Teams selected by Senior Staff Writer Matt Manley based on stats, first-hand accounts and input from coaches. Contact @Matt_Manley Twitter.

 

All-Shore First Team

Catcher

Brandon Martorano, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
90 36 13 8 0 5 25 25 .400 .464 .655 4

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 First Team (Hitter of the Year), 2014 Second Team

If not for Luca Dalatri re-writing the record books at CBA, Martorano might get more attention for being what he is: arguably the best position player in CBA history. After flashing some pop and intangibles in a short trial as a freshman, Martorano turned it on for his sophomore year before tearing up the Shore Conference and the state as a junior in 2015. He came back this season bigger, faster and stronger and the only reason his numbers did not get better is because nobody stays as hot as Martorano was as a junior.

This season, the CBA backstop did not go on an extended hot streak, but did have bursts of production that added up to an All-Shore season. CBA played the toughest schedule in the Shore Conference and routinely faced the best pitchers on those teams, so Martorano’s already-inflated numbers stack up even better against other All-Shore caliber hitters. Two of Martorano’s five home runs this year proved to be huge hits for CBA, the first of which was a tie-breaking two-run shot off Johnny Zega in the top of the eighth inning during CBA’s 3-1 regular-season win over Middletown South. He also hit a two-run blast as part of a 4-for-4 game against Middletown North in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals – a game the Colts won 4-0. Martorano’s added a game-ending home run in an 11-0 win over Marlboro and homered in losing efforts against Middletown North and Holy Spirt.

During his four-year career, Martorano hit a cumulative .391 with 23 doubles, seven triples, 18 home runs, 80 runs scored and 79 RBI. Beyond the individual numbers, Martorano was a core player in a program that went 85-28 with two Class A North titles, three Monmouth County Tournament championships, three Shore Conference Tournament championships, an NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A title and an overall Non-Public A title. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Martorano in the 30th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, but he will opt to honor his commitment to play at the University of North Carolina with teammate Luca Dalatri.

 

Infield

Joey Rose, Sr., Third Base, Toms River North

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
71 31 24 6 1 11 33 38 .437 .615 1.014 2

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 Second Team, 2014 First Team

Rose is the 2016 Shore Sports Network Hitter of the Year. Click here to read more about his season.

 

Johnny Zega, Sr., Second Base/Shortstop, Middletown South

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
97 42 9 10 2 10 29 41 .433 .491 .887 4

 

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
18.2 3 0 13 6 9 19 2.25 1.18

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 First Team

In most seasons, Zega’s offensive explosion would warrant a Player of the Year Award of some kind, and even with the standout seasons of Joey Rose and Luca Dalatri, the Middletown South slugger still has a compelling case. He was the best hitter on the No. 2 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and also showed a knack for delivering in the big moment. His second home run of the season was a tie-breaking solo blast in the sixth inning off Manalapan’s Stephen Hansen and his third was a three-run shot off Marlboro ace Jeremy Dyzenhaus.

After leading Middletown South to a Class A North title, Zega elevated his game even more during tournament play. In nine tournament games between the Monmouth County, Shore Conference and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III Tournaments, Zega went 13-for-29 (.448) with five home runs, two doubles, a triple and 16 RBI – good for a 1.103 tournament slugging percentage. He hit two home runs and drove in six in a rout of Mater Dei Prep in the MCT round of 16, went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double in a win over Ewing in the opening round of the CJ III playoffs and went 2-for-3 with a homer each in an SCT round-of-16 win over Howell and a CJ III quarterfinal loss to Wall. In the loss to 3-2 loss to Wall, Zega hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead before Wall rallied for two in the seventh.

Zega took a season to acclimate to the varsity level as a sophomore before breaking out during his junior season and going on to produce two First-Team All-Shore seasons. Over his three-year varsity career, the Monmouth University recruit hit .339 with 20 doubles, four triples, 13 homers, 61 runs scored and 64 RBI.

 

Brian Kochenash, Sr., Shortstop, Ocean

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
100 51 26 8 5 0 26 28 .510 .618 .690 17

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

A solid contributor and defender as both a sophomore and a junior, Kochenash emerged as an offensive force during his senior season with the Spartans. He led the Shore Conference with 51 hits, which set a single-season school record, and also topped the conference with his five triples. He finished fourth in the Shore batting average (.510), second in on-base percentage (.618) and cracked the top-10 in RBI (28), slugging percentage (.690) and stolen bases (17).

In addition to compiling an impressive statistical profile, Kochenash came up big for his team when it needed him. His record-breaking 49th hit was a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals against Allentown. In the following round, the left-hand-hitting Kochenash hit two triples against two of Brick’s two left-handed standouts – Tito Morales and Nic Chirichello – to key a 6-0 Spartans victory. Another of his triples came against Colts Neck left-hander and Iona recruit Mario Ferraioli, and another came in a loss to No. 4 RBC and right-hander Austin Nappi.

After his breakout offensive season in which he led Ocean to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III final and the No. 8 ranking in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, Kochenash will head to Penn State in the fall to continue his baseball career.

 

Mike Nyisztor, Jr., Shortstop, Toms River North

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
87 39 12 6 0 1 38 15 .448 .518 .552 14

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Toms River North has a strong claim to the title “Most Explosive Offense at the Shore” and Nyisztor was the sparkplug of that attack. He began to show glimpses of that promise last season before a broken collarbone cut his sophomore campaign short. He returned this year and picked up like he never left, beginning the season on a tear and hitting better than .500 over the first month. That hot streak included his lone home run of the season, which came in a 4-for-4 game against Central Regional on April 23.

Nysiztor’s 38 runs scored led all Shore Conference players and five of those came during a 23-6 rout of Lacey. He also scored four runs in a come-from-behind, 12-10 win over Jackson Memorial and put up a 4-for-4, three-run game in a 14-2 win over Red Bank Catholic. He ignited a first-inning rally against Barnegat ace Jason Groome with a walk to start the game and scored on a two-out error to help the Mariners jump on top of the first-round draft pick. Nyisztor also worked a key walk and scored the first run of a three-run seventh-inning rally in a 4-3 win over Eastern in the opening round of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV Tournament.

While teammate Joey Rose was the Shore’s top hitter this season, Nyisztor was the leadoff hitter and standout defensive shortstop for the Ocean County Tournament champions and the No. 3 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.

 

Outfield

Frank Graziano, Sr., Point Pleasant Boro

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
79 41 11 11 0 1 14 27 .519 .558 .696 5

 

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
30.2 6 0 22 1 10 43 0.23 1.04

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Point Boro senior Frank Graziano. (Photo by Mark Brown, B51 Photography)

During its 21-win season that included an undefeated record in Shore Conference Class B South play, Point Boro had heroes up and down the lineup. While anyone on the Panthers’ senior-laden roster could have made the key play at any time, no player did as much to contribute to the team’s banner season as much as Graziano did. Not only did he finish in the Shore Conference top 10 in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, doubles and RBI but he also posted the second-lowest ERA of any pitcher with more than 20 innings of work this season. Graziano injured his elbow in the first start of his junior year in 2015 and bounced back to shine in his 30 2/3 innings, going 6-0 while allowing just one earned run and striking out 43.

Despite his dominant pitching and quality glove in center fielder, the batter’s box is where Graziano made his largest contribution. Graziano shined against the toughest competition as well, going 7-for-15 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and just one strikeout against pitchers who are on this All-Shore list. He hit an RBI double off Red Bank Catholic ace John Poccia, went 2-for-4 against Manasquan left-hander Tommy Sheehan, and was 4-for-6 with a double and a home run against Barnegat’s Jared Kacso. In six tournament games, Graziano went 11-for-19 (.579) with four doubles, a homer and eight RBI.

After bouncing back from his junior year injury and leading Point Boro to one of its best seasons in recent memory, Graziano will continue his playing career at Salisbury University next season.

 

Mike Antico, Sr., Colts Neck

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
74 30 14 3 3 0 24 9 .405 .478 .527 31

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 First Team

Colts Neck senior center fielder Mike Antico. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Few people on this All-Shore list or anywhere else in N.J. can affect the game in the manner than Antico has for the past two seasons. His game as a sophomore was purely built on speed and over the past two years, he has refined himself as a hitter who can get himself on base to then wreak havoc with his legs. He improved his average from .231 to .333 between his sophomore and junior seasons and again increased his average more than 70 points to .405 this year. After swiping 31 bags this season to lead the Shore Conference, Antico has now stolen 60 bases over the past two years.

Colts Neck did not have the middle-of-the-order thunder to full take advantage of Antico’s on-base and speed skills, but he still made his mark over the course of the season. Colts Neck defeated Ocean twice and in the second meeting, Antico was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and three stolen bases. The Cougars were also the only team to defeat Red Bank Catholic in B North divisional play and it was largely thanks to Antico, who went 2-for-2 with four stolen bases and made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder, diving catch in the game.

Antico is an example of what a player with speed and athleticism can become as he improves his game and the Colts Neck center fielder will look to keep on progressing when he plays at St. John’s next year.

 

Bill Feehan, Sr., Point Pleasant Boro

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
81 44 12 7 2 0 34 19 .543 .626 .679 4

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Point Boro had a three-headed monster at the top of its batting order this year and Feehan was the steady contact man from the left side in the No. 2 hole. From the very start of the season, not only was Feehan hitting but he was hitting good pitching. Barnegat left-hander Jason Groome gave up one hit over his first 11 innings and it was a single through the right side by the left-hand-swinging Feehan, who walked in his other plate appearance against the Red Sox’s No. 1 draft pick. Feehan also showed his chops in four trips to the plate against Manasquan left-hander and Notre Dame recruit Tommy Sheehan, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch during a state tournament loss to Manasquan.

By season’s end, Feehan captured the Shore Conference batting crown with his .543 average and also finished second in the conference in on-base percentage (.626), ninth in slugging percentage (.679), third in hits (44), and tied for second in runs scored (34). In six postseason games for Point Boro, Feehan went 8-for-19 (.421) with a double, triple and nine runs scored, including a 3-for-3 game in a win over Holmdel in the opening round do the Central Jersey Group II playoffs. After a breakout season, Feehan will head to Ocean County College next season to suit up for the Vikings.

 

Designated Hitter

Ciaran Devenney, Sr., Catcher, St. John Vianney

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
61 28 10 10 2 2 17 7 .459 .548 .787 17

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Since winning the Non-Public A title and finishing No. 1 in N.J. in 2014, St. John Vianney has not been able to return to big-game form. Devenney, however, not only has performed at a high level for the Lancers in his two full varsity seasons, but this past year, he proved he can thrive against top-level pitching. The raw numbers on the Lancers backstop are more than All-Shore worthy – he finished eighth in the conference in both average and on-base percentage, third in slugging percentage and eschewed the concept of the courtesy runner by tying for fifth in the conference with 17 stolen bases.

Beyond his season totals, however, lies production against the best teams and pitchers that St. John Vianney faced. His two home runs both came off pitchers who appear on the All-Shore list – Nick Massa of Red Bank Regional and Tyler Ras of Middletown North – and his home run off Ras came in a Shore Conference Tournament game. He went 1-for-3 against Manasquan’s Jack Sheehan and 1-for-2 with a walk against brother Tommy Sheehan. Devenney was 1-for-3 with a double against Shore Regional right-hander Devin McLaughlin and 1-for-3 against Barnegat right-hander Jared Kacso. In a loss to No. 5 Toms River South, he went 2-for-4 with a double. Devenney then capped his season by going 2-for-3 with a double in Vianney’s 2-0 loss to eventual South Jersey Non-Public A champion St. Augustine in the state tournament.

Altogether, Devenney was 5-for-15 against pitchers who are on this All-Shore list with both of his home runs and four of his seven RBI. He will continue his playing career at Delaware State next season.

 

Utility

Trevor Wagner, Sr., Pitcher/Outfield, Toms River South

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
65.2 6 4 47 14 34 67 1.49 1.23

 

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
86 28 9 6 1 4 13 15 .326 .392 .558 3

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Wagner’s worth to the Class A South champion Indians took many forms over the course of his senior year. He was a workhorse pitcher, a dominant ace, a table-setter out of the leadoff spot, a slugging run-producer and a center fielder to boot. Wagner never quite took off during his first two varsity seasons, but in a year in which the Indians needed him to be a leader and wear many figurative hats, he delivered in just about every way possible. His seminal moment this season came after he dropped his first start of the season to Jackson Memorial and followed by taking the ball against rival Toms River North. Against arguably the best hitting team in the Shore Conference, Wagner pitched a no-hitter with nine strikeouts to deliver the Indians a 2-0 win. His dominance against the Mariners was a trend during the season, as Wagner pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings against Toms River North before finally surrendering a two-out, two-run single to Pat Marinaccio in the top of the eighth inning of the Ocean County Tournament final – the difference in a 2-0 Mariners win.

One of Wagner’s best two-way performances came in an OCT win over Point Beach in which he struck out nine batters in three innings and also homered in the victory. Later in the tournament, he pitched a two-hit shutout and gave his team a chance to walk off with a 1-0 semifinal win over Brick. On the power side, he blasted two home runs in an 11-9 loss to Southern Regional and also homered in a 7-0 win over Freehold Borough in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. That timely offense to go along with the third-highest innings total and the fifth-highest strikeout total in the conference make Wagner one of the more complete players from this past Shore Conference season. Wagner will continue his playing career at Monmouth University next season.

 

Pitchers

Luca Dalatri, Sr., Right-Handed Pitcher, Christian Brothers Academy

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
67 10 0 32 4 4 118 0.42 0.55

 

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG
74 24 13 8 1 2 9 14 .324 .435 .540

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 First Team (Pitcher of the Year), 2014 First Team (Pitcher of the Year)

Dalatri is the Pitcher of the Year for the third consecutive season. Click here to read about his standout season and record-breaking career.

 

Jason Groome, Sr., Left-Handed Pitcher, Barnegat

(Totals include stats from vacated starts)

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
39.2 1 3 15 5 14 90 0.88 0.73

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2014 First Team

No high school baseball player in the country faced as much scrutiny as Groome did this past year. He entered the spring as the consensus No. 1 prospect in the MLB Draft and even after scouts and media picked apart every pitch, every stride and every word both on and away from the field, he never really lost his standing as one of the top talents in the draft class. He would eventually become the No. 12 overall pick of favorite childhood team, the Boston Red Sox, and is currently in negotiations regarding a contract, although the two sides reportedly have yet to exchange numbers.

On the field, Groome’s season probably did not live up to expectations and there likely was not any way that it could have. It began the way many expected it to – he struck out 10 and allowed one hit in four shutout innings in his first start against Point Boro, then threw a no-hitter against Central in which he struck out 19 and allowed the lone baserunner to reach on an error before promptly picking him off. After a near-perfect start, the best-laid plans went awry as the NJSIAA ruled Groome ineligible because of the transfer rule and relegated him to the sideline until April 30 while also stripping Barnegat of the two wins it picked up with Groome on the mound.

Upon his return, Groome struck out 13 in a two-hit shutout against Pinelands before Toms River North touched him up for seven runs – four earned. Groome then closed the season with a pair of strong six-inning starts – a 14-strikeout two-hitter against Gloucester Catholic and a 12-strikeout, two-hit performance against West Deptford in the state tournament. The common thread in those games, however, was that Barnegat’s defense cost Groome a run and, in turn, the game because the offense could not score more than a run in either game. The Bengals officially finished the season below .500, finished tied for fourth in Class B South, and did not reach the championship game of any postseason tournament for the first time in three years, but it’s hard to fault Groome for any of that. In the short time he was able to pitch this season, with the exception of one inning against Toms River North, he was as dominant as a high school pitcher can be.

 

John Poccia, Sr., Right-Handed Pitcher, Red Bank Catholic

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
68 9 2 42 10 10 53 1.03 0.76

Prior All-Shore Selections: 2015 Second Team

Red Bank Catholic right-hander John Poccia. (Photo by Matt Manley)

The unofficial winner of the 2016 Rubber Arm Award, Poccia led the Shore Conference in innings pitched this season despite only pitching three complete games. He appeared in 12 games – 11 of which were starts – and pitched with three or fewer days of rest four times, including a 3 2/3 inning relief appearance three days after a four-inning outing. Poccia’s season wasn’t just about taking the ball, though: when he took it, he was good. That relief outing against Barnegat – in which he allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings – was one of his two losses on the year and his other loss was a head-to-head matchup against CBA right-hander Luca Dalatri, which the Colts won, 4-0.

Poccia’s other 10 appearances were all starts and he won nine of the 10 with one no-decision against Neptune. He pitched two complete games in his first five starts, the first of which was a four-hit shutout against Red Bank ace Nick Massa and the second of which was a 6-1 win over Colts Neck. He did not finish off a game again until his final start of the season, which was also the best start of his career. In the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A South tournament, Poccia pitched a nine-inning one-hitter as RBC edged Notre Dame, 1-0. Poccia was hoping to take the ball again in the sectional final, but RBC fell to Camden Catholic at home, 2-0, in the sectional semifinals. Instead, his next action will be when he pitches for DeSales University next season.

 

Tommy Sheehan, Jr., Left-Handed Pitcher, Manasquan

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
45 5 1 21 5 7 63 0.78 0.62

 

AB H BB 2B 3B HR R RBI AVG OBP SLUG SB
45 10 10 4 0 0 7 10 .222 .375 .311 2

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Manasquan left-hander Tommy Sheehan. (Photo by Matt Manley)

After showing flashes of dominance to come during his first two high school seasons, Sheehan transformed into an unquestioned ace as a junior this season for the Warriors. First-year coach Bob Waldeyer made a concerted effort to limit Sheehan’s usage by giving him at least six days off between outings and the result was a fresh left-hander throughout the season. Sheehan dominated his five starts against Class A Central opponents, going 4-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 49 strikeouts to just four walks in 32 innings. He also held opponents to only 11 hits in those starts and missed out on a win only when he left a 0-0 game against Raritan after seven complete innings. Sheehan struck out 11 Rockets in that one and later fanned 13 in a four-hitter against St. John Vianney.

Sheehan also flirted with perfection in a start at Monmouth Regional, where he took the mound in the seventh inning having retired the first 18 Falcons in order. Christian Hoplock ended the bid for the perfect game with an infield single and Sheehan walked another batter in the inning, but the junior left-hander finished off a one-hit shutout to clinch no worse than a share of the Class A Central title for Manasquan. The Warriors would go on the win the title outright by winning their next game.

After falling short of a perfect game, Sheehan fell victim to one in his lone loss of the season. He allowed two earned runs in six innings in a Shore Conference Tournament start against Freehold Boro, but Colonials ace Dan Chiusano tosses a perfect game to out-do the Warriors ace. Sheehan bounced back in the state tournament with a complete-game, 10-strikeout effort in an 8-1 win over second-seeded Point Boro in the Central Jersey Group II quarterfinals. With his best season now behind him, Sheehan will look to be the Manasquan workhorse as a senior next season before heading to the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2017.

 

Dan Chiusano, Jr., Left-Handed Pitcher, Freehold Boro

IP W L H ER BB SO ERA WHIP
61 5 5 35 8 14 55 0.92 0.80

Prior All-Shore Selections: None

Lady luck was not always kind to Chiusano during the 2016 season, but when the ball bounced his way, it did so in dramatic fashion. When he lost a no-hitter on an infield single in the top of the seventh inning against Colts Neck, it appeared Chiusano had missed a golden opportunity to make his best career start an especially memorable one. But a little more than a month later, Chiusano pitched the game of his life and the game of the Shore Conference season when he spun a perfect game against Manasquan and junior ace Tommy Sheehan in the Shore Conference Tournament opening round. He needed only 66 pitches to finish off the Warriors and his fourth strikeout of the game capped the career day for the junior left-hander.

Chiusano’s mixed fortunes extended beyond no-hitters and perfect games and into his win-loss record and defensive support. He lost a 1-0 game to Marlboro in his first start of the season, an unearned run cost him a 3-2 loss at Ocean, and he gave up two unearned runs in seven innings in a 2-0 loss to rival Freehold Township. Chiusano then won consecutive starts against Jackson Liberty and Manasquan, but again fell victim to unearned runs in a 6-2 loss to South Brunswick in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV opening round. Against a streaking Vikings team, Chiusano did manage to strike out nine while walking only one, but could not overcome four Freehold errors.

While his .500 record might tell one story and his sub-one ERA and WHIP will tell another, perhaps the best indication of Chiusano’s season was that after falling just short of pitching a no-hitter earlier in the season against a top-10 team, he came back and did himself one better with a perfect game while going head-to-head with a fellow All-Shore first-teamer.

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