BELLEVILLE, NJ – The Belleville High School varsity baseball team returns a good group of seniors, looking to achieve a successful season this spring.
The Bucs, under head coach Joe Sorce, have seven seniors, five of whom have experience.
Bryan Defrietes, a shortstop, returns after leading the team in hitting last season when he made Second Team All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division He will also serve as the leadoff hitter.
Third baseman Chris Amparo also is off to a good start in the pre-season and has improved defensively, said Sorce.
Derek Lombardi, an Honorable Mention All-SEC player last year, is a savvy catcher who is reliable behind the plate. He’ll also see time on the mound.
Joe Monroig is another returnee who is solid defensively at first base.
Sebastian Alverio can play all three outfield positions and has shown improvement at the plate. He’ll also pitch.
Gabe Bosques and Nate Pleasant are the senior newcomers looking to contribute off the bench.
Sorce also likes the potential of his juniors on the team.
Aedrick Perez played varsity last year and is strong defensively as an outfielder. He’ll also see time on the mound.
Jiustino Cecere will play second base.
Giovanni Torres, a transfer from Paramus Catholic, is a nice addition who will provide depth at second base and on the mound.
Albert Carrero, a returning player who can play all the infield positions, in addition to being a pitcher, and pitcher/infielder Anthony Wnek also have been impressive in the pre-season.
The Bucs have five sophomores. Antony Cecere, Justino’s brother, is an outfielder and relief pitcher. Kevin Arroyo is a returning pitcher/outfielder who has looked good at the plate. Joe Abramson also saw time last year as a DH and will also help as a relief pitcher.
Adiel Deleone, a first baseman, and catcher Jason Miranda also hope to see time this season.
In the first two weeks of the pre-season, the Bucs had two good scrimmages against Passaic and Wallington.
On Tuesday, March 19, Belleville played at Passaic Valley in a scrimmage. “Offensively, we did a good job by scoring seven runs off of some solid pitchers from Passaic Valley,” Sorce said. Jiustino Cecere and Amparo hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning.
On Wednesday, March 20, the Bucs host a scrimmage against a very good Rutherford team. “We played a good all-around game,” Sorce said. “Junior righty Albert Carrero, junior righty Anthony Wnek, and sophomore righty Anthony Cecere all did a solid job on the mound.
“We’re getting very good leadership from five seniors with varsity experience,” Sorce added. “Shortstop Brian Defreites will once again be a strong leadoff hitter for us. Third basemen Chris Amparo will provide a strong bat in the 3 hole, plus his defense at third base has greatly improved. Outfielder/pitcher Sebastian Alverio is swinging the bat well. It looks like he will be a solid 4 hitter in our lineup. We’re working Sebastian in right field which is new to him. In the past he’s played center field and left field. We have several solid defensive outfielders, and with Sebastian having the strongest arm, we want to see how he adjusts to right field.
“Derek Lombardi will do the bulk of the catching this season. Derek is a solid receiver who is a very smart player. Derek always knows what is going on each situation. Joe Monroig is a strong defensive first basemen who who provides leadership and experience.”
This week the Bucs will have their final three scrimmages:
Tuesday, March 26: at North Arlington
Wednesday, March 27: at Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Thursday, March 28: at Governor Livingston
The Bucs will open the season April 1 at home against Irvington. The Bucs will have six straight home games to start the season.
BHS have moved down to the SEC-Colonial Division. The other teams in the division are Barringer, Payne Tech, East Side and Glen Ridge.
April 1, Irvington, 4 p.m.
April 3, Edison, 4 p.m.
April 5, East Side, 4 p.m.
April 8, Barringer, 4 p.m.
April 12, Glen Ridge, 4 p.m.
April 13, Verona, 11 a.m.
April 15, at Payne Tech, 4 p.m.
April 17, at Shabazz, 4 p.m.
April 18, Caldwell, 7 p.m.
April 20, Roselle Park, 11 a.m.
April 22, Montclair Kimberley Academy, 4 p.m.
April 24, at East Side, 4 p.m.
April 26, Rahway, 4 p.m.
April 29, at Barringer, 4 p.m.
May 1, Bloomfield, 7 p.m.
May 3, at Orange, 4 p.m
May 7, at Cedar Grove, 4 p.m.
May 10, at West Orange, 7 p.m.
May 11, Linden, 11 a.m.
May 13, at Glen Ridge, 4 p.m.
May 15, Payne Tech, 4 p.m.
May 17, Paterson Kennedy (Senior NIght), 7 p.m.
May 18, at Lodi, 7 p.m.
May 21, Nutley, 7 p.m.