first_imgSquad currently has 2-3-2 mark The Holmdel High School American Legion junior team is off to a 2-3-2 start for its summer schedule under coach Tony Fernicola. Sponsored by American Legion Post 321 of Union Beach, the Holmdel squad has generally played well and has been in every game, the coach noted. “This isn’t all about winning,” Fernicola said. “It’s about having fun and learning and giving our players the opportunity to work on things. The main thing is that we want to keep them playing baseball.” The Holmdel contingent is playing a 20- game schedule in the Monmouth County American Legion league. While Fernicola has an 18-man roster, he usually requests that only 12 players attend each game. “It’s summer and some of our guys are working or doing other things,” he explained. “That’s all right, but all of our guys will have a chance to play. What I don’t want to do is have guys sitting on the bench who won’t get into the game.” Although Holmdel has three losses, Fernicola said that pitching has been a strong suit. His team’s combined ERA is under three runs per game – a good mark by any measure. Lefty Paul Rabat, A.J. and Alex Castiglia, Anthony Patres, Jim Tully, who attends Christian Brothers Academy, and Paul Curran, who attends Colts Neck High School, have all performed well on the hill. At the plate, Tully, who has become the heart of the team, is batting .420, followed closely by Anthony Canzoneri, a St. John Vianney product, who is hitting .415. Infielder John Sieg has also hit the ball well and is at .389. Outfielder Danny Morelli is also over the .300 mark with a team-leading three round-trippers. “Overall we’ve been hitting the ball hard; unfortunately, of late it’s been right at people,” Fernicola said. “If we keep doing that, more balls will eventually drop. Right now I’m actually pretty happy with the way we’ve been swinging the bat.” Outfielder Joe Pomarico has been doing a good job of putting the ball in play and infielder/ outfielder Tom LaPorta has been finding ways to get on base where he can take advantage of his speed. The coach noted that Alex Castiglia has been a defensive force behind the plate throwing out the majority of runners who have tried to steal. Other members of the team include catcher Nick Solfaro, infielders Frank Strick, Matthew Fernicola, Chris Bosco and Paul Curran, along with outfielder Brock Gomez. While the bulk of the team consists of Holmdel players, Tully, attends CBA; Canzoneri is at SJV; and Bosco, Curran and LaPorta attend Colts Neck. “While we’re all about learning, I have to say the team has also been very competitive,” Fernicola said. “We’ve been in every game and everyone has been working very hard. That’s all I can ask.” BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img

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