Tuckerton Leader Sports Preview

Pinelands Regional Wildcats Leaning on Young Arms for Success

Apr 06, 2018

After going 13-12 (8-6 B-South) last year, the Pinelands Regional High School varsity school baseball team looks primed for a big season, said head coach Rob Sanzari.

“We look to compete for a B-South Championship, as well as having deep runs in the Ocean County, Shore Conference and state tournaments,” said the coach, who is beginning his sixth season at the helm.

He said the Wildcats are led by an outstanding pitching staff, featuring junior Noah Dean. Already committed to play collegiately at Xavier University, Dean had a 5-3 record, 1.66 ERA and 62 strikeouts. Hitters collectively batted .192 against him.

Rounding out the rotation are Junior Peter Hammond, who finished the year strong, and 6-foot-6 sophomore Patrick Apgar.

Sanzari said that offensively, the Wildcats are led by junior third baseman Anthony Diaz, who was an All B-South selection last year and led the team in hits the last two seasons.

“He is 33 hits shy of breaking the school’s record for most hits in a career,” said the head coach. “This is outstanding considering he is only in his junior year.”

Senior captain Sean O’Rourke, who plays first base and the outfield, is coming off an outstanding junior year where he hit .358 and led the team in extra base hits.

Sanzari is also counting on junior shortstop/pitcher Joey Ventresca, who batted .338. As a pitcher, he was 4-3 with an ERA of 1.50.

Other returnees include senior second baseman Nick Rapallo, sophomore catcher Jimmy Zazenski, sophomore shortstop Bryce O’Rourke, junior outfielder Bobby LeFevre and junior infielder Billy Crawford.

Key newcomers are senior outfielder Danny Thomas, senior pitcher Matt Ingold, senior outfielder Colin Sweeney, junior outfielder Jake Sorbara and sophomore catcher Tommy Gessner. —E.E.

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