Baseball – 2021 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Second and Third Teams
Shore Sports Network 2021 All-Shore Team
Anthony Matteis, Sr., Manalapan
Matteis was a beast in big games for a Manalapan team that was never out of a game thanks to its deep, clutch-hitting lineup. He is the only catcher in the Shore Conference to finish top-five at the position in each of doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage – all while playing in Class A North. To further illustrate Matteis’s mastery vs. top pitching, he hit .417 (10-for-24) with three doubles, a home run and 11 RBI in tournament games and posted a .902 OPS against pitchers who made the All-Shore team.
Joe Stanzione, Sr., Middletown South
The top run-producer on the Group IV champion, Stanzione was one of six players in the Shore to drive in 30 or more runs and led all Shore Conference first basemen with his 30 RBI while finishing tied for the lead at the position in home runs. Four of his six home runs came in two games – the first in a win over Toms River North and the second in a memorable performance against Clearview in the Group IV semifinal.
Andrew Schmid, Sr., Shortstop, Rumson-Fair Haven
In addition to being one of the most productive offensive shortstops in the Shore Conference, Schmid drew rave reviews for both his outstanding defense at the most important position on the infield, as well as his energy on the field and in the Rumson-Fair Haven dugout. Schmid was the emotional leader for a Rumson team that achieved its highest Shore Conference ranking at the end of a season (No. 3) and won the Monmouth County Tournament for the first time in program history.
Gabe Cavazzoni, So., Shortstop, Wall
On the raw numbers, Cavazzoni was the best offensive shortstop in the Shore Conference in 2021 and he did it as a sophomore. The Crimson Knights breakout star tied for the lead among all regular shortstops in extra-base hits (11) and RBI (28) and finished second behind Ranney’s Brett Wehringer in on-base percentage. He also stepped up vs. high-level pitching, going 6-for-13 against pitchers who made the All-Shore team, including an RBI triple against Pitcher of the Year Shane Panzini.
Charlie Meglio, So., Third Base, Jackson Memorial
While Jackson Memorial struggled to find the offense at points during the 2021 season to live up to lofty preseason expectations, Meglio was a constant in the middle of the Jaguars lineup. His 36 RBI placed him second in the Shore Conference behind Chris Ellison from Howell, with Meglio driving in five runs in three different games against Jackson Liberty, Toms River East and Toms River South. Meglio also finished tied for first among third basemen in home runs while finishing third in doubles and slugging percentage.
Vin Impresa, Sr., Third Base/Pitcher, Howell
While Impresa’s RBI totals were well short of Meglio’s, the Howell senior was right with the Jackson Memorial sophomore among leaders at the third-base position. Impresa finished the season hitting .400 and his .624 slugging percentage trailed only Point Beach’s Andrew Banick among third basemen. His homers came in two division games against the top two teams in the Class A North standings – Manalapan and Freehold Township – and in a Shore Conference Tournament win over Lacey.
Logan Duffy, Jr., Right field/Pitcher, Manchester
Duffy entered the season already committed to play at Old Dominion despite never taking a varsity at-bat and his junior season in 2021 was a showcase of what ODU already knew. Duffy finished third among Shore Conference outfielders in slugging percentage and tied for eighth in the entire conference with 14 extra-base hits. Duffy was especially instrumental during Manchester’s run to the South Jersey Group II title, going 7-for-19 (.368) with two home runs, six runs and four RBI in five state tournament games.
Charlie Chropuvka, Jr., Centerfield, Ranney
One look at Chropuvka’s stat-line puts him at the top of a loaded outfield class within the Shore Conference in 2021. One look at Ranney’s division schedule, plus the short fence at its home field, makes it easy to dismiss Chropuvka’s year as a product of weak competition and a short porch. The truth, though, is somewhere in the middle and to Chropuvka’s credit, he acquitted himself nicely against the tougher competition on Ranney’s schedule. He doubled twice off SSN First-Teamer Cole Manfro of Brick Memorial, went 2-for-2 with a triple off B South Pitcher of the Year Dan Keenan, and went 6-for-22 (.272) with two triples, two homers and six RBI during Ranney’s six tournament games.
Thomas Elgrim, Sr., Centerfield, Rumson-Fair Haven
Like his teammate and fellow All-Shore Second Team member, Andrew Schmid, Elgrim was a senior leader and up-the-middle defender on a Rumson-Fair Haven team that relied a lot on juniors and sophomores throughout its dangerous lineup and pitching staff. Elgrim was a steady defender in centerfield throughout the year, while his 15 extra-base hits and 54 combined runs and RBI were both good for fifth in the conference. He was also a postseason standout, hitting .350 with six doubles, a home run and 12 RBI in 40 tournament at-bats.
Matt Kaliske, Sr., First Base, Lacey
Lacey’s one-two pitching duo of Jacob Bowles and Nick Zarycki was fairly well-established going into the year but the standout performer all year for the Lions was their slugging first baseman. Kaliske needed only 82 plate appearances to rack up the fifth-highest extra-base-hit total at the Shore (15), while he was among the top-five first basemen is doubles (tied second), home runs (tied first), batting average (fifth), on-base percentage (fourth) and slugging percentage (second). His .838 slugging percentage also placed him seventh in the entire Shore Conference.
Cam Leiter, Jr., Pitcher/DH, Central
Despite never throwing a pitch as a high-school baseball player in the United States prior to this spring, Leiter entered the season with lofty expectations – most of them stemming from his considerable baseball bloodlines. After rocky results in his first two starts, Leiter found his groove with dominant outings against Barnegat (five-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts) and Monmouth Regional (three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts). He then pitched a one-hitter to beat then-No. 1 Jackson Memorial and closed his season with big efforts against Brick and Brick Memorial to help Central capture the Ocean County Tournament championship.
Matt Pontari, Sr., Outfield/Third Base/Pitcher, Middletown South
Just on numbers, Pontari was a borderline case but his performance against great competition and in big games made him an easy All-Shore choice. All seven of Pontari’s pitching appearances came against the top six teams in the Shore Sports Network Top 10: two vs. No. 1 Red Bank Catholic, two vs. No. 4 Freehold Township, two vs. No. 5 Marlboro and one vs. No. 6 Colts Neck. The Eagles senior threw a no-hitter against Central Jersey Group IV champion Colts Neck in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16, beat Marlboro ace Mark Capell 2-0 in the Central Group IV championship game, hit a go-ahead home run off Gorman in the CJ IV quarterfinals, and threw out the potential go-ahead run at home plate on a wild seventh-inning play against Clearview in the Group IV semifinal.
Brian Young, Sr., LHP, Neptune
Young made it clear he was due for a breakout during his junior year when he nearly no-hit Red Bank Catholic during the Last Dance World Series in July. Once the games became official this past April, the Rider commit picked up where he left off by beating Ocean and St. John Vianney in the early going and pitching a three-hit shutout against No. 5 Marlboro in the Shore Conference Tournament opening round. Young – who was also Neptune’s top hitter – lost only two games and they came in the final at-bat vs. Wall and to Northern Burlington in the Central Group III first round. Young reached pitch count against Wall and his replacement gave up the winning hit, while both runs he surrendered in the 2-0 loss at Northern Burlington were unearned.
Charlie Jones, Jr., RHP, Rumson-Fair Haven
Heading into the 2021 season, the two most decorated pitchers in the Shore Conference were right-handers Shane Panzini of Red Bank Catholic and Matt Potok of Jackson Memorial. During the course of his junior season, Jones went head-to-head with both senior standouts and pitched his team to victories in both games, matching Panzini for seven innings in a 10-inning Bulldogs win and beating Potok straight up with a complete-game in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Jones - a William & Mary commit - also picked up a regular-seasons win over Central and St. Rose and tournament wins over Brick, Robbinsville and Ranney during his breakout junior campaign.
Matt Potok, Sr., RHP, Jackson Memorial
While most pitchers did not get a chance to put their best foot forward in 2020, Potok made the most of his chance to pitch in the Last Dance World Series by firing 18 scoreless innings with 22 strikeouts and no walks in Jackson's run to the state championship game. That performance set expectations sky-high going into his senior year and Potok’s arm ultimately did not hold up. After suffering the first loss of his high-school career in a 5-2 SCT defeat at the hands of Rumson-Fair Haven, Potok made one more relief appearance before being shut down for the season with a tired arm. Before that, however, he still managed the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the conference (9.17) while finishing seventh in the conference in WHIP.
Matt Villapiano, Sr., LHP, Freehold Township
Freehold Township entered the season with an accomplished senior starting pitcher in Zach Gorman, but it was Villapiano who earned the opening-day start, the state-tournament opening-round start and the All-Shore Second Team spot for the Class A North champions. The senior left-hander picked up noteworthy wins over Middletown South, CBA and Middletown North in divisional play and pitched his best game in the Central Group IV opening round, when he one-hit East Brunswick on 82 pitches. Villapiano then closed his season with six strikeouts on the mound and two hits at the plate – including a double – in a complete-game win over St. John Vianney in the Monmouth County Tournament.
Joe Mazza, Sr., LHP, Manalapan
Mazza appeared on his way to a First-Team All-Shore season before an injury shut him down for nearly three weeks. The senior left-hander and Rutgers commit defeated Monroe, CBA, Middletown North and Ranney in consecutive starts to open his season before being shelved as a pitcher until June 5. His first outing back was his roughest – a loss to Marlboro in the Central Group IV quarterfinals – but Mazza did bounce back by allowing one run on three hits with eight strikeouts over six innings in a MCT quarterfinal win over Colts Neck to close out his All-Shore season.
Joe Cilea, Jr., Colts Neck
Colts Neck’s solid all-around backstop finished seventh in the Shore Conference and first among catchers in RBI during 2021 while sitting in the middle of Colts Neck’s balanced lineup. Cilea gave way to a courtesy runner the vast majority of the time he reached base, which was most of the time as the .505 on-base percentage with tell you. He still flashed some speed here and there by legging out three triples.
Chris Corchado, Sr., Freehold Township
Triples-hitters are, fittingly, in abundance on the All-Shore Third Team and no first baseman could rival Corchado when it came to hitting triples. His five three-baggers were good for second in the entire conference and they contributed to an overall statistical profile that made him the most productive hitter on Freehold Township – the Class A North division champion and No. 4 team in the final Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Tom Guidice, Sr., Third Base, Manalapan
With experience as a run-producing hitter as a sophomore in 2019, Guidice was a leader from the get-go for Manalapan and continually came through in big spots throughout the year. In eight tournament games, the senior third baseman hit .440 (11-for-25) with five doubles and nine RBI, including going 6-for-10 with three doubles and six RBI in Manalapan’s final three games – all in the Monmouth County Tournament.
Jay Bant, Sr., Third Base, Wall
Like Guidice, Bant is an experienced varsity third baseman who hit in the heart of the order for an NJSIAA sectional championship team as a sophomore. In Bant’s case, he was the cleanup hitter for the 2019 Group III champions and No. 1 team at the Shore, so bringing him back this season really tied a talented Wall lineup together. Bant led all third-base regulars around the Shore with his .519 on-base percentage and again showed up in the NJSIAA Tournament, when he went 3-for-6 with a double, home run and six RBI in Wall’s two-game stay.
Andrew Woodward, Sr., Shortstop, Holmdel
It is time to meet the Shore Conference’s triples king. Woodward was slated to make his varsity debut in 2020 after missing 2019 due to injury and in 2021, he made up for lost time. In addition to leading the conference in triples, Woodward finished second among shortstops with at least 50 plate appearances in batting average, first in slugging percentage and in the top 10 at the position in runs (sixth), RBI (fourth) and on-base percentage (third). He also tore it up in tournament games, going 6-for-11 (.545) with a double and three RBI in four games.
Nick Callano, Sr., Centerfield/Pitcher, Ocean
One of the Shore’s most dynamic talents, Callano was an impressive performer in every facet of the game: in the batter’s box, in centerfield, on the base paths and on the mound, where his fastball touched the low 90-miles-per-hour range. Callano was one of three outfielders in the entire Shore Conference – along with Chropuvka and Central’s Evan Agrapides – to steal at least 10 bases while also posting a slugging percentage of at last .600 over at least 40 plate appearances. On the mound, meanwhile, Callano’s 9.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio was the top mark in the entire Shore Conference.
Max Kaplan, Sr., Left field, Wall
Wall’s lineup was loaded with big numbers, particularly in its outfield with Kaplan, junior Nick Lovarco and senior Jerry Winchester. Kaplan was selected as the Class B North Hitter of the Year by the division coaches after finishing second on the Crimson Knights in OPS (1.171) and fourth in the entire conference in runs scored. He sealed up an All-Shore spot by hitting .429 with a double and a home run in tournament play and 4-for-13 (.308) with two doubles against All-Shore pitchers.
Antonio Gatti, Sr., Centerfield, Howell
Speaking of hitters who seized an All-Shore spot by hitting good pitching, Gatti is the posterchild for such a player. The Rebels centerfielder put up solid numbers overall, but he separated himself against quality pitching. Against pitchers who made one of the three All-Shore teams, Gatti hit .437/.500/.812 in 18 plate appearances with a double off Shane Panzini, a two-run triple off Danny Frontera and a two-run home run off Colin Dowlen – all First-Team All-Shore pitchers.
Brad Salamone, Jr., Left field, Colts Neck
Like fellow Class B North co-champion Wall, Colts Neck had two outfielders put up All-Shore-caliber numbers in Salamone and senior Cameron Knipp. As was the case with most close calls on the All-Shore teams, Salamone gets the nod for his exceptional performance both against top-tier pitching and in the postseason tournaments, as well as his Shore-Conference-leading 32 runs scored and near-.500 on-base percentage. Salamone put up an .873 OPS against All-Shore-caliber pitching and went off in the tournaments with a .393 average, .500 on-base percentage, a double, home run and eight RBI for the Central Group III champions.
Andrew Fischer, Jr., Wall
Fischer was deployed almost exclusively as a DH during his junior season and he showed why Duke offered him scholarship money as one of the most highly-regarded 2022 bats in New Jersey. Fischer drew 10 more walks than then next closest player in the Shore Conference to give him more than twice as many free passes as strikeouts (15). His on-base percentage was the best of any player outside of Ranney’s duo of Chropuvka and fellow Duke commit A.J. Gracia and his slugging percentage was eighth in the conference, giving Fischer the sixth-best OPS (1.388) in the conference among players with at least 50 plate appearances.
Zach Gorman, Sr., Left field/Pitcher, Freehold Township
Gorman does just about everything on a baseball field and what he lacked in extra-base impact, he made up for by posting the second-best batting average and third-best on-base percentage of any Class A North player. His pitching alone put him in the All-Shore mix as well and there were games in which Gorman carried the Patriots to victory, most notably a three-hit shutout while going 3-for-3 vs. Middletown South and another 3-for-3 game with three runs, two RBI and three stolen bases while earning the division-clinching win on the mound against Middletown North.
Dan Keenan, Sr., Centerfield/Pitcher, Jackson Liberty
Despite returning a young team with little experience back from the 23-4 squad in 2019, Jackson Liberty won a share of the 2021 Class B South championship and Keenan was a huge reason why. He was the lone returning starter from 2019 and it showed in his standout offensive performance and in his dominance on the mound. Keenan was named the Pitcher of the Year in Class B South by the division coaches, racking up wins over Raritan, Barnegat, Donovan Catholic, Pinelands and Lacey.
Ryan Sekman, Sr., LHP, St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney’s senior ace made seven starts this season and over his first six, he was pretty much lights-out (5-1, 1.23 ERA, 54 strikeouts, 34 innings). Sekman pitched a two-hitter vs. Neptune, a three-hitter vs. Freehold Boro and a four-hitter vs. Matawan and did not allow an earned run in any of the three games. He also mixed in a hard-luck, 2-1 loss to Colts Neck and later outdueled Colin Reilly in a 3-2 win over CBA in the first round of the South Jersey Non-Public A first round. A rough outing vs. No. 4 Freehold Township to close the year inflated his numbers, but Sekman still pitched like an All-Shore left-hander from start-to-finish.
Tyler Spencer, So., RHP, Colts Neck
Colts Neck boasted three committed Division I 2022 arms on its roster in Anthony Gubitosi (Delaware), Christian Rice (Wofford) and Collin Kratzer (Army), but it was Spencer – a Class of 2023 first-year varsity player who began the season as a projected outfielder – who put up the best statistical season on the mound for the Cougars. He led his team in won-loss record and innings and was just behind Kratzer (1.25) in ERA in 34 more innings. Spencer’s 56 1/3 innings were the fifth-highest total in the conference and the sophomore also drove in 20 runs and played third base on his non-pitching days.
Tyler Kane, Jr., RHP, Manalapan
Before hitting some turbulence in his last two appearances of the season, Kane was overpowering some of the Shore’s top lineups and going toe-to-toe with some of its best aces. Among pitchers with 30 or more innings, only Shane Panzini (13.05) had a higher strikeouts-per-seven-inning average than Kane (13.02) and that strikeout prowess was on display during a 16-strikeout, no-walk, three-hit shutout to beat Frontera and Middletown North, 1-0.
Anthony Gubitosi, Jr., LHP, Colts Neck
Gubitosi introduce himself to the Shore Conference on opening day, when he pitched a five-inning, two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts against Manalapan in his first career varsity outing. The left-hander and Delaware commit went on to finish tied for fifth in the Shore Conference in strikeouts behind only Panzini, Ben Schild Zach Crotchfelt and Kane while also running his record to 6-2 for Colts Neck team that won its first Central Jersey Group III championship in program history.
Jacob Bowles, Sr., RHP, Lacey
Bowles started his senior season with a bang by pitching a six-inning no-hitter against Point Boro, followed by a 12-strikeout win over Barnegat in which he outdueled First-Team two-way standout Nick Danbrowney. By the end of his 2021 season, Bowles finished seventh in ERA among Shore Conference pitchers with at least 30 innings of work while also serving as an effective leadoff hitter who also hit for some power (eight extra-base hits).
Dylan Wanagiel, Sr., RHP, Red Bank Catholic
Red Bank Catholic entered the season knowing exactly what it was getting from its No. 1 starter but without much of an idea what the rest of the staff would look like. In that respect, Wanagiel was a godsend for the top-ranked Caseys, finishing sixth in the Shore Conference in innings while pitching against some tough lineups from around the Shore and the state: twice against No. 2 Middletown South and once each vs. Ocean, Manalapan, St. Augustine and St. Joseph of Metuchen – the last three of which were tournament games.
All-Shore Final Vote
The Shore Sports Network readers have selected six more members of the 2021 All-Shore Team. Click on the link below to meet them.