Youthful Core Looks to Step in and Keep Randolph Baseball Successful


RANDOLPH, NJ- It was unexpected wild ride for first year Head Coach Doug Anderson and the Randolph Rams baseball team in 2015.  Anderson inherited a 10-15-1 club from 2014 that was heavy on talent but dramatically underachieved, and righted the ship in 2015 to lead the Rams to a North 1 Group 4 State Sectional title.

The 2015 Randolph Rams Baseball team was also awarded the NJAC team sportsmanship award, and Anderson was named NJAC Coach of the year.  Not a bad go around for the first year coach.

“It was an incredible honor being named coach of the year in my first season by my peers.  It is something I never expected and I'm extremely lucky and grateful to coach such great kids who are very coachable,” said Rams coach Doug Anderson.

Sign Up for E-News

Anderson continued, “I'm extremely proud of the kids. Obviously, other coaches, umpires, parents, fans, and teams noticed how we conduct ourselves on the field.  As a coach, it makes you feel like you’re making a difference when your team wins an award like that.  It's all about respecting the game, playing "the right way", and being a good person/ teammate.”

After graduating eight seniors, all of whom played significant roles last year, this years’ squad looks to have possibly two seniors starting out of nine positions, meaning many spots will see underclassman in starting roles.

Those underclassmen will need to replace many key cogs in the wheel of last years’ team that were lost to graduation, particularly up the gut as most of the pitching, both middle infield positions, and center field were all vacated. 

The infield is solid at the corners where Juniors Jake Barbiere (3B) and Stu Backer (1B) started most of last season, as well as behind the plate, as catcher and team captain Matt Sacco, the only returning senior starter, will be looked at to help steady the young pitching staff.  

“Coach (Dan) MacDonald has been emphasizing that our pitchers need to get in a rhythm early on. My job as catcher and captain of this team is to settle down younger guys when things don't go according to plan,” said Sacco.  “Not everything will fall into place when they are pitching, they need to learn how to bounce back and find a way to get the next batter out.” 

Anderson added, “The pitching rotation will be somewhat of a mystery to start the season with the only two returning arms being Connor Sullivan, and Thomas Ippolito.  Those two only have a combined total of 44 innings pitched under their belts at the Varsity level.”

Ippolito pitched primarily in a relief role last season, so while his innings were low, he appeared in multiple games and should be able to draw on that experience.

In the outfield, the Rams hope for significant contributions from rising juniors Chris Flynn, and Jack Carroll, both of whom saw a good amount of playing time last season.

The team will also rely on experience, leadership, and contributions from seniors Steve Schollmeyer (OF), Brian Toscano (P/Util), and Bret Jones (SS), all of whom were named captains along with Sacco.

Anderson will lean on his staff to help his young squad progress, adding “It helps to have the great coaching staff/ assistant coaches I have. (Dan McDonald, and Kenny Anderson)  We are always on the same page and have great chemistry.  It makes things so much better having them around on a daily basis.” 

Although they are young, the core group of sophomores and juniors both achieved success at the start of their high school careers.  The Junior class finished their freshman season as league champions with a record of 19-2, while the sophomores ended their freshman campaign last year winning the first ever Morris County Freshman Baseball Championship.

Barbieri explained, “The success of the past two freshmen classes will help contribute greatly to the varsity team this year. We are carrying 24 guys on the roster, and 18 of them are sophomores or juniors. I think that shows the underclassman have a lot of strength and depth that will be valuable to the varsity team this year.”

When asked about the progress of his young team this spring, Anderson stated, “So far I think they have done a good job.  Time will ultimately tell, but we have good leadership from the upper classmen which always helps the younger guys adapt faster.

There are a few other key newcomers who Anderson will look to for contributions, including Rob LaPenna -CF, Brendan Lowery - INF, Chris Susini -OF, Chris Doidge -P, and Ryan Mulligan - 2B.

Anderson concluded by stating, “You can't substitute experience, so we will certainly have our bumps in the road throughout the season.  However, as long as we keep working hard and keep progressing throughout the season things will turn out fine.”

The Rams open their season Saturday April 2, home against Pequannock at 12 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Randolph Soccer Club 2018-19 Tryouts Begin Next Week

April 20, 2018

RAANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph Soccer Club is holding tryouts for the 2018-19 season (fall of 2018 & spring of 2019) starting the week of April 23.  For additional information, please visit RSC’s website (Click Here).

These tryouts will be for ages 8U – 15U (birth years 2011-2004) for full-year teams for both boys and girls.  Free online pre-registration is recommended ...

PAWS for a Cause April 28th at Heistein Park

April 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- 8th grade students at Randolph Middle School would like to invite the public to our Paws For A Cause Walk-A-Thon at Heistein Park on April 28th from 10:30 a.m to 12:00 p.m.

RMS students are hosting this event along with the 11th Hour Rescue as part of our “take action” initiative for a 8th grade Capstone Project. The purpose of ...

Celebrating 100 years: Joseph Berry, Long Time Randolph Resident

April 15, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ - Joseph Berry, Jr., resident of Randolph since the 1940s, turned 100 years old on March 16, and the township council issued a proclamation for “a day of joy, happiness and reflection,” during Thursday’s meeting.

As a Randolph resident, Berry served with the Ironia Fire Company and established a Boy Scout Troop in Ironia. He also volunteered as a member of the ...

March Randolph Police Blotter Includes Multiple Possession Charges

April 13, 2018

On February 28, 2018, Shaquille Jacobs, age 19 of Maplewood, NJ was arrested by P.O. David Spence on an active warrant which was issued by the Maplewood Township Municipal Court. Mr. Jacobs was transported to the Randolph Police Department where he was processed and released after posting bail.  ...

Mayor Forstenhausler on Randolph Budget

April 9, 2018

One of the key responsibilities of our township council is to plan an annual budget. The first step is a discussion with the Township Manager and the CFO so that they know the goals of our Mayor and Council. Then they work with the various department heads with those goals in mind. Once a draft budget is completed, our Council holds several open public meetings to review the details of that draft ...

More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 9:00 AM


Millbrook United Methodist Church Rummage Sale

Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM

Gottesman RTW Academy, Randolph

Israeli Festival 2018

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, April 23, 7:00 AM


Spring Branch Collection

Community Calendar

Randolph High School Junior Selected for New Jersey Governor's School in the Sciences

April 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School junior Julia Miao has been selected to attend the 31st New Jersey Governor's School in the Sciences at Drew University July 8-28.

Julia said she was very surprised to receive this honor. "I feel very excited and lucky to have been selected for this program," said Julia, who is a member of the high school's Science, Math, English, ...

Randolph Middle School Students Selected for Honors Orchestras

April 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph Middle School musicians Joanna Peters, Kieran Lucas and Shoshana Zeiger who have been accepted to the NJSMA Region 1 Intermediate Orchestra and All-State Intermediate Orchestra!

"The students will grow musically and will learn wonderful new repertoire and meet some wonderful new conductors," said RMS Director of Orchestra Genevieve R. Sallemi.

Kieran said ...

Lauren Madalian Commits to West Chester University, To Play Rugby

April 12, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Lauren Madalian, Randolph High Sxhool class of 2018, has committed to play Division 1AA Rugby for West Chester University in PA. Madalian was also accepted into the colleges honors program.

During her time at RHS, Madalian earned Varsity letters in Field Hockey, Basketball & Soccer.  Her first love was soccer when she began to play in ...

Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer a Free Ride

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH — The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 15, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Free Veterans Legal Clinic and Benefits Expo; Friday April 27

April 20, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - A free Legal Clinic and Resources Expo is scheduled for all Morris County Veterans on  Friday, April 27.  The event will take place at the Morristown Municipal Building, 200 South Street, third floor senior citizens room from 11am - 2pm.  Free coffee and donuts will be served.

“We urge our veterans to take advantage of this program ...

April is STD Awareness Month and Get Yourself Tested Month

April is Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Awareness Month, a national campaign to increase awareness about education, treatment, and prevention of STDs.  

STDs are common, affecting 1 in 2 sexually active people during their lifetime - and most people don't know they are infected.  The rate of STDs is increasing, with a 68% increase in bacterial sexually transmitted ...

Atlantic Health Among Six Regional Health Systems Forming Clinical Research Consortium

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Seeking to bring clinical trials and innovations in medicine even closer to home, Atlantic Health System, parent company of Morristown Medical Medical Center, is now part of a group of six regional health systems that are founding members of a nonprofit clinical research consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research (PIER Consortium) ...

Team Veronica Holds "Be the Match" Drive, Monday April 23

Team Veronica is coming to a town near you!

Veronica, is a seven year old, who needs a bone marrow transplant. 

Be The Match is a national registry for finding a match(es) for a bone marrow transplant. It is a simple swab test of the inside of your mouth. 

On Mon., April 23, Be The Match, will be at the Bayonne Fire House from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Elise Johanssen of Be The Match ...