base: Charlie Tallman, Jr.
Leftfield: Brian Doherty, Jr. (.296/.441/.352, 3 2B, 10 R, 4 RBI)
Centerfield: Thomas Elgrim, Sr. (.313/.371/.500, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 R, 14 RBI)
Rightfield: Dylan Sakele, Sr.
DH: Jonathan Bruno (Jr., OF)
Other Key Hitters
Jack Bennedetto (Sr., OF)
Dylan Herman (Sr., OF)
Mason Muscarello (Sr., OF)
Shane Schecter (Sr., 1B)
Nico Calabretta (Jr., INF)
Andrew Ferjentsik (Jr., OF/INF)
Owen Sullivan (Jr., C/INF)
Charlie Jones, Jr., RHP
Michael Amendola, Jr., LHP (3-2, 2.56 ERA, 27.1 IP, 21 H, 12 BB, 16 K)
Jackson Hinchliffe, So., RHP
John Goodes, So., RHP
Dylan Sakele, Jr., RHP
Nick Ferrara, Sr., RHP
Brian Doherty, Jr., RHP
Charlie Tallman, Jr., RHP
Tucker Reinhard, Sr., RHP
Mason Muscarello, Sr., RHP
Andrew Schmid – Monmouth University
Thomas Elgrim – Stockton University
Dylan Sakele – Stockton University
Charlie Jones – William & Mary