Captained by Ed Francis, Scott Rich and Chris Talar, the 2000 edition of the Steinert baseball team was nationally ranked and captured an NJSIAA Group IV championship.

Four members of this team are in the Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame -- Michael Rogers, Mike Costello, Scott Rich and Bob Ziegler.

On the way to the state championship and top ranking, the 2000 team went 30-2 and captured the Colonial Valley Conference title.

This group of Spartans will be remembered as the squad that completed the "3-Peat" of state championships that began in 1998.

With Hall of Fame coach Rich Giallella at the helm, the Spartans posted a .938 winning percentage. In the SHS baseball record book, the only team to post a higher winning percentage is the 1992 squad which was 31-1 (.969).

Rogers, the pitching phenom, was the team MVP. Talar received the Most Improved Player award at 2000 year-end ceremonies.

"They were special in many ways," Giallella said. "First and foremost they were extremely talented. Second, they had a close relationship on and off the field, as well as buying in to the process of how to prepare every day. Third, they were unique in that they were dedicated, and motivated to win. Think about 2000 and you have to include not only were they #1 In the state but that they continued that attitude in the summer by winning a regional in (American) Legion and advanced to the World Series."

2000 baseball team members include Brian Andrewsky, Chris Balgowan, Paul Bencivengo, Mike Costello, Eric Croux, Eric Dawson, Steve Dykovitz, Stephen Fischer, Ed Francis, Joe Hernandez, Jeffrey Hurley, John Kokotajlo, Andy Meyer, Chris Neylan, Scott Rich, Michael Rogers, Frank Sabatino, Bill Seiler, Matt Sweeney, Chris Talar, Sean Whalen, Joe Wysocki, Robert Ziegler.

In addition to Giallella, the coaching staff included Frank Gatto, Brian Giallella, Mike Hastings (JV coach) and Ron Yacyk (Freshman coach). Jim Whalen and Scott Giallella were volunteers with this exceptional team.

Click Here to enlarge the team photo.