Holmdel junior Legion team playing well early

first_imgEighteen players from the Holmdel High School baseball program are playing for the Union Beach Post 321 entry in the Monmouth County Junior American Legion baseball league this summer. Thus far the team is 2-1-2, with victories over CBA and Howell, a loss to Manalapan and a pair of ties against Marlboro and Freehold Township, in the latter contest Holmdel came back from a six-run deficit before darkness set in. “Last year, our junior legion team struggled, but this season we have a good mix of power and defense and some solid pitchers,” said Tom Hyland, one of the team’s coaches. “It’s a very balanced team.” Hyland noted that the pitching has been particularly good in the early going. Sophomore Jason Fernandez went the distance in the triumph over Howell, and junior Joe Solfaro picked up a win against CBA. In addition, sophomore Jean-Luc Orlando has had two strong outings. Fernandez, infielders Billy Allingham and Rob Palermo, and lefty-hitting first baseman Kevin Butler have been hitting well, all are sophomores. Junior third baseman Matt DiMaso, sophomore catcher Jason Hyland and freshman third baseman/catcher Trevor Sackawitch have all shown power at the plate. The younger Hyland, Sackawitch and junior second baseman Ryan Barber have played especially well on defense. In addition, the pitching staff is deep. Butler, Palermo and sophomores Chris Chrisalli and Anthony Patris provide plenty of depth. Other members of the team include sophomores Daniel Marrelli, a first baseman/DH; and Anthony Solfaro and Fran Van Cleeve, both outfielders; along with freshmen infielder Brendan Tschaen and outfielders John Calis and Michael Moryto. The senior Hyland noted that the presence Garber, Orlando and Joe Solfaro, all of whom saw some varsity time this year, is a steadying influence on the team. “Most of our guys are from the junior varsity and freshman teams, so it’s important that we have more experienced players who can be leaders,” he said. “It’s good for our younger guys because they have someone to look up to and it’s good for the varsity guys to be leaders.” Hyland noted that the junior legion league gives the younger players in coach Ed Reckage’s Holmdel program a chance to continue playing at a high level past the scholastic experience. “More game experience is a good thing,” he said. Besides the senior Hyland, the team’s coaches include John Calia, Joe Fernandez, Todd Sackawitch and Mike Tuozzo, a former Holmdel player. – Warren Rappleyealast_img