Baseball – VOTE: Week 2 Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Player and Pitcher of the Week
After a week full of offense and even a couple of pleasant weather days to end it, it's time to pick the best performers from the second week of the Shore Conference baseball season. Read about the candidates below, then vote for the best player and pitcher at the bottom of the post. Vote as many times as you’d like between now and the time the voting closes at 10 p.m. on Thursday.
Class A North Player of the Week
Justin Levito, Marlboro
Marlboro’s climb to No. 3 in the Monmouth County Tournament and No. 4 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 was thanks to wins over CBA and Manalapan, of which Levito was an integral part. He hit a game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the seventh to hand CBA its only loss and was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs vs. Manalapan. His big game, however, was a two-homer, eight-RBI outburst against St. John Vianney on Saturday – arguably the best game any Shore player has turned in this season. For the weeks, the slick-fielding shortstop hit 7-for-16 (.437) with three doubles, two homers, seven runs scored and nine RBI.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Ryan Bearse, Howell
Last week was a very offensive-oriented week throughout the Shore Conference, so a lot of the candidates for the overall pitcher of the week and players like Bearse, who had a strong showing on the mound, as well as some highlights at the plate. The Rebels junior earned the win against Colts Neck with two innings of relief and pitched the seventh to earn the save against red-hot Marlboro. He closed up the week with four scoreless innings against Manchester for his second win of the week. The only game Bearse has not appeared on the mound this year was a win over Neptune on April 9 and he made up for it by socking a home run in that one.
A North Honorable Mention: Braedin Hunt, CBA; Justin Kapuscinski, Marlboro; Ryan Bearse, Howell; Nick Ruszczyk, Howell; Andrea Dalatri, CBA; Giovanni Ciaccio, Manalapan; Billy Watters, Manalapan, Nick DiMiceli, Manalapan; Dylan Beyer, Howell; Sebastian Jno-Baptiste, Neptune; Nick Aiello, Freehold Boro; Phil Marcantonio, Freehold Boro; Ryan Ford, Freehold Twp.; Brandon Smith, Freehold Twp., Cristian Corcione, Freehold Twp.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Robby Smith, Rumson-Fair Haven
In a week full of huge single-game offensive performances, Smith helped kick it off with two home runs, a double and six RBI in Rumson’s 8-4 win over Shore on April 9. The Bulldogs catcher also went 1-for-3 in each of Rumson’s other three games during the week and drove in a run in his team’s 6-3 win over Matawan on Thursday.
Jake Tennant, Raritan
Pitching a shutout is one thing, pitching an eight-inning shutout is another and pitching an eight-inning shutout in a 1-0 game gets you a Player of the Week nod. Tennant matched zeros with Holmdel’s Brandon Saghafi for the first seven innings of Thursday’s game between the teams until the Rockets scratched a run across against Saghafi in the top of the eighth inning. Armed with a 1-0 lead, Tennant finished off his three-hit shutout, which included four strikeouts and two walks.
A Central Honorable Mention: Brandon Saghafi, Holmdel; Tyler Bruno, Raritan; Richie Olsen, Matawan; Chris Gendi, Matawan; Andrew Schmid, Rumson; Michael Eulner, Red Bank; Jack Povey, Red Bank; Logan Marter, St. John Vianney; Luciano Fabrizzi, St. John Vianney; Tommy Dunleavy, Shore; James LaBruno, Shore; Mike Shirvanian, Shore; Ryan Kasmer, Raritan; Zack Johnston, Raritan; Dan Vanmeerbeke, Raritan
Class A South Player of the Week
Jared Bellissimo, Toms River North
Coming into this week, Bellissimo had never hit a varsity home run. By the end of the week, the Rutgers University commit led the Shore Conference with four. Bellissimo got his huge week started by homering twice to go with a triple and seven RBI in Toms River North’s 17-2 rout of Southern, then homered against both Brick Memorial and Jackson Memorial later in the week. Bellissimo also earned a win on the mound in relief during the 10-inning win over Brick Memorial. For the week, Bellissimo slashed .357/.500/1.357 with a triple, four homers and 11 RBI.
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Brad Brush, Toms River East
With his fellow senior rotation-mate Nick DeGennaro on the shelf, Brush has stepped up in a big way during a 5-0 start to the season for Toms River East. Last week, he pitched a complete-game to beat Toms River South on Wednesday and also went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI in that game. For the week, Brush was 7-for-12 (.583) with three doubles and five RBI over the course of three wins vs. Brick Memorial, Toms River South and Central.
A South Honorable Mention: T.J. Scuderi, Toms River South; Vance Pelino, Central; Tyler Aires, Central; T.J. Rosace, Brick Memorial; Mike Schiatarella, Southern; Aiden Hoszzu, Southern; A.J. Mandell, Southern; Joe Guerra, Brick; John Coppola, Brick; Troy Bathmann, Jackson Memorial; Ryan Lasko, Jackson Memorial; Andrew Sefick, Jackson Memorial; Craig Larsen, Toms River North; Ahmir Cournier, Toms River East
Class B North Player of the Week
James Harmstead, Manasquan
Down a couple of All-Shore pitchers from a year ago, Manasquan has remained in the thick of the Class B North race thanks to a productive offense, led by Harmstead. This week, the junior third baseman and Monmouth University commit went 6-for-12, including a big three-run home run in the sixth inning of a 6-4 win over Monmouth Regional on April 10. He was also 3-for-4 in a win over Middletown North the following day.
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Trey Dombroski, Wall
Dombroski has thrown two gems in two starts this season, the latest a two-hitter in a 5-1 in over Red Bank Catholic on April 10. Dombroski allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out 11 and walking two against the Caseys.
B North Honorable Mention: Grant Shulman, Wall; Tanner Powers, Wall; Dylan Finn, Manasquan; Tyler Ras, Middletown North; Jack Kinsella, Middletown South; Robby Zega, Middletown South; Aurelio Licata, Middletown South; Ryan O’Hara, Red Bank Catholic; David Glancy, Red Bank Catholic; Danny Minze, Middletown South; Dante Ciaramella, Monmouth; Matt Mincieli, Long Branch; Max Winters, Ocean
Class B Central Player of the Week
John Nista, Point Beach
Nista carried the Garnet Gulls last week with both his bat and his arm, going 9-for-15 (.600) with two doubles, a home run and six RBI in the box and nine innings without an earned run on the mound. Nista also struck out 15, including 10 in a six-inning one-hitter against Lakewood on Saturday. He was 3-for-3 at the plate against St. Rose and homered in a win over Ranney.
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Brandon Sansone, Mater Dei Prep
Sansone fired a five-inning two-hitter in a 13-1 win over Keyport to open last week and closed it with a complete-game win over Shore Regional to give the Seraphs a solid win outside of B Central. The one run he allowed against Keyport was unearned and the performance included 10 strikeouts and four walks. Against Shore, Sansone gave up two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven on 106 pitches.
B Central Honorable Mention: Riley Maypother, St. Rose; Colin Fernandez, Keyport; Justin Young, Keyport; Josh Yates, Point Beach; Vincent Storino, Point Beach; Brody Maypother, St. Rose; Sammy Sestito, St. Rose; Jeff DeFazio, St. Rose; Charles Chropuvra, Ranney; Deven Bhatnagar, Ranney; Bismark Garcia-Mendez, Asbury Park; Ryan Batista, Ranney; Mario Bove, St. Rose; Ryan Bender, Mater Dei; Liam Meyer, Keansburg; Joe Profaci, Mater Dei; Tim Farrell, Henry Hudson
Class B South Player of the Week
Shane Hickey, Jackson Liberty
In yet another week in which any number of Jackson Liberty players were worthy of a Player of the Week mention, it is Hickey who gets the nod after going off for two homers, a double and six RBI in a 14-4, statement win over crosstown rival Jackson Memorial. Teammate Scott Wierciszewski hit two homers and drove in 13 runs this week and David Melfi hit .667 for the week, but Hickey’s performance in the Lions’ biggest win of the week gets him the nod.
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Matt Pickus, Jackson Liberty
Pickus was on his game last Wednesday against Lacey. The senior right-hander turned in a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and no walks against a Lacey that entered the game averaging better than eight runs per game. At one point, Pickus retired 10 batters in a row and he finished off the game by striking out the side in order.
B South Honorable Mention: Jorden Jurkiewicz, Lacey; Scott Wierciszewski, Jackson Liberty; David Melfi, Jackson Liberty; Ryan Costello, Manchester; John Simonini, Manchester; Evan Scala, Manchester; Mike Conger, Manchester; Sam Collins, Point Boro; Nick Guzzi, Point Boro; Sean O’Rourke, Pinelands; Danny Thomas, Pinelands; David MacGillivray, Barnegat; Brian Finucan, Barnegat