SPRINGFIELD, NJ — This preview is part of a series that was slated to run and highlight members of the Spring sports teams at Jonathan Dayton High School. Without sports of any kind in the picture this spring, TAPinto Springfield will still be running the previews as a way to highlight the key performers who had their upcoming seasons stolen by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The baseball team is looking to build upon their 14-7 record from last year and the run they made to the state semi-finals. They also recorded a second-place finish in conference play.

The 2020 team is led by a host of seniors who return from last year's squad and some talented underclassmen, which is why there is so much excitement from the coaching staff about this group.  The offseason work that this team has put in led by the senior group has been inspiring.  

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When your seniors are your most committed and hardest working players, you will have a successful season.  This group will make 2020 a successful year for Dayton Baseball because of their work in the off season.   

Senior Zach Friedman, who was plagued by injuries last season, is expected to be an everyday hitter in the lineup and senior Aren Mortenson is expected to compete for an everyday position. Senior lead-off hitter Darren Teixeira will give the team some tremendous speed at the top of the order along with his reliable glove at second base and his potential to turn on a pitch with his sneaky power.

Teixeira is looking to walk-on at University of Delaware to play next year.  Senior center fielder Tommy Saverino will be a leader in the outfielder and is one of the best defensive outfielders in the conference.  He will be expected to produce runs with his bat at the top of the line-up.

Saverino is still undecided on where he wants to play next year.  Both are returning All-Conference players. Seniors Zach Gelo, who batted over .500 last year, and led the team with 25 hits and 17 runs will be looked at to lead the Bulldogs again at 1B and in the middle of the lineup.  

He was also an All-Conference selection last year and is expected to compete for All-County and All-State honors this year.  Gelo will play at TCNJ next year.  Senior Michael Cacioppo rounds out the senior group. Cacioppo has been a constant producer in the line-up the last three years for the bulldogs and led the team in mostly all power categories the last two years.  

He also had a .500 batting average last year and was an All-Conference player.  He is expected to compete for All-County and All-State honors this year and will be a steady at SS all year. Cacioppo will play at Bloomsburg University next year.  

Zach Gelo, Tommy Saverino, Darren Teixeira, and Michael Cacioppo will lead the bulldogs on the mound this year.  It is one of the deepest pitching staffs Dayton has had in a while.  Gelo recorded 43 KK in 35 IP and Saverino recorded 31 KK in 17 IP last year.  

Juniors Julian Salvadore (SS, 2B,) Frankie Sarracino(Of, P) and Jeremy Dash (OF) are going to compete at the varsity level this year both on defense and in the line-up and Coach Abbate is confident they will fill any open spots.  Julian Salvadore, who battled some arm problems last year, is healthy and expected to be on the mound a lot for Dayton this spring.  

The Bulldogs have a talented sophomore group who features some players that are returning with varsity experience. Those players are Tommy DeSarno (1B, P) and Logan Solomine (3B, SS, P).  Justin Teixeira (2B, P), Montrel Mayo-Smith (3B, P), Brady Rosenstock (OF, P)  Kevin Lora (C), Antonio Powanda(OF), and Andrew Sprague (C) are all competing for varsity roster spots.  Solomine, DeSarno, Teixeira, Mayo-Smith, and Rosenstock have shown in the preseason that they are in competition for varsity innings on the mound.

Seniors: Michael Cacioppo, Zach Gelo, Zach Friedman, Darren Teixeira, Aren Mortensen, Tommy Saverino Juniors: Jeremy Dash, Julian Salvadore, Frankie Sarracino, Owen Ramirez Sophomores: Kristian Best, Dylan Church, Michael Dillard, Mikey Laguna, Kevin Lora, Aiden Marques, Genaro Matute, Montrel Mayo-Smith, Antonio Powanda, Zach Silverstein, Logan Solomine, Andrtew Sprague, Justin Teixeira, Tommy DeSarno, Brady Rosenstock Freshman: Jason Calderon, Connor Codina, Wesley Griffiths, Aaron Shvarts, Eric Serio, Nicholas Stumpf