Edison All Stars hope history repeats itself

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

EDISON — This year’s Edison Boys Baseball League’s 13-year-old All Stars look to recapture the success they enjoyed at the ages of 9 and 11.

As 9- and 11-year-olds, the boys won a district and state championship each year, and with the same group of players returning, they look to make three the magic number.

President of Edison Boys Baseball League and coach of the 13-year-old team, Frank Bellizzi, has been in the dugout for 13 years. Bellizzi and his staff have been together for the past three years and many of the players have been playing together since the age of eight.

"This team’s goals are always to do well in the district and state tournament," Bellizzi said. "Although we have an automatic bid into the state tournament as the host, we still want to win the district tournament."

The state tournament is slated to begin July 16, but the team is expected to play in the Annual South Plainfield Tournament beginning July 7 and the Sayreville Shoot Out Tournament beginning July 29.

Bellizzi and his coaching staff of Nick Shymanski, Chris Shukis and Dan Stalling are blessed with an array of talented athletes that bodes well for success.

"Every kid on this team can throw and every kid can be expected to pitch," Bellizzi said. "Also, every player can play any position, which shows you how athletic these kids are."

Expected to see significant mound time this summer are Bob Amberger, Mike Bauwer, John Hansen, Matt Landrum, Steven Mappe, Tony Olarra, Jared Shukis and Robert Stalling. Hansen, Olarra and Shukis are utility players that can do a bit of everything and can play anywhere while Stalling should see plenty of action at shortstop.

Catching balls and strikes this season will be Greg Bellizzi, Danny Lungo and Brian Weins. Bellizzi will also play the outfield, and Lungo and Weins will see action at first base.

Bellizzi will be joined in the outfield by Steven Migliore, Danny Shymanski, Bauwer and Landrum. Migliore and Shymanski will also share time at second base.

Coach Bellizzi feels that a real strength of this year’s team is defense and hitting, but the real test will come with how smooth the transition from the small field to the big field is for the players.

"What becomes really important at this age is how the kids have matured physically," Bellizzi said. "This will be their first year on the big field and some kids adjust to it better than others."

Bellizzi credits his coaching staff with making this transition as easy as possible.

"I have a great coaching staff," he said. "Each guy has a specific focus and their previous baseball experience has helped the team tremendously."

Over the years this particular group of players has tasted success and is eager to enjoy the spoils of victory once again. This season will truly be a test as the larger field adds a new dimension that remains to be conquered.