South Brunswick player makes USA Baseball Northeast Regional team

South Brunswick native Alex Ciccone walks off the field after trying out for the USA Baseball Northeast Regional team in Allentown, Pa. in late July.
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South Brunswick native Alex Ciccone walks off the field after trying out for the USA Baseball Northeast Regional team in Allentown, Pa. in late July.

Alex Ciccone is not the most famous Ciccone in South Brunswick Township.

That would be his older brother, Jacob Ciccone, who graduated from South Brunswick High School in June after leading the school’s baseball team to the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament championship game. South Brunswick lost to Old Bridge High School, 2-1, in the title game.

But now Jacob Ciccone is off to play Division 1 baseball at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and his younger brother Alex, 15, may be about to supplant him as the most famous Ciccone in South Brunswick.

On July 26, after two summer tryout rounds in Bellmawr and Allentown, Pa., respectively, Alex Ciccone made USA Baseball’s 15U Northeast Regional team. Alex Ciccone found out about his selection in an email on his phone.

The 15U Northeast Regional team will play in the 15U USA Champions Cup from Aug. 21-25 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Six regions from across the country will have squads at the tournament, and the Northeast club will feature the best 18 players from Maine out to Ohio and down to Virginia.

“Ever since I was 12 I wanted to play for USA Baseball,” Alex Ciccone said. “It’s a great program to play with.”

“I was very proud,” said David Ciccone, Alex’s and Jacob’s father. “Being able to come out from the shadow of his brother, who made an impact in town, I’m proud Alex is putting the work in for who he wants to be.”

In a tryout field of over 600 players, Alex Ciccone, a shortstop, stood out with his rocket arm. David Ciccone said the coaches also liked his younger son’s soft hands and ability to field balls cleanly.

At the Champions Cup, Alex Ciccone will try to showcase those skills for more coaches in the USA Baseball program. Coaches will evaluate players throughout the games and invite 18 standouts back next summer for a 16U national training development program.

By playing in the tournament, Alex Ciccone should also get recognition on local, regional and even national prospect rankings. That will help him move toward his long term goal at this point in his career: earn a collegiate scholarship.

“Seeing his brother play Division 1 gives him an advantage to know what commitment is,” David Ciccone said. “Alex is very driven, too.”

But right now, Alex Ciccone is just excited for his next big event. 

“It’s a pretty cool opportunity. It will develop me a lot,” he said. “USA is a really prestigious organization. They don’t tolerate bad body language. They teach the game the right way.”

After the tournament, Alex Ciccone will start focusing on his next goal: make the varsity team at South Brunswick High. The Vikings had a lot of senior talent last spring, so the younger Ciccone had to settle for a spot on the freshmen team. 

He played shortstop last spring, but he is open to playing anything in 2020. Wherever the program has a need and an opening.

The rising sophomore may even become a pitcher, like his brother. He stands 5-9 and weighs 155 pounds right now, but his father, who stands 6-2, expects him to sprout into a power pitcher type. Long and lean, powerful and intimidating. 

But Alex Ciccone is not there yet. 

“He just wants to contribute and win in high school,” said David Ciccone.