Baseball – Four More Shore Players Make Division I Commitments
Four returning baseball players from Monmouth County announced their college plans this week, including a pair of current teammates as well as two future ones.
Christian Brothers Academy duo Blaise Venancio and Tommy DiTullio made their college picks known via Twitter, while Middletown North senior-to-be Garrett French and Colts Neck Class of 2019 outfielder Reece Horneck both committed to Rutgers.
Venancio announced his non-binding verbal commitment to St. Joseph's University while DiTullio committed to Bryant University. Both Colts teammates were Shore Sports Network All-Shore selections in 2017, Venancio as a second-team left-handed pitcher and DiTullio as a third-team infielder.
As a junior in 2017, Venancio was arguably CBA's most consistent pitcher this season, going 3-2 with a 1.25 ERA in 50 1/3 innings. He struck out 46 batters while walking only 13 and surrendering 32 hits.
DiTullio won the starting shortstop job at CBA as a sophomore and proceeded to hit .307/.386/.416 with five doubles, two home runs, 20 runs scored and 13 RBI while hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot for the Colts. He also established himself as one of the top defensive players in the Shore Conference Class A North.
French was another All-Shore selection to commit this week, an announcement that came on the heels of a breakout campaign for the Lions right-hander in 2017. During his junior year, French went 7-2 with a 1.12 ERA, 59 strikeouts, 22 walks and 31 hits allowed in 56 1/3 innings while earning a spot on the SSN All-Shore Second Team.
In addition to his pitching, French also served as Middletown North's shortstop and hit .203 with two doubles, a triple and home run to go with 13 runs scored.
Horneck is an up-and-coming junior and gained his footing as a varsity player for Colts Neck as a sophomore in 2017. In 35 plate appearances, Horneck hit .286/.429/.393 with a double and a triple while knocking in six and scoring eight runs.
The four Shore Conference division I commits during the early part of August join a list of July commits that includes Toms River South's T.J. Scuderi (Monmouth), CBA's Jack Harnisch (Fordham), Holmdel's Sal Monticciolo (Fairleigh Dickinson) and Middletown South teammates Aurelio Licata (Seton Hall) and Joe Sprake (Elon).