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Frulio’s hunch pays off in Roses extra-inning victory over St. Joe’s

June 1, 2011

It is why the game of baseball is considered the thinking man’s game…

Despite his team holding a record of 21-3 entering the state playoffs, St. Rose manager Jerry Frulio, along with his coaching staff, decided to shuffle the Roses lineup prior to the team’s quarterfinal round game against St. Joe’s of Hammonton on Tuesday.

The Roses have batted the top six hitters in basically the same order the entire season.

1. Kevin Case

2. Tom Elkow

3.Chris Reynolds

4.Chris Napolitano

5.Brad Currao

6. Sean Stewart

However, for the game against the Wildcats, Frulio and the staff decided to move Napolitano from fourth in the lineup to third, Reynolds from the three hole to the fifth spot and Stewart from the sixth spot to the cleanup spot [4th] — easier displayed..

1. Case

2. Elkow

3. Napolitano

4. Stewart

5. Reynolds

6. Currao

Why you may ask, would the coaching staff fiddle around with the lineup? Wouldn’t it be safer to keep things the same so there could be no second guessing following the game had there been an upset? [which almost happened, as the 10th seeded Wildcats held a 3-0 lead over the Roses — the number two seed — heading into the fifth inning.]       Because Frulio and his staff are there to manage the team and put them, in what they feel, is the best position to win… Good coaching staffs, like Frulio and his crew do not consider playing it safe an option.

“[The lineup change] was something the coaches and I talked about,” said Frulio. Stew[art] has been hitting the ball really well and Rey[nolds] is more of a fast ball hitter, so we [thought] to bump him down so he would see more fast balls.”

The result — Napolitano earned three hits from the three hole, Stewart earned a game tying RBI in the bottom of the sixth and Reynolds — a game-winning, three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth.

“It just worked out,” Frulio said after the Roses 6-3 victory. “We could have lost today and you could be asking me the same question [why the lineup change] in the opposite manner.  It was just one of those things.  With managing, if things work out you look smart, if they don’t you look like a fool.”

Frulio appreciated my compliments on the moves following the game, but would not take any of the credit for what the Roses did between the lines.

“The guys have done it all year, making me look good, but I am not the one playing,” said Frulio.  “As a coaching staff all we can do is try to get them ready.  They are the one’s making the plays and getting the hits so I would like to defer any credit to my players.”

Want live updates on all Manasquan ,Wall and St. Rose sports? Then follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/SamCostantino

photo courtesy of MICHAEL SCOTTO

St. Rose senior Chris Napolitano [no.33] is greeted by teammates, following a home run during the Shore Conference Tournament earlier this season.  Napolitano and the Roses will compete against Holy Cross in the semifinal round of the NJSIAA Non-Public South B Tournament.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Marasciulo permalink
    June 1, 2011 4:21 pm

    Great article. I don’t normally follow this team, but the article made me want to follow the St. Rose team and it’s great coach.

  2. Matt Madensky permalink
    June 2, 2011 4:09 pm

    good story

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