Staff

 

Craig Koppelman

Graduate of Marlboro H.S. ’94; lettered as varsity second baseman for 2 seasons University of Rhode Island graduate ’99 (Division I, Atlantic 10 conference); lettered as starting second baseman Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll 3 seasons Won Inaugural Ironman Competition, winter of ’98 at Rhode Island. Professional tryout with Montreal Expos June ’99. Health and Physical Education teacher from Sept. ’99. – March 2007. Varsity baseball coach for 4 seasons while at Dwight Morrow High school, Englewood, N.J. Craig founded his instructional company, CK’s.Baseball4u, in January ’02 Craig specializes in infield and hitting instruction.

Sal Palmieri

Sal is a graduate of Holmdel, H.S. where he was the varsity catcher. Sal continued his playing career at Bloomfield college in New Jersey. Upon graduating from college, Sal garnered a college coaching position at Rutgers-Newark where he was an assistant coach.  Sal was also an assistant coach at Kean University, which won the 2007 Division III National Championship. Sal joined CK’s staff in the spring of 2009 and specializes in catching and hitting instruction.

Nick Cesare

Nick is a graduate of South Plainfield High School in 2005: All County & All Area ’04 & ’05. He attended Kean University from 2006-2010. He was their starting pitcher for 4 years at Kean University. He pitched on the 2007 National Championship Team; Kean University: 2010 3rd Mid-Atlantic All-Region Team. Nick joined CK’s staff during the spring of 2010 and specializes in pitching instruction.

Jackie Battaglino

Jackie graduated Red Bank Catholic in 2006. At RBC, she won a state championship title in 2005. She pitched 4 years at Division II East Stroudsburg University in PA. She was a two year elected captain for ESU softball team in 2009 and 2010: ESU Team MVP 2010. Jackie was nominated for Female Athlete of the Year in 2010. She was the assistant coach for the County College of Morris in spring 2011. She is also a 16u travel coach for Finch’s Aces for the summer of 2010. She coached and instructed at Diamond Nation which is affiliated and trained with Olympic Champion pitcher Jennie Finch. She is certified in Health and Physical Education. Jackie joined CK’s in the fall of 2011 and she specializes in softball instruction.

Anthony Foti

Anthony was on the 1st Team All-America at Monclair State University in 1986. He was NJAC Pitcher of the Year 1986 as well. In the same year, he was the Simonson Award winner for Most Outstanding Pitcher of MSU, holding the MSU school record for most wins without a loss, which still stands (10-0). Tony was on the 1st Team All-District 1986, Converse All-District Selection 1986, and NJ College All-Star Team Selection 1986. He is a member of the 1987 Montclair State University National Champions, ranking as one of the Top 3 Left Handed Amateur Pitchers by Baseball America 1987. Tony joined CK’s staff in the winter of 2013 and specializes in pitching instruction. Tony is the pitching coach of the CK’s 14U, who have won three straight USABL Championships dating back to the fall of 2013. 

Jake Werb

Jake played varsity baseball at Sayreville War Memorial High School for 2 years as an all area honorable mention senior year. He coached for 3 summers for the Sayreville Summer Legion Team. Jake also coached 1 season as assistant Freshman Coach at Sayreville High School. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Jake joined CK’s staff in the spring of 2016 and specializes in hitting & fielding instruction.
 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Steve Dembowski Steve played four years at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Division 1 Program, Teaneck, NJ. He was elected into the FDU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. In his sophomore, junior and senior years, he led the Knights in doubles, stolen bases, walks, hit by pitch and on-base percentage.  During his sophomore year Steve was 8th in the nation in doubles and during his senior year he lead the nation in on- base percentage, (.712) and was second in the nation in stolen bases. He holds the NCAA record for Hit By Pitches. During his junior and senior seasons, he was the New Jersey Writer’s University Division Player of the Week a combined 5 times and named to the Metropolitan New Jersey University Division All-Star Team.   Steve also earned an appearance in Sports Illustrated, Faces in the Crowd and was named National Athlete of the Week being featured on the “Today Show”. Upon graduation, he played professional baseball but later was released by the New York Yankees. He served as the infield coach for his alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University and was an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds for more than 15 years. Steve joined CK’s staff during the winter of 2014 and specializes in hitting & fielding instruction.
 

Xavier Warner 

Xavier aka “Coach X” joins CK’s Baseball family after coaching at various levels in all sports.   He played varsity baseball at Hammonton H.S. in Hammonton, NJ for 2 seasons and founded the Division II Club Baseball team at Montclair State University.  During his time at MSU he was a National Player of the week 4 times and a Conference Player of the week 7 times in his 3 year career.  He went on to play Division II Basketball at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania while pursuing his Graduate degree.  He specializes in hitting and fielding.  Xavier joined CK’s staff during the summer of 2017.

 

 

Jim Gleason

  Jim is currently an Assistant Softball Coach at Brookdale Community College.  He played several years on a nationally ranked men’s fast pitch team.  Jim’s philosophy is to help players develop by introducing mechanics while cultivating their existing skills.  Jim teaches all aspects of softball which include pitching, hitting and fielding.  Jim joined CK’s staff during the summer of 2017.

Keith Striano

 

Keith was team captain at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, NY.  He continued his baseball career at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY where he started as a freshman.  He transferred to Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ where he played shortstop and was named All-State, All-ECAC, and All-Conference.  In 1998, Keith led his team in hits, stolen bases, triples, RBIS, BA and was named Athlete of the Year.  Keith has played against professional teams in Belgium and Italy and was invited to try out for the NY Mets and Detroit Tigers.
Keith has coached and instructed all levels of baseball for over 20 years.  He has helped run and coordinate baseball camps in the NY/NJ area and most recently joined CK’s.  Keith joined CK’s during the spring of 2017 and he looks forward to sharing his experience through during clinics, team and individual lessons.