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CHARGERS TAKE OPENER AT EDISON BEHIND STOUT, 4-3
BY GREG TUFARO, HOME NEWS TRIBUNE
EDISON — Sophomore left-hander Chris Stout is one of several underclassmen on the Spotswood High School staff who gained invaluable experience pitching against some of the state's best teams last spring.
"The numbers mean nothing," said Spotswood coach Glenn Fredricks, whose staff consists of all sophomores except for one senior and one freshman.
"It's the final result, and for those kids to get out there and get roughed up last year is going to pay dividends for this year and the next two years."
Stout proved his 6.07 ERA of a year ago was not portentous with a complete-game, seven-hitter in 10th-ranked Spotswood's 4-3 victory Saturday over ninth-ranked Edison in a battle of Home News Tribune Top 10 teams.
The Eagles (1-1), projected as a light-hitting club, were coming off a 10-3 upset of fifth-ranked South Brunswick and ace Mike Muha.
Stout worked six innings and earned a no-decision in Spotswood's 3-2 win over Edison a year ago. That game was Stout's best outing of 2009 when opponents batted .344 against him, registering 21 hits (five for extra bases), 17 runs and 10 walks with no strikeouts in 17 innings.
Mixing a fastball with a curve that devastated Edison's lefty hitters Saturday, Stout struck out seven and induced six ground ball outs.
Spotswood shortstop Cody Pace ignited a three-run rally in the visitors' first with a leadoff triple. John Relay and Shawn Weeks had run-scoring groundouts, while Dean Vitale capped the outburst with an RBI single.
Edison starter Vinny Belfiore settled down, surrendering just one run on two hits over the next three innings.
After Edison closed the gap to 3-1 in the third on Nate Fabretti's two-out RBI single to left, Spotswood (1-0) pushed across a paramount insurance run in the next inning.
An intentional walk to Pace with two away and first base open loaded the bases for Matt Mangarella, who walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home a run that gave the Chargers a 4-1 lead.
Reliever Mike Damato, who hurled three scoreless innings, kept it close for Edison, which chipped away at the deficit. The Eagles closed to 4-2 in the fifth when Rob Borwegan drew a two-out walk and scored on Kyle Paganelli's double.
Edison tacked on its final run in the sixth with the first three batters first-ball hitting. Nick Chicarilla and Bryan Duran had consecutive singles before Andrew Sporer belted a sacrifice fly to center.
Paganelli (3-for-4), representing the tying run, was left stranded at first following a two-out single in the home seventh.
Coach: Scott Runkel, 27th season (348-207).
Last year: 18-2, 10-0 Blue (first).
Returning players: Dario Santangelo (Sr., 2B/OF/P), Joe Post (Sr., SS/P), Nick McConnell (Sr., C).
Newcomers: Chris Godowski (Sr., 1B/P), Kyle Harsh (Sr., OF/C), Rob Meade (Sr., OF), Keith McGrath (Sr., P), Dean Zonkowski (Sr., INF), Brian Bobal (Jr., 3B/P), Ryan Hagerty (Jr., OF), Christian Ludwig (Jr., OF), Dom Mangarello (Jr., C/3B), Rob Pepe (Jr., 2B), Tyler Rossiter (Jr., P), Cody Ster (Jr., 3B/OF), Pat Widdoss (Jr., 1B), Tim Hagerty (So., OF), Dan Labella (So., INF/OF).
Outlook: No GMC team might have been hit harder by graduation. The Trojans lost eight players who appeared in at least 17 games and combined for 113 hits. Santangelo (8-2, 2.00 ERA), headed to East Carolina University on a partial baseball scholarship, struck out 64 batters in 49 innings. The Blue Division Player of the Year, Santangelo also batted .377 with 26 RBIs and nine extra-base hits. Post (.427) led the team in hits (29), runs scored (32) and had 12 extra-base hits from the leadoff spot including four homers. McConnell, who batted .325 with 16 RBIs as a designated hitter, moves to catcher. Post will compete for the No. 2 spot in the rotation with Rossiter, the top the top pitcher on the junior varsity last spring. The Trojans will be in every game Santangelo pitches but will need more depth on the mound to repeat as division champs. Mangarello, a transfer from Immaculata, will make an impact once he becomes eligible May 1.
Coach: Rich McGlynn, fourth season (26-60).
Last year: 4-15, 0-10 Blue (sixth).
Returning players: Mike Ryan (Sr., 1B/P), Jason Potts (So., 1B/2B), Patrick Ambrosio (So., C), Nick Bay (So., 2B/3B), Louis Middleton (Sr., CF), Amir Mohammed (Jr., 3B/P).
Newcomers: Angelo Odato (Fr., SS), Quatray Nesmith (Fr., OF), James Webb (Fr., OF/P), Gavi Riechman (So., OF), Anthony Lanni (So., P).
Outlook: Despite returning six letterwinners, the Owls are young with just two seniors on the roster. One of them, Ryan, a four-year starter, led the club with a .338 batting average in 2009. Potts (.351), Middleton (.287) and Mohammed (.263) are the other top returning hitters. With six sophomores and three promising freshmen, the future, according to McGlynn, looks bright.
Coach: Sean Economou, ninth season.
Last year: 13-14, 6-4 Blue (third).
Returning players: James Warren (Sr., 3B/P), Kevin Gazzale (Sr., 2B/3B/OF), Scott Walters (Sr., OF/P), Zach Shampain (Jr., OF/C), Dom Parrinello (Jr., OF/P), Anthony Tagliaboschi (Jr., P), Anthony Feltre (So., SS).
Newcomers: Ben Capriotti (Sr., OF), Matt Walters (Jr., INF), Ryan Salmon (Jr., 1B), Jake Freed (Jr., 2B), Timmy Redshaw (So., C), Jonathan Petrakakos (So., 2B/3B), Stephen Fortuna (So., P), Mike Hronich (Fr., C).
Outlook: This could be considered somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Bulldogs, who graduated eight seniors including No. 1 pitcher Chris Mosca (7-3, 1.54) and six defensive starters. Of the seven returning players, only Warren and Feltre played all of last season with the varsity. Warren (.367), who has been a three-sport starter (football, basketball and baseball) the past two years, had a solid junior season. He will pitch, play the corner infield spots and some outfield. Feltre (.403, 15 RBIs, 23 runs) had an outstanding freshman season, leading Metuchen in almost every offensive category. Feltre will start again at shortstop and could see some time at second base, but only after taking the mound (if Economou decides to use him as a pitcher). Only two other returners had more than 10 at-bats last season. Shampain (.261), who was brought up to the varsity after the first few weeks of last season, saw time as a DH and outfielder. Parrinello (.400), who was brought up to the varsity for the last few weeks, saw time in the outfield.
Coach: Mike O'Donnell, fourth season (38-34).
Last year: 12-12, 4-6 Blue (fourth).
Returning players: Mike Passanante (Jr., CF), Jordan Carter (Sr., LF), Kevin Olah (Sr., SS), Steve Hegge (Sr., C/P), Adam Wells (Sr., C/P), Devin Sarao (Jr., P/1B), Ray Lang (Jr., 3B/P).
Newcomers: Pete Chatzopolous (Sr., P), Connor Gleeson (Sr., P), Chris Winkleman (Jr., 2B), Tyler Piazzola (Jr., C), Chris Petiya (So., 1B), Kyle Dotey (Fr., C/P), Tommy Marcinczyk (Fr., OF/P).
Outlook: The Blue Jays, who had an unsightly 5.52 team ERA, graduated most of their pitchers including ace C.J. Myers. Wells, Lang and Hegge combined to hurl nine innings a year ago. Sarao (1-2, 6.20 ERA) is the lone returner with significant varsity experience (14 innings). Offense — the Blue Jays batted .323 as a team — kept Middlesex in games. Three key weapons — Mike Perrone (.375), Pete Donhauser (.333) and Blaze Iannetti (.320) — are gone. Carter, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Palm Beach Atlantic, where MLB Hall of Famer Gary Carter is the head coach, returns his .432 average. He led the club with five homers and 30 RBI. Olah (.424, 24 RBIs, 2 HR) and Passanante (.338, 14 RBIs, 23 runs) are also excellent hitters. If the young pitching matures quickly, Middlesex could be dangerous.
Coach: Michael Lepore Jr., 13th season (114-159).
Last year: 11-11, 3-7 Blue (fifth).
Returning players: Maxx Johnson (Sr., INF), Matt Kosko (Sr., C), Ed Tompkins (Sr., SS), David Rondesko (Jr., INF/P), Dylan Griebell (Jr., 2B), Nick Boyler (Jr., 1B/P), Tim Huff (Jr., INF/OF), Craig Huff (Jr., CF).
Newcomers: Dylan Hayes (So., INF/P), Brennan Mahoney (Jr., INF), James Vacchio (Jr., OF/P), Keith Szkodny (Sr., OF), Gary Clemente (So., OF), Richie Gomez (So., OF).
Outlook: The Rams finished strong last season, winning eight of their last 10 games. With eight position players returning, expect South River to battle for third place in the division and possibly upset front-runners Spotswood and Bishop Ahr. Whenever Rondesko takes the mound, the Rams are tough to beat. Johnson (.358, 18 RBIs, 28 runs) is among the division's top hitters, along with Rondesko (.449, 24 RBIs, 26 runs) and Huff (.328). Tompkins, Boyler and Kosko all batted .250 last spring. Griebell is one of the division's most improved players.
Coach: Glenn Fredricks, sixth season (89-40).
Last year: 12-13, 8-2 Blue (second).
Returning players: Cody Pace (Sr., SS/P), Mike Liming (Sr., OF), John Relay (Sr., OF), Shawn Weeks (Jr., C), Matt Mangarella (So., 2B), Dean Vitale (So., 3B), Jeff Coy (Sr., P), Ken Langfeld (Jr., P), Anthony Berg (So., P), Chris Stout (So., P).
Newcomers: Anthony Pietanza (Sr., 1B), Joe Cappa (Sr., OF), Miles Firestine (Sr., OF), Peter Mehr (Jr., OF), Ron Santana (So., OF/C).
Outlook: Spotswood is looking to rebound from its first losing season since 1993. The Chargers return all but two starters from a squad which saw four freshmen receive significant playing time. Pace (.377, 20 RBIs, 30 runs) served as the closer a year ago but is now its No. 1 starter. He is nine hits shy of 100 for his career. Weeks (.264, 13 RBIs) is a three-year starter behind the plate. Pietanza will compete to fill the lone hole in the infield. Stout and Berg were impressive on the hill last year despite their combined 1-3 record. The bats of outfielder Joe Petosa (.355, 21 RBIs, 28 runs) and first baseman Bryan Smith (.316, 31 RBIs, 9 HR) will be missed. A brutal nonconference schedule including Hunterdon Central, Immaculata and North Hunterdon will prepare the Chargers well for division play.
Spotswood baseball team anxious to put ’09 season behind them
BY JIMMY ALLINDER Correspondent
Perhaps it was the law of averages. Maybe you can blame it on youth. Whatever the reason, the Spotswood High School baseball team finished 12-13 last year, the first time since 1993 the Chargers did not win more games than they lost. Coach Glenn Fredricks, entering his sixth season at the helm, will tell you the season left such a bad taste in the collective mouths of his players, those who return are committed to achieving a winning record. Before looking at whether or not this can be accomplished, let’s analyze why Spotswood suffered through such a challenging 2009. Thirteen opponents were of the Group IV variety. Other out of conference games included bouts with traditional powers, Immaculata and Hunterdon Central. The Chargers, lest anyone forget, are a Group II team and compete in the GMC Blue Division.
“We’re challenging ourselves to not let it happen again,” Fredricks said about the record, as his team plays through its preseason scrimmage schedule. “Once our chemistry develops, I think we’ll be good. First goal, as always, is to win the GMC Blue.”
A positive for Spotswood is the remnant from the 2007 State Group II and GMC Tournament championship team, all-conference shortstop Cody Pace. Pace is a co-captain and one of the premier players in the state. He, along with junior catcher, Shawn Weeks, provides important leadership for what otherwise is a young lineup with two sophomores in the starting pitching rotation, and two others in the infield. But those sophomores are experienced.
Chris Stout is a 6-4 lefty whose stature on the mound belies his youth. As a freshman, Stout was involved in close games against quality teams, including two one-run decisions. While Fredricks will not label Stout as his number one hurler, he will get plenty of starts. The other sophomore is Anthony Berg, a righty who made eleven appearances as a freshman. Fredricks expects Berg to be improved due to his experience. Senior Jeff Coy returns with the best mound statistics, a 3-1 record and 1.98 earned run average. But the wild card on the staff could turn out to be Pace, who led the conference in saves (six) last year. “He may start games out of necessity,” said Fredricks. “One of the keys to winning is putting the best arms out there. If we determine Cody has that ability to start, that’s what we’ll do.”
Fredricks admits a liability last season was his pitching staff. “The team ERA was 4.51 and teams had an on-base percentage of around .400,” Fredricks said. “We agreed those statistics were just too high. Everybody feels accountable and wants to get those numbers down.”
With Weeks, who quarterbacks the football team, behind the plate, Spotswood starts one of the top backstops in the conference. Described as one of the most coachable players on the team, Weeks wields a solid bat and is defensively sound. The infield and outfield only need to replace two starters so the Chargers appear set. One of those graduated, however, was first baseman, Brian Smith, who hit nine home runs. So far, Stout and Anthony Piepanza have been dividing time at the position. At second, Matt Mangarella, a sophomore, started last season as a freshman and hit a credible .300. Also back is another sophomore, Dean Vitale. Pace returns from hitting .377 and is 9 hits shy of 100 for a career, a mark he should reach this year.
In the outfield, senior Mike Liming moves from leftfield to center. He is flanked by John Relay, a junior, in right field and either Corey Brown, a freshman, or Joe Cappa, a senior, in left field. Fredricks says a few more are in the mix to play the outfield but final decisions have not been made. “What we went through last year will remind us we have to get back to the basics,” said Fredricks. “However, it will be just as challenging a schedule. “We play Immaculata and Hunterdon Central again, and have games against North Hunterdon, Roselle Park and New Providence,” he added. “So we have our work cut out. It’s up the team to respond.”
CODY PACE #2^^ (SR)
SHAWN WEEKS #34 (JR)
CHARGER BASEBALL ALL DECADE TEAM
LET THE DEBATE BEGIN! AS THE DECADE OF THE 2000s CAME TO A CLOSE, THE SEARCH FOR THE SHS ALL DECADE TEAM BEGAN. THE NOMINATIONS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN, SO CONTACT COACH FREDRICKS AT firstname.lastname@example.org AND VOTE HERE ONCE ALL NOMINATIONS HAVE CLOSED AT THE END OF THIS MONTH.
THE TEAM WILL BE SELECTED AS FOLLOWS:
1b, 2b, 3b, SS, C, DH, UT, OF, OF, OF, P, P, P, P
BASED ON THE NOMINATIONS THAT COME IN, A VOTE WILL DETERMINE WHO THE PLAYER OF THE DECADE IS FOR EACH POSITION.
FOR A DECADE THAT SAW MANY GREAT PLAYERS GO TO COLLEGE AT ALL LEVELS, THIS IS A WAY TO RECOGNIZE THOSE FOR THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT SHS FROM 2000-2009.
THANKS IN ADVANCE TO ALL PLAYERS AND FANS WHO'VE CONTRIBUTED TO 5 DIVISION TITLES, 1 MIDDLESEX COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP, 1 CENTRAL JERSEY CHAMPIONSHIP AND A NEW JERSEY STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, THE NEXT DECADE WILL BE AS GREAT AS THE LAST.
NOMINATIONS THUS FAR:
1B: SCOTT DYCKMAN (05), CJ MOONEY (08), DOUG RADER (00)
2B: MIKEY HOHMAN (07),
SS: COLIN FENEIS (03)
3B: JOHN MICHAEL BERNER (07), BRUCE MCPHERSON (02), CHRIS SHANAHAN (03)
C: KEVIN BROWN (02), ANTHONY ADDONE (07), GENE SCHEICHER (04)
OF: GREG SLAVICEK (03), JOE CATENACCI (01), JAMES CORBETT (04), BRIAN DZURO (05), STEVE ABBOTT (05), JOE PETOSA (09), PHIL SPINA (07), PETE FORTE (02)
P: WILL BEARD (07), HOHMAN, STEVE CURRY (05), FENEIS, SLAVICEK, CATENACCI, RADER, ERIC HINES (04), SHANAHAN
PLEASE KEEP THE NOMINATIONS COMING IN, AS THIS LIST WILL BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY THROUGH JANUARY 31. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP IN RECOGNIZING OUR PROGRAM'S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYERS AND THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT SHS!