6 county up-and-comers compete in underclassmen showcase


Source:  NJ.com & Jersey Journal

The Garden State Underclass Games provide an opportunity for Hudson County’s up-and-coming baseball talents to showcase their talents in front of their peers, hundreds of college coaches and dozens of Major League Baseball scouts.

At the all-star showcase’s fifth edition, held Wednesday night at the Diamond Nation baseball complex in Flemington, Hudson County was well represented once again.

Six Hudson County players from five different schools participated for team Northeast, which was also comprised of players from Essex, Bergen and Passaic counties. The Northeast team defeated the Northwest squad — made up of players from Morris, Passaic, Union and Sussex counties — by a 3-1 score.

Joshua Casado represented Memorial, the 2017 Hudson County Tournament champion, at the event. Casado pitched for his travel team on Sunday and was unable to go on such short rest, but was still proud to be one of the less than 100 players selected for the game.

“It was a big honor for me to be named to the team for the first time,” said Casado, who compiled a 1.41 ERA this season. “I enjoyed being on the same team as the other Hudson County guys and getting to play with such talent.”

For St. Peter’s Prep ace and Duke commit Jack Carey, the showcase was a familiar event. The junior right-hander was a rare second-time selection, and pitched one inning that drew the attention of many eyes in the crowd as his fastball was consistently clocked in the low 90s.

Carey and teammate Ryan Dorneo represented the Marauders at the showcase.
“I thought I threw the ball really well,” Carey said. “I wasn’t thrilled about allowing a few baserunners, but overall my stuff was really working. It’s a good experience playing against some of the best competition in the entire state.”

On the other end of the pitching battery, sophomore Bayonne catcher Shane Paradine caught a few innings for the Northeast squad. Paradine, an up-and-coming star in Hudson County, batted .328 for the Bees this season.

Tino Salgado, who just completed his sophomore season at Hudson Catholic with a .421 batting average and 12 extra-base hits, represented the Hawks.

Meanwhile, recently-closed St. Anthony had its baseball program represented by the Hayward family. Former head coach Ron Hayward was selected as one of the Northeast squad’s coaches, while his son Elliott, a rising junior who will transfer to St. Peter’s Prep, also participated.

“It’s a different mindset for the kids playing in a game like this,” Ron Hayward said. “It’s a chance for them to show off their skills more so than anything, and we still won. The Hudson County kids had a good showing.”