St. Joe’s team picks up where H.S. squad left off

Staff Writer

St. Joe’s team picks up where H.S. squad left off


Staff Writer

METUCHEN — The Saint Joseph Senior American Legion team has picked up where the Saint Joseph High School baseball teamed left off.

Under head coach Lou Urbano, this year’s Falcon baseball team captured the Greater Middlesex Conference’s Red Division and the GMC Tournament. With several players from this year’s championship team joining the senior legion ranks, it come as little surprise that the team is off to a 2-1 start.

"The players are coming off of a solid spring season," assistant coach Tony Vitale said. "Twelve juniors will return for next season and things look bright."

Vitale assumed some of the head coaching duties to start the legion season as Urbano waited out the school year.

"Coach Urbano will be coaching the team in the summer," Vitale said. "I was able to help out in the interim."

Vitale helped the team win its first two games over South River and New Brunswick.

Sophomore Matt Owens tossed a seven-inning complete game in a 6-3 win over South River Post 214. Owens relied on a good fastball and deceptive curve to fan nine batters and allow just two earned runs.

Coach Vitale’s son, Alex, smacked a two-run homer in the sixth to seal the victory.

"At the time of Alex’s home run, we were up 4-3," Vitale said. "His hit put the game away."

The younger Vitale finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while shortstop Anthony Sessa went 1-for-3 with one RBI and designated hitter Mike Bujalkowski also finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI.

In the 8-6 win over New Brunswick, Tom Sosnowski and Chris Parenti combined for the win. Owens supplied a two-run double and third baseman Harry Douglass hit a two-run homer. James Capriglione and Tom Barrett added RBI doubles.

In the team’s lone loss, Parenti tossed a complete game that went eight innings in a 2-1 defeat to JFK.

"Chris suffered an injury in spring training," Vitale said. "He missed all season with the high school team with a broken hand. This [JFK game] was essentially his first game back from injury and he pitched an outstanding game. It was a heartbreaking loss."

Parenti’s recovery makes for a strong starting rotation. In addition to Mike Bujalkowski, this year’s GMC Red Division and GMC Tourney’s Most Outstanding Player, Owens, Sosnowski, and Vinnie Velez are expected to see plenty of mound time this summer.

"We are looking forward to having a successful legion season," Vitale said. "The team’s only loss came at the hands of a college pitcher. It is a good test for the younger players to face kids already playing at the next level."

The team will travel to South Plainfield today, play host to North Brunswick tomorrow, and finish this week’s action at South Brunswick on Friday. All games start at 5:45 p.m.

Notes… The team from John F. Kennedy is off to a fast start so far with a perfect record of 2-0. The latest victory was over Perth Amboy, who now stands at 0-2.

Kennedy won the game 7-3 and was led by Kyle Fisher, who drove in two runs on a clutch single in the sixth inning. Fisher finished the day with two hits in three at-bats, and the two key RBIs. K.C. Cabonilas also had a good game, crossing home plate twice for two runs, driving in one, and getting two hits. Kyle Dunich earned the victory, striking out five, while only giving up six hits in the six innings he pitched.