2012 Sentinal Preview

Posted by Glenn Fredricks on Mar 28 2012 at 05:00PM PDT
Last season was supposed to be when the Spotswood High School baseball team capitalized on the experience of winning the Central Jersey Group II title. After all, the majority of that team returned and the Chargers appeared to be genuine threats to repeat and perhaps go further in the state tournament.

Then disaster struck as ace Chris Stout broke his hand in week two andwas lost for the majority of the season. Even when he returned in May, Stout had lingering effects from the mishap. Stout’s injury was compounded by a string of one-run losses, which continued in the Greater Middlesex Conference and state tournaments with singlerun losses to Edison and Middlesex, respectively.

Veteran coach Glenn Fredricks is hoping the misfortune that plagued 2011’s teamis but a memory as it prepares for what he believes will be a better year.

“We have reason to be optimistic,” said Fredricks. “We return five players who were regulars for the sectional champions two years ago. Their experience will go far, and the factwe replace only one starter from last year should be a plus.”

Still, Spotswood will have to improve on the mound and in the field, where the team was plagued by defensive lapses. Stout is back for his senior year, and if he can return to the form that made him one of the most promising sophomores in the conference, the Chargers will receive a major boost. He is joined by senior Anthony Berg, who also enters his fourth year as a starter. Junior Joe Adinolfi will add to the pitching depth and has looked solid in preseason.

The left side of the field features two other four-year starters, Dean Vitale at third and Stockton-bound Matt Mangarella at shortstop. Both players will serve as Captains this season.  Senior left fielder Ron Santana is back after starting the two previous seasons. Junior Corey Brown returns to center field, which has been his position since he was a freshman.

On the right side, there is competition for many positions. Junior Corey Weeks and cleanup hitter Alex Christian provide flexibility, offensively and defensively, and will likely end up at either second, first or in right field. The supporting cast is led by a bevy of sophomores, including Jack Dalrymple, who played in 23 games last year, mostly as a designated hitter, and takes over behind the plate for graduated Shawn Weeks, who has moved on to

FloridaAtlantic. Matt Dwyer, Tom

Haggerty, C.J. O’Connor and Jeremy Corrente will compete for innings with Christian at second, and Kevin Fox will challenge for time at either corner outfield spot. “Our goals never change from year to year,” said Fredricks. “The way we go about reaching them may seem different than in the past, but we still strive to win with aggressive base-running and a ton of National League-style offense. We also have to help our pitching staff limit the opponents to 21 outs a game.”

Joining the team this spring is Mike Korneski, who will serve as pitching coach. Korneski is a former pitcher at Fairfield, who also graduated and coached at Edison, where he led the Eagles to the 2001 GMC title. Former Charger Travis Retzlaff will handle the junior varsity.

The Chargers open the season April 2 at South Amboy and return home to host the Guvs the following day. Spotswood is on the road on April 10 for a pair of games at J.F. Kennedy and Metuchen. The Chargers return home April 14 for the second game with the Bulldogs.


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