Tag: Zach Fronio

Fronio’s 11 Ks help advance Rutgers Prep into North B semis with 6-1 win over Morris Catholic

Just like Rutgers Prep’s season on the whole, obstacles had to be overcome in order to come out on top.

Sophomore Zach Fronio struck out eleven while Ethan Nepomuceno and Li Perez each drove in two runs to get the third-seeded Argonauts past 6th-seed Morris Catholic Friday in a Non-Public North B quarterfinal game in Somerset.

Fronio picked up his second win of the year (2-2) when it mattered most, in the state tournament, after a 15-day layoff since his last start, a 2-0 loss to Pennington in the Prep B Tournament Final.

But that wasn’t all. The injury bug has been nipping at two starters – Andrew Parisi and Cody Rullo, and neither played today. That put Maddox Chu behind the plate, and he and Fronio worked together masterfully.

Prep scored first in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single by Nick Pizzie.

Then, after Morris Catholic tied it in the top of the fourth on a sac fly to center by Nate Eckerson, the Argonauts responded with three in their half of the inning, when they sent eight hitters to the plate.

Pizzie led off with a single, and after James jackman struck out, Nepomucino hit an RBI double. Evan Laub singled, then Fronio drove in a run with a ground-out to short, and Chu singled in another run.

Nick Pizzie of Rutgers Prep drives in the first run of the game with a single in the second inning of a 6-3 win over Morris Catholic in the Non-Public North B Quarterfinals in Somerset on May 26, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Morris Catholic got a run back in the sixth on an RBI single by Alex Kibler, who came in to relieve starter Sean Hegarty on the mound in the top of the inning, with Hegarty batting for himself in the lineup.

But Prep added two more insurance runs in the sixth to make it 6-2. With the bases loaded, Perez hit a ball deep in the hole that was fielded by the shortstop, but the throw to first was not in time and aggressive baserunning by the Argos plated a second run.

Max Treonze – who started at first, but flipped positions with Fronio to close out the game – saw his first action on the mound since getting drilled in the nose with a fastball a couple of weeks ago. He got a first pitch groundout back to him, then hit Nick Scerbak, who got to second on a wild pitch. Then after a walk to Declan Norton and a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Ryan Osterhoudt drove him in with an RBI single.

But that was all they would get as Treonze struck out Kibler to end the game.

The victory puts Rutgers Prep – which won the Somerset County Tournament as the 12-seed after starting the season 1-6 – at 13-4 heading into next week’s Non-Public North B semifinals, where they’ll face the seventh-seed Gill St. Bernard’s. The Knights upset second-seed St. Thomas Aquinas 8-3 Friday afternoon.

According to the NJSIAA state tournament schedule, that game is to be completed by Wednesday, but it could be played a day early, on Tuesday, because Rutgers Prep has its prom Wednesday evening.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Rutgers Prep pitcher Zach Fronio
Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Rutgers Prep ousts top-seed and state No. 5 Bridgewater-Raritan, moves on to SCT finals on the arm of Fronio

After two revenge wins over Franklin and Somerville in the second round and quarterfinals of the Somerset County Tournament, 12th-seed Rutgers Prep didn’t look like the same team that only had 2 wins before the event even started.

They didn’t look like it Thursday afternoon either in a 4-3 win over top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan (11-2) that puts them in the finals of the SCT in 12 days against second-seed and defending champion Ridge.

Zach Fronio threw five innings, giving up five hits and three runs, striking out five to get the win. But he almost didn’t.

With a 4-0 lead, he almost gave it away in the fifth, surrendering a two-run homer to Matt Moore, and an RBI single to Matthew Fattore, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI single himself.

But head coach Larry Santowasso had faith in his sophomore Maryland committ. After a mid-batter mound visit, Fronio bucked down, and got out of trouble without any further damage.

The Argonauts got two in the first and two in the second against Bridgewater-Raritan starter Jason Cozzi, who has been limited all year due to back issues. He walked six in just 1 1/3 inning, and took the loss.

Rutgers Prep (6-7) moves on to play in the Somerset County Tournament Final on May 9th at TD Bank Ballpark against top-seed and defending champion Ridge. It’s the same matchup as last year’s final.

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Click below for postgame reaction from Ridge, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen!

Rutgers Prep pitcher Zach Fronio
Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Poised freshman Fronio will get the ball for Rutgers Prep in quest for its first SCT title since 2017

Rutgers Prep doesn’t have a long and storied history in the Somerset County Tournament, or a host of county championship markers along its outfield wall.

But if the young man who will take the mound Monday night in the Somerset County Tournament Championship Game (7 pm, on CJSR) against top-seed Ridge (19-2) has anything to say about it, the Argonauts (18-3) may be on the verge of writing an exciting new chapter.

Consider this: even though Rutgers Prep’s only trip to the finals resulted in their first and only SCT title, and even though it was five years ago, a win Monday night would give them two of the last four SCT crowns – since the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID, and last year’s event wasn’t played due to the condensed season.

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And then consider the youth on this Rutgers Prep team, the impact they’re already making, and the impact they – and those to come – will have.

To wit: on the mound, it’s freshman Zach Fronio (3-0, 1.08 ERA) who will get the start at TD Bank Park Monday. He has already committed to play Big Ten baseball at the University of Maryland, and veteran skipper Larry Santowasso has increasingly trusted Fronio with the ball in big game situations this year.

READ MORE: Freshman Fronio has contributed in a big way to Rutgers Prep’s success

At the plate, it’s another freshman who can bash the ball with the best of them: Andrew Parisi. He’s only hitting .561 with nine homers and 47 runs batted in. Enough to make opposing pitchers cry.

And all that’s not even mentioning the rest of the team: Junior outfielder James Jackman is hitting .386, while freshman Cody Rullo is hitting .371 on the year.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso:

Rutgers Prep gets solid effort from Fronio, knocks off Somerville, clinches trip to SCT Finals

Freshman Maryland commit Zach Fronio threw six solid innings for Rutgers Prep, while fielders for both teams had difficulty with swirling winds and the sun field on pop ups, leading the 6th-seeded Argonauts to a 6-3 upset win over 2-seed Somerville in Game One of the Somerset County Tournament Semifinals at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater.

Fronio fanned four, walked three, and allowed just three hits, while Nick Baldev closed out the game.

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The win gets Prep in the finals for the first time since 2017, its only other appearance, when the Argonauts beat Montgomery 7-2.

Prep will face top-seed Ridge, which beat 4-seed Montgomery 3-1 Monday night, in the semifinal nightcap.

The Argos got on the board in the top of the first and had a 1-0 lead, but Somerville tied it in the third. Prep then scored twice in the fourth, and three more times in the fifth, chasing starter Kolbie Stellpflug, to go up 6-2.

Nick Baldev came in to close out the seventh, allowing a two runs on a one-out double down the right field line by Matty Wright, who was erased going past the second base bag, while the third run scored. But Baldev got Sean Noone on a groundout to short to end the game.

Click below for postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Rutgers Prep starting pitcher Zach Fronio
Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Freshman Fronio has contributed in a big way to Rutgers Prep’s success

He’s just 2-0 on the season, in four starts, but the freshman has contributed in a big way to Rutgers Prep’s success.

Zach Fronio quickly established a pretty high bar for himself when he fanned a career high 15 Canucks in a regular season win over North Plainfield, but that wasn’t even his biggest moment.

Click the logo above to learn more about baseball training and more at Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater!

That came when Rutgers Prep – now 12-2 – rematched with third-seed Montgomery, a much bigger school, and a Cougar team they’d lost to decisively, 9-1, on Day Two of the 2022 season.

That rematch came in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals two Saturdays ago, and the Argonauts got the revenge win, 8-3. Fronio came up big in a big spot: five scoreless innings of five-hit ball, striking out eight, walking just three.

READ MORE: Rutgers Prep’s revenge win, and other SCT quarterfinal recaps

Grace under pressure, no doubt.

And that’s why the 15-year-old – who won’t turn 16 until soon after he starts his sophomore year – will get the ball in another big spot, a little more than a week later: in the SCT semifinals against second-seed Somerville (10-7).

That game will be Monday at 4 pm at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, and you can hear Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the action live – with pregame at 3:45 – on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Rutgers Prep freshman pitcher Zach Fronio: