Because of its winning tradition on the diamond, the Red Bank Catholic baseball team begins every season with expectations, and every opponent circles their game with the Caseys on their schedule.
This spring, the Caseys return so much talent from a team that went 20-9 and captured the Shore Conference Tournament for the third straight year that all eyes are on them, more so than ever when the 2023 season begins. Head Coach Buddy Hausman knows that teams will be coming after the Caseys, but he also knows they have the experience to meet that challenge.
“They’ve played in big games,” Hausman said of his ’23 Caseys. “Right now, it’s getting them to play that way every day. We have a very good group of kids. We have what it takes day to day. We have enough talent.”
It all starts on the mound for the Caseys. RBC’s pitching is scary good with so many power arms returning. The team’s combined ERA in 2022 was a paltry 2.17, and of the 193 innings logged by RBC hurlers last year, they graduated only 10 of those innings. The Caseys’ rotation is stacked. Senior Alex Stanyek, junior Steve Svenson and junior Declan Leary were nothing short of dominating in ’22 and form a rotation second to none. The defense didn’t have a lot of work to do with these flamethrowers fanning more than a batter an inning.
Leary fanned 56 batters in 49.1 innings and pitched to a 1.14 ERA. Svenson struck out 56 as well in 45.2 innings and had a 1.53 ERA. Stanyek had a measly 0.82 ERA, striking out 55 in just 34 innings. Ryan Prior (So.), Dominic Mallamaci (Sr.) and Dylan Passo (So.) all ate up innings last year and are back. Two transfers, Ethan Marzo (Sr.) and Anthony Nannini (Sr.), add more quality to an already loaded staff which will make RBC dangerous in one-and-done tournaments.
With so much pitching, the challenge for Hausman will be finding innings for those talented arms. It’s a nice problem to have.
If not for the pitching, the Caseys offense would be the most touted. It is loaded with productive returners as well. Stanyek led the RBC in total hits (39) and batting average (.375). He had 27 RBI and scored 26 runs. Shane Andrus (Sr.) smacked a team-best five home runs and 31 RBI while batting .337 and slugging .568. Griggs belted 16 extra base hits and slugged .659 while batting .374 and scoring 30 runs and driving in 24. Frank Scrivinac (Sr.) batted .353 and Matt Brunner (Jr.) .286. Newcomer Max D’Antonio (So.) adds additional speed to the lineup.
Hausman has another luxury with his offense.
“It’s interesting, for the first time I can go lefty-righty, righty-lefty through the first six or seven batters,” said Hausman. “I have a lot of options.”
With so much experience talent in the lineup and solid defense, Hausman pointed to three things that the Caseys need to do ensure that 2023 will be as good as its potential.
“Team chemistry is very important, and we’re very strong with it,” he noted. “We have to stay healthy, and our bench has to be with it.”
Continuing their SCT streak is one of the Caseys’ goal for ’23 as is capturing a state sectional title, which has eluded the program for several years.