Sports

Hunterdon Central's DeChiaro Among Top Sophomores in State

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Lefthander Joey DeChiaro, a rising sophomore at Hunterdon Central, is ranked No. 6 in New Jersey among his classmates. Credits: Courtesy of Diamond Nation
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RARITAN TWP. - Joey DeChiaro, a rising sophomore at Hunterdon Central High School, has been tabbed the No. 6 player in New Jersey’s high school class of 2019 according to Prep Baseball Report.

The No. 2 pitcher in Hunterdon Central’s rotation, DeChiaro was 4-1 for the Group 4 state champion, posting a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 42 and walked 22 in 43.2 innings-pitched. His fastball sits at 84-85 and he has an above average change-up.

Nick Maldonado, a shortstop/pitcher who plays high school ball for Seton Hall Prep and, like DeChiaro, plays for the Diamond Jacks program at Diamond Nation, sits atop New Jersey’s Top 10 list at No. 1. Former Diamond Jacks Anthony Volpe of Delbarton and Lillo Paxia of Gloucester Catholic are also in the top six. Volpe, a second baseman, is No. 2, and Paxia, a first baseman, is No. 4 in the PBR ranking.

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The rest of PBR’s NJ Top 10 includes shortstop K.C. Hunt of Ramapo, at No. 3, righthander Stephen Restuccio of Hammonton, at No. 5, righthander Jordan Sweeney of Egg Harbor, at No. 7, righthander Jack Leiter of Delbarton (Morris Twp.), at No. 8, righthander Chad Cole of Passaic Valley (Little Falls), at No. 9, and catcher Just Kapuscinski of Marlboro, at No. 10.

Maldonado was 6-0 on the mound for Non-Public A state champion Seton Hall Prep this past spring, posting a 1.11 ERA. He started and picked up the victory in his team’s state final victory over St. Augustine Prep of Richland. Maldonado also has a high ceiling at shortstop and as a hitter.

Restuccio is the only one of the Top 10 NJ players to have committed to a college already. He has given a verbal to Wake Forest.

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