The Saint Joseph graduates and former coaches who participated in the high school's most recent Old Timers’ Day and Alumni Game would like to extend their sincere gratitude to head coach Mike Murray Jr., his entire coaching staff, the field crew of John Drury, Rich Faggioni and Steve Hennelly, and to every player in the baseball program, as well as their parents.
WATCH (please click on link): Alumni Game video highlights courtesy of Joe DaRold ‘71
WATCH (please click on link): Varsity baseball Senior Day game highlights courtesy of Joe DaRold ‘71
The collaborative effort of all involved made the return of our baseball alumni on a gorgeous spring morning most memorable. The ballpark looked immaculate. The red, white and blue bunting and jersey numbers of current varsity seniors that adorned the outfield fence were a nice touch.
More than 30 former players and coaches participated. Eighteen different class years were represented in the alumni game. Several graduates traveled from out of state to attend including Viraj Parikh (Tennessee), William Wetzel (Florida), Brian Francfort (North Carolina), Brian Matson (Pennsylvania), Harry Douglas (Pennsylvania) and Richard Wolf (New York).
Graduates from the Class of ’68 through the Class of ’18 took part in the event, which included a six-inning contest, a postgame barbecue and music spun between innings from a disc jockey.
Each Old Timers' Day participant received a commemorative shirt and Saint Joseph baseball cap.
Saint Joseph juniors Jake Rothstein and Andrew Repak provided baseball alumni with a wonderful tour of the high school campus and its buildings. The gregarious student-athletes conducted themselves with professionalism as outstanding ambassadors of our alma mater, embodying all that is great about the high school.
The varsity team had a hectic week that featured multiple games including a heartbreaking conference tournament semifinal loss, a senior awards ceremony and the senior prom (today the upperclassmen graduate). Still, the varsity players arrived at the ballpark before 9 a.m. to help prepare the field, to shag balls during the alumni batting practice and to watch a bunch of Old Timers attempt to regain their championship form. Words can’t express how much we appreciate the support of Coach Murray and his entire program.
Saint Joseph concluded the day’s festivities with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Union on Senior Day as 10 upperclassmen contributed to the varsity squad’s win.
A story about the Old Timers' Day game, courtesy of Anthony Colucci '16, and photos from the event can be found at the bottom of this web page.
The Saint Joseph Baseball Alumni Game Participants (listed alphabetically)
Massimo Agresti ‘16
Anthony Battaglia ‘12
Joe Benanti ‘89
Chris Bielak ‘09
Kevin Blake ‘85
Kevin Bock ‘13
Mike Butler ‘94
Anthony Colucci ‘16
Harry Douglas ’05
Paul Esposito (former head coach)
Brian Francfort ’88
Chris Gannon ‘83
Tyler Guensch ’16 P
Jack Harlan ’14 P
Sean Hille ‘08
Daniel Iannaccone ‘14
Jerry Jeglinski ‘68
Brian Matson ‘88
Mike Murray (current head coach)
Viraj Parikh ‘89
Mark Riemann ‘85
Jason Rodriguez ’06
Nicholas Scull ’18
Tim Smith ‘68
Tom Sosnowski ’05
Luke Spallone ‘16
Greg Tufaro ‘85
Lou Urbano (former head coach) DH
William Wetzel ‘71
Richard Wolf ‘72
James Ziemba ‘13
Greg Zimmerman ‘86
More Than 30 Former Baseball Players Reunite For Old Timers’ Day
Playful heckling, life updates, and stories of county championships, long bus rides, and all-black cleat rules filled the dugouts at Falcon Field Saturday when more than 30 former Saint Joseph baseball players and coaches returned to Metuchen for the program’s Old Timers’ Day. Alumni from as far back as 1968 and as recent as 2018 and from as far away as Tennessee and North Carolina gathered on what felt like the first beautiful spring day of May to play six innings of the sport that binds their brotherhood across generations.
Game MVP Chris Bielak ‘09 led Green to a commanding 11-3 win over Gray. Bielak was 5-for-5 at the plate and closed out the game on the mound in the sixth inning. After working himself into a bit of trouble and allowing Green’s only three runs to cross the plate, Bielak shut down the late rally by striking out James Ziemba ’13 to end the game.
Gray’s three runs in the bottom half of the sixth proved to be too little, too late after Green erupted for ten runs during the fourth and fifth innings. Behind Bielak’s hot bat at the top of the lineup, a trio of current and former coaches Mike Butler ’94, Paul Esposito, and Mike Murray paced Green’s offense in the win.
Harry Douglas ’05, who went on to earn All-Ivy honors at Harvard, and Sean Hille ‘08 were two of the lone bright spots for Gray. Douglas turned a double play and flashed the leather on more than one occasion, including a diving catch on a pop-fly. After manning centerfield for the first few innings, Hille worked a scoreless sixth inning on the mound before sparking Gray’s sixth-inning rally and scoring its first run of the game.
Also on Gray was Richard Wolf ’72, the oldest player to take the field Saturday. He silenced any doubts about his age while batting second and advancing a runner to second base during his first at-bat.
Although Green broke open a 1-0 game during the fourth inning off of Brian Francfort ’88, he was reunited with a familiar battery mate, catcher and classmate Brian Matson ’88 for his one inning of work. Matson stroked a double early in the game for the Gray.
Mark Riemann, Class of '85, who as a senior set the school's single-season record for batting average (.397), a mark that has since been broken, managed the Green Team.
In addition to the game, current Saint Joseph baseball players were on hand to greet alumni and provide tours of the school. After the game, alumni and their families gathered behind home plate for a barbecue, courtesy of Big Bubba catering, and to watch Saint Joseph beat Union 5-4 on Senior Day
This weekend marked the first Old Timers’ Day since 2015 and the latest push in a renewed effort by Saint Joseph to engage alumni through athletics.