The Mustangs are looking forward to an opportunity to represent the northeast at the NJCAA Division 1 World Series in Grand Junction, CO. Although the Monroe baseball team graduated 19 players from last year’s regional championship squad, Coach Lou Melendez feels optimistic about the talent and commitment level of the new recruitment class. “We have put together one of the finest pitching cores since the inception of the Monroe College baseball program. And, a well rounded mix of power and speed with the position players give us lots of confidence coming into this spring.”
The pitching staff will be led by John Apostolo, Jorge Navarette, Jorge Fermin, and Greggory Downing, who all have a year of experience under their belt. Freshmen Felix Lopez, Mario Valdez, Mario Avila, and Michael Corona will be key contributors on the mound and will get plenty of work. Gio Cucuzza, Anthony Zappulla, Xavier Alvarado, Jeffrey Hostos, Patrick Cassidy and Jeffrey Mercedes will work out of the bullpen. The outfield will be very well balanced with freshmen Yancy Taveras, Alexis Acosta, and Angel Polo and sophomores Johan Trinidad, Angel Chacon, Tony Mateo and Marcos Mejia. There is such a good mix of power and speed in the outfield that Coach Melendez will have many viable options for his lineup. The catching will be handled by second year starter Rolando Bello, who led the team in hitting last year, and “Batman”, our freshman catcher from Australia, Jacob Beard. The infield shows great promise with great athleticism and energy. “We will play a very aggressive defense this spring. I believe in my infield’s abilities and am truly confident in this group of young men” comments Melendez. Leading the pack are sophomore 1B Rafael Medina and sophomore 3B Adrian Kaplan. Freshmen Felix Marte, Orlando Martinez, Keith Herring, Edgardo Padilla, and Olan Ortiz are all very versatile and will be impact players both offensively and defensively. Sophomore, Gus Maclao is expected to have a monster year offensively and will get plenty of RBI opportunities hitting out of the cleanup spot.
The Monroe Mustang baseball program is looking forward to continued success this spring and is very anxious about getting on the playing field. Since moving up to Division 1, the Mustangs are 54-29, and they look to continue their winning tradition this spring.
On May 12, the Monroe Mustangs baseball team won their second consecutive NJCAA Region XV, Division I baseball championship with a 9-1 win over the ASA Avengers at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, NY. As a result, Monroe sweeps the best-of three series 2-0 and will kick off the NJCAA District III tournament this Friday at 9:00am against USC Sumter at WilliBonomo Stadium at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.
The Mustangs offense was keyed by sophomore first baseman Robin Bugallo who had six RBI on a three-run double and three-run homer. Bugallo now has 6 home runs and 34 RBI on the season.
The winning pitcher was sophomore Normand Gosselin who pitched 7 innings of 4-hit, no-run ball. Gosselin is now 4-2 on the season.
"I'm really proud of the players," said head coach Luis Melendez. "We finished our Region season with a 30-13-1 record, which tells you a lot about who we are. The bottom line is that we won this, but we still have more to go."