Barnegat Leader Spring Sports Previews

Crisp Defense Fueling Baseball Bengals’ Good Start

Apr 19, 2019

Six games into the 2019 campaign, the Barnegat High School varsity baseball team is halfway to last year’s win total with a 4-2 mark (3-0 in B South.) Last year, the Bengals went 8-15 (5-7 in B South.)

“Our big problem was fielding,” said head coach Dan McCoy, who entered his eighth season with a career 87-88 mark. “We made too many errors. This year our defense looks real good, and you’re fielding the ball, everyone can relax a little. The pitchers don’t have to worry about being perfect.”

McCoy said seniors Tyler Suydam, David MacGillvray, Brian Finucan, Dexter Dambroski and Max DeGennaro will lead the way. Suydam, an infielder and pitcher, batted .458 and went 1-3 with a 5.71 earned run average on the mound last season. A third baseman, McGillvray batted .342. Dambroski was 1-4 with a 3.45 ERA. Finucan and DeGennaro, an outfielder and first baseman respectively, batted .225 and .200.

Handling the catching duties will be junior Luke Bush and sophomore Kyle Moore.

McCoy is also relying on junior pitcher/outfielder Lukas Torres, who batted .354 and has committed to Wagner University. As a pitcher he was 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA. Other returning juniors are pitcher Colin Zarenkiewicz, who was 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA, and outfielder Matt Scott, who batted 3.00.

“Lukas has been hitting the ball really well,” said McCoy. “We’ve had a good team effort so far as various players have all contributed.”

On the coaching lines, McCoy will be joined by his son, Mark McCoy, the former Bengals pitching ace who once pitched in the Kansas City Royals minor league system.

“He can be a great help with the pitchers,” he said. “He’s really excited to be working with them.”

The elder McCoy thinks the team can return to the playoffs, and maybe has a post-season run init.

Newcomers who could get playing time include four juniors – pitcher Matt Vernieri, infielders Sean Lucas and Trevor Fox, outfielder Steven Meier – and senior infielder Kenny McKeon.

“In a pitching-deep B South, it is important to get off to a good start,” McCoy said. “We have great team chemistry. If we continue to improve, I feel we are going to have a very good season. Time will tell.”

The Bengals’ next home game is Thursday, April 25, at 11 a.m. against Jackson Liberty.

— Eric Englund

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