While the South Brunswick High School baseball team had a very good season, it was tripped up in both the Greater Middlesex Conference and Group IV state playoffs by Monroe. Fortunately, the South Brunswick American Legion team is guaranteed not to get any trouble from Monroe.
While several of the Monroe players will play a different level of baseball this summer, those playing American Legion will do it for South Brunswick Post 401.
Manager Tony Cosumano, now in his 37th year, put together a team with players from South Brunswick, Monroe, Highland Park and St. Joe's.
"You always want to say you have a good team," Cosumano noted. "We're better on paper than we were last year, but you still have to play the game."
Last year South Brunswick made it to the state final 8. After playing five games in a matter of a few days in the districts, however, South Brunswick didn't have the pitching depth to last long in the state event.
Going into this season, South Brunswick has nine guys that can pitch. Ben Vietze, Steve Guarriello, Brendan McKee, Mark Montagna and Danny Strickland are pitching specialists. Victor Sorrento and Ariel Torres pitch and also play the outfield and infield. Bryan Wasniewsi is a pitcher and outfielder. Anthony Battaglia is a pitcher and first baseman.
Mike Polansky is the pitching coach. Daniel Levin and Michael Huber are the catchers on the team.
Tyler Cushman can play infield or outfield. Nick Wolfson can also play numerous positions. Dominck Forcella and Kevin Mayce are outfielders. Tyler Paquette plays first.
Working with the infielders is coach Craig Mignella. Monty Forthun coaches first and is also Cosumano's "right-hand man."
"To be honest, we're strong all over," Cosumano said. "We can hit throughout the lineup."
Cosumano noted that most of the guys played against each other during the high school season, so he doesn't view chemistry as a problem.
"Sometimes it migh be a problem (with guys coming from so many different schools), but that doesn't seem to be the case. The problem is that by this point, we should have played six to eight games already. As it is, our first game isn't until Saturday."
South Brunswick will start with a bang, playing the defending Pennsylvania state champs from Bristol at Waterfront Park in Trenton. South Brunswick also will play Falls Twp. at Pennsbury High on Sunday. The home opener is Monday against Iselin.
South Brunswick will be very busy as it is scheduled to play 27 times from Saturday to the regular season finale on July 15.
"Hopefully, we'll have a good season and make it to the state tournament," Cosumano said. "We have a good group of kids. Hopefully, that will show at the end of the year."