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CYANMAGENTAYELLOWBLACK

The Daily Journal

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SPORTS

Friday, March 27, 2009 – C3

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Josh O’Neill
Millville
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: Talented hurler on team loaded with quality arms.

Veteran players leading the charge for strong local teams
ability of Miles and Dave Silipino (Jr, LF), and expects increased roles for Luke Root (Jr, 3B/IF) and Sawyer Brown (So, 2B/P). Ryan A look at the baseball Farabella (Sr, P/OF), the lefty who landscape in the greater won last year’s South Jersey title game, hopes to grow into the ace Cumberland County area: role vacated by Mike Ney. PREDICTION: Every year, the VINELAND Chiefs lose a piece that seems irreplaceable, and every year, they COACH: Tim Jess fill the void. (3rd season, 26-20) CONFERENCE: Cape-Atlantic League American Conference SACRED HEART GROUP: IV South LAST YEAR: 14-10, playoff quali- COACH: John Triantos (4th season, 76-15) fier CONFERENCE: CAL National RETURNING STARTERS: 4 KEY PLAYERS: Anthony Parker GROUP: Non-Public B South (Sr, SS), Joel Rodriguez (Sr, 3B), LAST YEAR: 25-3, playoff qualifier RETURNING STARTERS: 3 David King (Sr, 1B) TOP NEWCOMER: Bobby KEY PLAYERS: Juan Velazquez (Sr, C), Carlos Sepulveda (Sr, 2B), Romano (So, CF) OUTLOOK: The power hitters in Chet Godfrey (So, P/3B) the middle of the order should be TOP NEWCOMER: Chris Bell (So, able to hit with anybody. Parker, 1B) Rodriguez and King will compile OUTLOOK: Shades of the 2006 plenty of home runs and runs bat- season, the Lions will be young ted in, provided the top of the and talented. Unlike that year, order gets on base and the bottom however, Sacred Heart will not be of the order gives pitchers any able to sneak up on anyone, after reason to risk pitching to the meat winning the Diamond Classic and spending a portion of last season of the order. Southpaw Santos Cintron (Jr, P) ranked No. 1 in South Jersey. carries a heavy load on a team Velazquez is back behind the lacking in proven arms. Whoever plate, hoping to culminate a proud among Victor Serrano (Sr, P), four-year career with an allLuis Gomez (Sr, LF/P) and Nick around senior season. He and Conto (Jr, P/IF) consistently Sepulveda are impact seniors. throws strikes to Nick Montana Keep an eye on Isaac Gonzalez (Jr, C) will see more time on the (Jr, RF), Jacob Mercado (Jr, LF) and Al Etter (Jr, CF). mound. Parker, Romano and O.J. Arbona The hope is Holvin Figueroa (Fr, (Jr, 2B) bring speed to a lineup P/3B) develops into a solid No. 2 that lost a lot of base stealers to behind ace Godfrey, who went 5-0 with a 1.13 earned run average as graduation. PREDICTION: The season opens a freshman. Bell, a strong rightwith road games against St. handed swinger, could be a name Augustine Prep and Millville, so the locals hear a lot over the next Clan find out right away how good three years. PREDICTION: A repeat of last seathey are. son’s achievements is unlikely, but with the conference in a state of MILLVILLE flux, the Lions can be competitive if they find enough pitching. COACH: Roy Hallenbeck (11th season, 146-101) CONFERENCE: CAL American ST. AUGUSTINE GROUP: IV South COACH: Mike Bylone LAST YEAR: 16-7, reached (2nd season, 17-7) sectional quarterfinals CONFERENCE: CAL American RETURNING STARTERS: 6 KEY PLAYERS: Mike Trout (Sr, GROUP: Non-Public A South OF/P), Efren Fernandez (Sr, 3B), LAST YEAR: 17-7, playoff qualifier RETURNING STARTERS: 3 Jon McMahon (Sr, OF/1B/P) TOP NEWCOMER: Ismael Colon KEY PLAYERS: Brent Reale (Sr, P), Nick D’Ottavio (Sr, C), Steve (So, IF) OUTLOOK: Having Trout is nice, Schrenk (Sr, RF) but with or without the highly TOP NEWCOMERS: Cory Dick regarded center fielder, the Thun- (So, P/1B), Kevin Baxter (Fr, P/OF) derbolts would be among the best OUTLOOK: Line-drive hitters and teams in the CAL and Group IV fleet baserunners could replace the power-hitting batters of recent South. Righty Josh O’Neill (Sr, P), Trout, Hermits’ teams. McMahon and lefty Harrison With Tony Messina (Sr, SS/P), Moore (Sr, P) round out a pitching Steve Dombrowski (Jr, CF) and staff as deep as any. Add Anthony Matt Draper (Sr, 2B) at the top of Ramos (Sr, P/IF), a transfer from the lineup and Schrenk and Mike Sacred Heart who will be eligible Carmolingo (Jr, 3B) at the heart of May 1, and Millville should field a the order, there appears to be balance throughout the lineup. Jorquality arm every game. Fernandez and McMahon will pro- dan Morey’s (Sr, LF) absence for tect Trout in the lineup, hoping to at least the first month due to a avoid a similar ending to last year, torn labrum in his throwing arm when Cherry Hill East intentionally will put a damper on the amount walked Trout almost every time up of runs, but shouldn’t doom the and ousted the Bolts from the Hermits offensively. playoffs. Daron Moore (So, LF) Reale is the top arm, followed by a and Will Biggs (Sr, C) gave sur- host of candidates. Messina and prising contributions and look to Dom DiPietro (Sr, P/3B) are the only other returning arms, so build as second-year starters. PREDICTION: Depth helps over another pitcher has to emerge the long haul, but in the one-and- from among the underclassmen. done format of the Diamond Clas- PREDICTION: The home run and sic and state tournament, even the RBI numbers might not be as gaudy, but the Hermits will hit, as Bolts could be beatable. usual. Once the pitching gets setHermits must avoid BUENA REGIONAL tled, the lapses at key moments defensive in games. COACH: George West (7th season, 106-59) CONFERENCE: CAL National DELSEA REGIONAL GROUP: II South COACH: Ray Scipione LAST YEAR: 17-9, reached (3rd season, 23-15) state semifinals CONFERENCE: Tri-County RETURNING STARTERS: 7 KEY PLAYERS: Ken Miles (Sr, Conference Royal Division CF), Joe Cifaloglio (Sr, C), Tyler GROUP: III South LAST YEAR: 11-7, playoff qualifier Callahan (Jr, 1B) TOP NEWCOMERS: Brandon RETURNING STARTER: 3 KEY PLAYERS: Alec Mog (Sr, Bakely (Jr, SS) OUTLOOK: All but four members P/SS), Jesse Butch (Sr, CF), return from last year’s South Jer- Jason Flood (Sr, LF) sey championship team, seeming- TOP NEWCOMER: Garrett Craig ly putting the Chiefs in good posi- (Fr, P/IF) tion to contend again. While many OUTLOOK: The big swings that bodies are back, however, the characterized the Crusaders’ first Chiefs need to replace the intangi- two years under Scipione may bles brought by their ace, their take a furlough this season. The leading hitter and a four-year var- lineup probably won’t have a lot of sity infielder, all of whom graduat- power, so pitching and defense may decide Delsea’s fate. ed. West loves the speed and on-base Pitcher management is the main By BEN WATANABE Staff Writer bwatanabe@thedailyjournal.com job of Dom Hilliard (So, C). Mog moves into the ace’s role with Logan Fote (Jr, P/IF), Dave Asroff (So, OF/P), Kyle Clark (Jr, P) and Craig likely to see a few innings. First base and right field are platoon jobs until one guy steps forward. Dan Errig (Jr, 1B/P) and Pat Schaffer (Jr, 1B) will share time at first base and designated hitter, while Tom Kavalchick (So, OF) and Asroff are candidates in right field. PREDICTION: This is not the year to have uncertainty in the Royal Division. All seven teams are playoff contenders, and even a good team could be in over its head quickly.

2009 BASEBALL SCHEDULES
Vineland
APRIL 1 at St. Augustine 4pm 3 at Millville 4pm 6 Mainland 4pm 8 Atlantic City 4pm 9 at Absegami 4pm 15 Hammonton 4pm 17 at Oakcrest 4pm 18 at Hedelt Tournament* TBA 20 Ocean City 4pm 23 Egg Harbor Twp 4pm 24 St. Augustine 4pm 25 at Hedelt Tournament* TBA 27 Millville 4pm 29 at Mainland 4pm MAY 1 at Atlantic City 4pm 4 Absegami 4pm 6 at Egg Harbor Twp 4pm 7 at Hammonton 4pm 11 Oakcrest 4pm 13 at Ocean City 4pm 16 at Sacred Heart 7pm *Al Hedelt Tournament at Oakcrest 6 at Millville 4pm 7 at Atlantic City 4pm 8 at Sacred Heart 7pm 9 at Holy Spirit 7pm 11 at Egg Harbor Twp. 4pm 13 Oakcrest 4pm 14 Atlantic City 4pm 15 Millville 4pm 20 at Ocean City 4pm 22 at Williamstown 4pm *Myrtle Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Delsea Regional
APRIL 3 Williamstown 4pm 6 at Kingsway 4pm 8 Highland 4pm 9 St. Joseph 4pm 14 at Deptford 4pm 16 Cumberland Reg 4pm 17 at GCIT 4pm 23 Salem 4pm 25 Joe Lang Tournament* TBA 29 at Williamstown 4pm 30 Kingsway 4pm MAY 4 at Highland 4pm 5 at Schalick 4pm 8 at Clearview 3:45pm 11 Deptford 4pm 12 at Cumberland Reg 4pm 14 Glassboro 4pm 18 at Gloucester City 4pm 20 Clearview 4pm 22 at Gateway 3:45pm 26 at Wildwood 4pm *Joe Lang Tournament at Pitman

Barry Larro
Cumberland Reg.
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: Base hit machine and mainstay in center field for good Colts team.

Millville
APRIL 1 at Ocean City 4pm 3 Vineland 4pm 4 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 6 Atlantic City 4pm 7 at Cherry Hill East 4pm 8 at Egg Harbor Twp 4pm 11 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 13 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 15 Oakcrest 4pm 17 Absegami 4pm 18 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 20 at Hammonton 4pm 22 at Mainland 4pm 24 Ocean City 4pm 27 at Vineland 4pm 29 at Atlantic City 4pm MAY 1 Egg Harbor Twp 4pm 4 Oakcrest 4pm 6 St. Augustine 4pm 8 Mainland 4pm 11 at Absegami 4pm 12 at West Deptford 7pm 13 Hammonton 4pm 15 at St. Augustine 4pm 19 at Shawnee 4pm 21 at Buena 4pm *Grand Slam Classic at Wash. Twp.

Anthony Parker
Vineland
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: Vineland’s shortstop/CF is an equal threat with bat, legs or glove.

SCHALICK
COACH: Travis LaFerriere (2nd season, 3-17) CONFERENCE: Tri-Co Classic GROUP: II South LAST YEAR: 3-17 RETURNING STARTERS: 5 KEY PLAYERS: Ricky Pauley (Jr, P), Danny Thomas (Jr, CF/P), Tyler Buff (Sr, C) TOP NEWCOMERS: Jordan Haney (Fr, P/OF), R.J. Hollenbeak (Jr, 1B/P) OUTLOOK: Entering preseason practice, the Cougars had plenty of positions open due to graduating nine seniors from the previous year. The openings gave a number of underclassmen chances to show their stuff, and it appears many seized their opportunities. Casey Clement (Sr, P/OF), Joe Farrell (Sr, OF/1B) and Buff are the lone returning seniors. To qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 1996, the Cougars need breakout campaigns by juniors like Thomas, Gianni Parente (Jr, SS/P) and Hollenbeak, who was injured all of last season. PREDICTION: A good mix of experienced players and newcomers give LaFerriere a solid base on which to build.

Cumberland Regional
APRIL 1 at Kingsway 3 Highland 8 Williamstown 13 Salem 14 at Clearview 16 at Delsea 17 Schalick 23 Deptford 25 Baseball Classic Tourn.* 27 Kingsway 29 at Highland 30 Camden MAY 1 Woodrow Wilson 4 at Williamstown 6 at Wildwood 8 at Deptford 11 Clearview 12 at Delsea 18 at Woodstown *Baseball Classic TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Juan Velazquez
Sacred Heart
YEAR: Senior THE SKINNY: “Big Puppy” has improved every year. Now plans to bring it all together.

Sacred Heart
APRIL 2 Lower Cape May 3 at St. Joseph 6 Middle Twp 8 at Cape May Tech 9 at Holy Spirit 11 at Pitman 13-18 Cocoa Beach,Fla.Tourn. 22 Wildwood Catholic 24 at Buena 27 Williamstown MAY 1 St. Joseph 2 at Bridgeton Bridgeton 4 at Middle Twp 6 Cape May Tech 8 St. Augustine 11 Holy Spirit 13 Glassboro 16 Vineland 18 at Wildwood Catholic 20 Buena 22 at Lower Cape May 23 Oakcrest 26 Hammonton 27 at Woodstown 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm 12pm TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm Noon 7pm 4pm 4pm 7pm 4pm 6pm 7pm 4pm 6pm 4pm 6pm 6pm 4pm

Sawyer Brown
Buena Regional
YEAR: Soph. THE SKINNY: Showed flashes of promise for South Jersey champs in freshman year.

Schalick
APRIL 1 at Gloucester City 4pm 3 Clayton 4pm 6 at Pitman 4pm 8 Wildwood 4:30pm 9 at Salem 4pm 16 Penns Grove 4pm 17 at Cumberland Reg 4pm 20 Ptiman 4pm 22 at Pennsville 4pm 24 Gloucester City 4pm 29 at Clayton 4pm MAY 1 Woodstown 6:30pm 5 Delsea 4pm 6 at Glassboro 4pm 8 Salem 4pm 11 GCIT 4pm 13 John Rose Tournament* TBA 14 John Rose Tournament* TBA 15 John Rose Tournament* TBA 16 at Kingsway 11am 18 at Wildwood 4:30pm 20 at Woodstown 4pm *John Rose Tournament at Alden Field

KEY GAMES
■ Vineland vs. Millville; April 3 at Millville, April 27 at Vineland. The Fighting Clan look to knock off the Thunderbolts, who will probably be favored in both meetings this season. ■ Grand Slam Classic — Many of South Jersey’s top teams from 2008 waste no time testing themselves in the new year, taking on some of the best on the opening weekend of the season.Millville and Buena are slated to participate. ■ 35th Annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic — Vineland, Millville and defending champ Sacred Heart aim to earn return invitations to South Jersey’s premier invitational tournament, starting the second weeked in May. ■ Fourth Annual John Rose Memorial Tournament, Alden Field — Salem, Bridgeton, Cumberland Regional and Schalick convene at the Bulldogs’ home field for a round-robin of night games. New additions Buena and Woodstown bring the field to six teams, and may challenge Colts’ three-year stranglehold on title. ■ 24th Annual Carpenter Cup — The area’s best players join the Tri-Cape roster in Philadelphia to take on the top players throughout South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania.

BRIDGETON
COACH: Mike Valella (7th season, 33-102) CONFERENCE: CAL-National GROUP: II South LAST YEAR: 3-22 RETURNING STARTERS: 5 KEY PLAYERS: Manny Cepeda (So, P/SS), Aaron Nichols (Sr, CF), Tyler Haydak (So, C/IF/P) TOP NEWCOMER: Robert Scarlato (So, P/IF) OUTLOOK: Wins and losses aside, the Bulldogs have enjoyed strong leadership from their upperclassmen in recent years. That may continue this season, but it will have to occur with fewer candidates. Only one senior is slated to be among the starters, with two or three juniors potentially in the mix. All five freshmen who started a year ago are back, and all are in contention for starting spots. Corbin Watkins (Jr, OF) and Brett Shelton (Jr, OF) flank speedy Nichols, an underrated defensive outfielder. Haydak is slated to start at catcher, although he could turn into a “super-utility” player based on his versatility. Diminutive shortstop Cepeda has surprising pop. PREDICTION: The Bulldogs probably don’t have the talent to contend, but there are bright spots in the sophomore class for this improving program.

Buena Regional
APRIL 1 St. Joseph 4pm 3 at Middle Township 4pm 4 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 6 Cape May Tech 4pm 7 Wildwood Catholic 4pm 8 at Bridgeton 4pm 11 Grand Slam Classic* TBA 13 Holy Spirit 11am 18 at Hunterdon Central Tournament** 11:30am 22 Lower Cape May 4pm 24 Sacred Heart 4pm 27 Middle Twp 4pm 29 at St. Joseph 4pm 30 St. Augustine 4pm MAY 4 at Cape May Tech 4pm 6 Bridgeton 4pm 8 at Holy Spirit 4pm 11 Camden Catholic 4pm 12 John Rose Tournament*** TBA 13 John Rose Tournament*** TBA 14 John Rose Tournament*** TBA 15 at Wildwood Catholic 7pm 16 at Gloucester Catholic 11am 18 at Lower Cape May 4pm 20 at Sacred Heart 6pm 21 Millville 4pm *Grand Slam Classic at Wash. Twp **Hunterdon Central Tournament ***John Rose Tournament at Alden Field

Bridgeton
APRIL 2 at Holy Spirit 4pm 4 LEAP Academy 11am 6 at Wildwood Catholic 7pm 8 Buena 4pm 9 at Middle Twp. 4pm 11 at Glassboro 11am 14 at Woodbury 3:45pm 18 Atlantic City* 11:30am 20 Middle Twp. 4pm 24 at Lower Cape May 4pm 25 Al Hedelt Tournament* TBA 27 Holy Spirit 4pm 28 at St. Joseph 4pm MAY 2 Sacred Heart Noon at Sacred Heart 7pm 6 at Buena 4pm 7 Clayton 4pm 9 at Wildwood 1pm 12 John Rose Tournament** TBA 13 John Rose Tournament** TBA 14 John Rose Tournament** TBA 18 Cape May Tech 4pm 20 Lower Cape May 4pm 22 Wildwood Catholic 4pm 26 St. Joseph 4pm *Al Hedelt Tournament at Oakcrest **John Rose Tournament at Alden Field

CUMBERLAND REG.
COACH: Rich Husted (5th season, 40-47) CONFERENCE: Tri-Co Royal GROUP: III South LAST YEAR: 12-9, reached sectional semifinals RETURNING STARTERS: 8 KEY PLAYERS: Barry Larro (Sr, CF), Darren Fischer (Jr, RF/P), Andrew Owens (Jr, 1B/P) TOP NEWCOMER: Brandon Boswell (Jr, P) OUTLOOK: Coming off back-toback playoff Group III South semifinal appearances, the Colts are primed to go even farther this season with eight starters back in the fold. Gage Mick (Sr, P/Util) and Owens were the top innings-eaters last year, and both return. Fischer and Jack Tyler (Sr, 3B/P) round out a rotation that goes four-deep. Larro brings his usual strong combina-

St. Augustine Prep
APRIL 1 Vineland 3 Mainland 6 at Absegami 8 Hammonton 14 at Myrtle Beach Tourn.* 15 at Myrtle Beach Tourn.* 16 at Myrtle Beach Tourn.* 17 at Myrtle Beach Tourn.* 20 at Oakcrest 21 Egg Harbor Twp. 24 at Vineland 25 Lenape 27 at Mainland 29 Absegami 30 at Buena 4pm MAY 1 at Hammonton 4 Ocean City 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm TBA TBA TBA TBA 4pm 4pm 4pm 11am 4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

Cumberland Christian
MARCH 31 at Christian Academy 4pm APRIL 3 Gloucester Christian 4pm 7 at Atlantic Christian 4pm 9 Calvary Christian 3:30pm 17 Christian Academy 4pm 18 at Gloucester Christian 11am 21 Atlantic Christian 4pm 23 at Baptist 3:45pm May 2 Pilgrim Academy 1pm 11 at Kings Christian 4:15pm 12 The Christian Home School 4:15pm 18 Baptist 4:15pm 19 at Pilgrim Academy 4:15pm 21 at Calvary Christian 3:45pm 26 Kings Christian 4:15pm

PLAYOFF INFO
➤ All teams with a .500 record or better on the Friday, May 8 cutoff date qualify for the state tournament. Preliminary round games begin May 15. Public sectional finals are Friday, May 29. Public state semifinals and Non-Public sectional finals will be Tuesday, June 2. State finals are Saturday, June 6.

tion of average, on-base percentage and run production to the middle of the lineup. PREDICTION: The Colts’ depth is needed in one of the most bal-

anced divisions in South Jersey. Every Royal team made the state tournament last season, a feat they are likely to repeat.

2009 CONFERENCE, PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS
CAL American 1. Millville 2. St. Augustine 3. Absegami 4. Egg Harbor Twp 5. Vineland CAL National 1. Holy Spirit 2. Middle Twp 3. Sacred Heart 4. Buena 5. St. Joseph Tri-Co Royal 1. Williamstown 2. Deptford 3. Kingsway 4. Clearview 5. Cumberland Tri-Co Classic 1. Pitman 2. Wildwood 3. Gloucester 4. Clayton 5. Salem Tri-Co Diamond 1. Glou. Catholic 2. Pennsville 3. Woodstown 4. Penns Grove 5. Glassboro Group I South 1. Pennsville 2. Pitman 3. Maple Shade 4. Penns Grove 5. Gloucester City Group II South 1. Gateway 2. Audubon 3. Collingswood 4. Haddon Twp 5. Buena Group III South 1. West Deptford 2. Timber Creek 3. Shawnee 4. Cumberland 5. Clearview Group IV South 1. T.R. North 2. Millville 3. Washington Twp 4. Cherokee 5. Lenape Non-Public A South 1. Don Bosco 2. Glou. Catholic 3. CBA 4. Holy Spirit 5. St. Augustine Non-Public B South 1. St. Rose 2. Bishop Eustace 3. Sacred Heart 4. Holy Cross 5.St.Joseph (Hamm)