Sports

Baseball Preview: Cedar Grove Pitchers will be Key to Success

27c96d019bbfbef351c7_picinich.JPG
Nick Picinich at last year's rivalry game. Credits: Jeanne Moreno
27c96d019bbfbef351c7_picinich.JPG

CEDAR GROVE, NJ — A large contingent of returning players will be Cedar Grove's strong suit as they kick off their 2017 campaign as a team that has the prospects to do some damage in the Super Essex Conference (SEC) Liberty division. 

Coming off of a 14-15 2016 season in which the Panthers fell to Wood-Ridge in the state sectional semifinals under then-first year head coach Randy Nelson, there is much to look forward to in 2017. 

One of the brightest spots will be the arms on the mound.  

Sign Up for E-News

While the Panthers lost several seniors last season, the team restocks with seven key returning players. Of those returners, two are the team’s top pitchers, and pitching something in which the is a Panthers should excel. Nick Picinich and Shane Benson, both juniors, should see plenty of time on the mound this season and contribute strongly to the team’s success. Pitching was strength for Cedar Grove last year, as well. The Panthers allowed an average of just 6.3 runs per game in the 2016 campaign. 

Offensively, it’s a bit of a different story for the Panthers. Cedar Grove graduated 10 seniors last year, including the first six in its batting order. 

“We have to replace a lot of offense, and we graduated 10 seniors including the first 6 batters in our lineup, so guys will have to step up and hit for us to be successful,”  Nelson said.

A senior presence in the batter’s box should be to the Panthers’ benefit. Senior infielder Joe Rufo and senior outfielders Chris Napolitano and Marco Pantusa will look to lead and replenish the offense. Juniors infielder Jake Ferrara and catcher Dennis Mitola are also big bats that will try to provide run support for the Panthers. 

Other players Nelson expects to contribute this season are Nick Ginolfi, Sr. 1B/OF, Bill Capasso, Sr. 1B/P, Ryan Turi, Jr. 3B, Joe Kubu, Jr. P/1B and Ray Williams, So. P/INF

Cedar Grove will see a fair share of strong teams on its schedule this year, which will make for plenty of good tests for the Panther squad. Key games against ranked Essex County powers include two contests (home and road) against Bloomfield Tech and West Orange, in addition to clashes with Verona, West Orange and Newark Academy. 

Cedar Grove’s Opening Day is on Sat., April 1, when the Panthers host West Essex at 11 a.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Students Demand Action to host 'Day of Action' on Columbine Anniversary at Brookdale Park

April 18, 2018

Students Demand Action Essex County will host “April 20 Day of Action: Gun Reform Education Fair” to educate and inform local students about the need for gun reform in our nation, inspire them to be activists, and honor the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The April 20 event will take place in at Brookdale Park (lower field by Bellevue entrance) in ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

April 25, 2018

April 16, 2018 – April 22, 2018

On April 19, 2018 at 12:44 p.m., Ptl. Jason Rivers stopped a vehicle for speeding along Pompton Avenue. A subsequent investigation revealed that the driver, a 61 year old male from West Orange, had a suspended license and an outstanding traffic warrant. He was arrested processed and released with a summons after posting the required bail.

On April 20, ...

Lock Down Initiated After Stray Bullet Found at Morristown High School

April 25, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Morristown High School was on a school-wide lock down as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a stray bullet was discovered on the athletic fields of the school. 

Police were on the scene and currently investigating the incident. The school initiated a "shelter in place," which means instruction continued as students stayed in their ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Wed, April 25, 7:30 PM

Cedar Grove Public Library , Cedar Grove

The Bellevue Theater: Fade to Black or double ...

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, April 26, 4:00 PM

Alzheimer's NJ Headquarters, Roseland

Alzheimer's 101

Education

Cedar Grove Celebrates Arbor Day

April 24, 2018

CEDAR GROVE, NJ - For Arbor Day again this year, apple trees will be planted at Morgan's Farm.  Please come out to join in a community tree planting event.  Volunteers are asked to please bring shovels.  We’re watching the Apple Orchard grow!

The Township Manager, Thomas Tucci will welcome the volunteers, followed by a flag salute led by Cedar Grove ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...