Post 214 junior legion team is looking strong

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

A couple years ago, Andy O’Hara’s South River American Legion junior baseball team had a spotless record: No victories.

From that 0-19 campaign, the Post 214 squad moved up to .500 last year. And now, it’s payoff time. The 15-17-year-olds are 10-2, after Tuesday’s victory over undefeated West Windsor.

"That was a huge win," said O’Hara. "Our pitching, especially, has been stellar, with a 2.61 team ERA."

South River has five strong hurlers, starting with Danny McCluskey, who is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA, followed by Jason Fischer (3-0, 1.75), Frank Fiumecaldo (1-1, one save, 2.19 ERA and a .409 batting average), Kevin Pereira (1-0, 1.00) and Joe Fischer (1-0, 2.00) who often pitches in relief.

Post 214 hasn’t been shoddy with the stick, either. Overall, the club has a .329 batting mark, scoring slightly better than six runs a game.

Going around the horn, Andrew O’Hara (.261) splits first with Pereira (.353), while Jason Fischer, a .370 hitter with two homers and 10 RBIs, shares first with Vinnie Teofrio (.269). Pereira and O’Hara also play second, along with Sean Powell, a .250 hitter.

Shortstop Chip Perkin is at .286, and in the hot corner, Joe Fischer (.304, two homers, 10 ribbies) and .350-hitting Adam Pawlowski split the duty, with Eddie Wyluda, a sometime pitcher who is at a gaudy .600 in limited at bats.

In the outfield, Tom Lefever, a .310 hitter, has been red-hot of late, as has Kevin Feaster, who has swung to the tune of .355 with a pair of homers.

Dan Szabo is batting .370, Emil Imbriano is at .300 and Mike Giannatto is hitting .286.

"I’d just like to see us keep going the way we’re playing," said O’Hara, whose team faced St. Joseph’s yesterday. "We’re one of the top teams in our division in wins and points, and the boys want to make the state playoffs."

O’Hara, who is assisted by Matt DeSantis, coaches three other teams, including a 17-19 club, which is 9-4, and two 13-15-year-old contingents, which, he says, are maturing and making progress.

"We’ve had tremendous support from our post, South River recreation, the parents and the community," O’Hara added. "They’ve been generous and kind."