Baseball – 2022 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Third Team
Shore Sports Network All-Shore Team
Kyle Pollack, Sr., St. John Vianney
One of three All-Shore players in the middle of St. John Vianney’s batting order, Pollack was in the running for the title of best hitting catcher in the Shore Conference this season. He led all backstops in batting average, was second in slugging percentage to Rumson’s Owen Kenney and trailed only Kenny in home runs. Pollack also mashed in tournament games, going 9-for-19 (.474) with three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI.
Chris Sasso, Sr., Jackson Liberty
Sasso made a strong case to be considered the best two-way threat playing in the Class B South division in 2022, and there was plenty of competition. The left-hander finished 10th at the Shore in strikeouts and was in the top 10 in both ERA (16th) and WHIP (18th), making him one of Ocean County’s toughest aces. At the plate, Sasso also delivered throughout the year, including a three-run home run in a win over Donovan Catholic and a walk-off, three-run homer in a 4-2 win over Barnegat – a game in which Sasso drove in all four Jackson Liberty runs.
Dom Masino, Jr., Shortstop, Central
Video Courtesy of Todd Sajewicz | Twitter: @TSajewicz
A speedy, multi-faceted, two-year starter at shortstop, Masino was one of 17 Shore Conference players and four Shore Conference shortstops to hit at least five home runs and his 37 runs scored (fourth) and 21 stolen bases (tied seventh) placed him in the Shore top 10 of two offensive categories. He also got hot at the right time, hitting 14-for-35 (.400) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI in Central’s 10 postseason games – including an extra-inning, walk-off home run in an Ocean County Tournament win over Point Boro.
Sean Griggs, So., Third Base, Red Bank Catholic
Griggs had a huge offseason that included a non-binding verbal commitment to play at the University of Alabama after he graduates from RBC in 2024 and when the season started, Griggs was riding the high. He clocked two homers in an opening-day win and went on to sock 16 extra-base hits on the season. The top pitchers in the Shore Conference mostly held Griggs in check in their head-to-head face-offs, but the Caseys sophomore did have success against Tulane commit Colin Reilly, going 2-for-4 vs. the CBA ace on the final day of April.
Julien Umanzor, Sr., Second Base, Marlboro
After missing last season due injury, Umanzor was two years removed from suiting up for Marlboro and the last time he actually did prior to this season was as a freshman. In his first varsity season, Umanzor seized the opportunity. He led the Shore Conference with 18 doubles – six more than the next closest player on the leaderboard – and hit significant checkpoints with a .400-plus average, 25-plus runs, 25-plus RBI and a slugging percentage over .600, all while playing second base and some shortstop when needed.
Brett Wehringer, Jr., Shortstop, Ranney
Wehringer’s offensive profile can be dissected and scrutinized based on Ranney’s soft division schedule and Wehringer did do plenty of his damage against that slate of teams, including six of his nine extra-base hits. Two things that cannot be questioned, however, are Wehringer’s elite defense at shortstop and his reliability in big games. Ranney’s slick-fielding Bucknell commit hit both of his homers against out-of-division opponents and the second of the two game in his team’s thrilling, 8-7 win over Gloucester Catholic and Rutgers-bound ace Tanner Nolan in the South Jersey Non-Public B final.
Tommy Kendrick, Sr., Jackson Memorial
There are other outfielders who put up better numbers than Kendrick, whether on rate statistics like batting average, OBP and slugging percentage, or in the counting numbers like extra-base hits and RBI. Jackson Memorial’s switch-hitting leadoff hitter, however, separated himself in three areas: volume, defense and success against elite pitching. Kendrick led the Shore Conference in overall plate appearances (136) and tournament plate appearances (50), flashed a cannon for an arm in right field and against pitchers that made an All-Shore team, he slashed .384/.619/.615 in 21 plate appearances, including a grand slam off Central ace Cam Leiter in a Shore Conference Tournament win.
Ryan Costello, So., Freehold Township
After showing glimpses of his potential as a freshman starter on a Freehold Township team that won the Class A North championship in 2021, Costello had to grow into a more prominent role as a sophomore on an inexperienced team. He flourished in the role, performing as the best all-around hitter and pitcher for a Patriots team that was ranked at one point this season thanks to wins over Middletown South, Millburn and Jackson Memoria. Costello’s top highlight was a walk-off home run in an extra-inning win over Toms River South in the Shore Conference Tournament opening round – a game he also won in relief on the mound.
Brett Patten, Jr., Manasquan
Patten is one of the Shore’s best all-around athletes on a baseball diamond and he used those abilities to play a quality centerfield and steal 27 bases – the second-highest total in the Shore Conference behind Ranney’s A.J. Gracia. Patten also performed well in tournament games, going 10-for-21 (.476) in six games, including 4-for-5 with a home run, double and three RBI in two NJSIAA Tournament games against Spotswood and Governor Livingston.
Dave Cohen, Sr., First Base, Colts Neck
Cohen is the Jose Altuve or, if you prefer an old-school comparison, Yogi Berra of the Shore Conference: he stands 5-foot-7 and does not have the most athletic look of anyone in a baseball uniform, but all he does is hit and hit and hit. The left-hand slugger finished 10th in the Shore Conference with a .440 batting average and was 19th in slugging percentage. He even swiped five bases while pitchers and catchers were, presumably, sleeping on his mobility. After hitting the memorable “grand-slam single” to win Colts Neck its first sectional title last year, Cohen again raked during the postseason, going 10-for-19 (.526) with three doubles, a homer and nine RBI in 2022 tournament games.
Alex D’Ambrosio, Jr., Shortstop/RHP, Marlboro
D’Ambrosio’s season flew under the radar in Class A North and even within his own team, with double-play-mate Umanzor racking up doubles at a feverish pace. While Umanzor led the Shore in doubles, D’Ambrosio was tops in triples and four of his five three-baggers came in tournament games. In fact, D’Ambrosio was as dominant at the plate as any Shore Conference player postseason play, going 10-for-19 (.526) with the four triples, one of his two home runs and 11 RBI in seven games between the Monmouth County, Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments. D’Ambrosio was also effective on the mound and earned saves in Marlboro wins over Middletown North, St. John Vianney (MCT) and Hamilton West.
Brady Leach, Jr., RHP, Brick Memorial
Leach did just about everything for Brick Memorial during the course of the season. It got off to a rough start with a 12-2 loss to Toms River North in a game started by Leach and Leach’s final start was a 6-1 loss at Central in the Ocean County Tournament. In between those two games, though, the junior right-hander was dominant, including double-digit strikeout performances against Central Jersey Group I champion Point Beach, Toms River South and Hamilton West. He also pitched a four-hit shutout in an OCT win over Pinelands, threw five no-hit innings at Jackson Memorial and put up impressive numbers at the plate.
Cullen Condon, So., RHP, Manasquan
About midway through his freshman year, Condon settled in as a varsity pitcher and started to look like a future ace. The future began in 2022, particularly at the outset of the season. Condon opened his sophomore campaign with a five-inning no-hitter and 11 strikeouts against Red Bank, followed by dominant performances against Wall (two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts) and Colts Neck (four-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 2-1 loss on a walk-off error). Condon was not as overpowering the rest of the way, but he did pitch a four-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 1-0 loss to St. John Vianney and struck out 10 in Manasquan’s state-tournament win at Spotswood.
Matt Johnson, Sr., RHP, Wall
Johnson’s senior season got off to a rough start, with his team committing a litany of errors behind him in a 13-2, opening-day loss to Colts Neck. His offense then let him down in his second start – a 3-0 loss to Manasquan in which Condon overpowered Wall’s lineup. The rest of the way, however, Johnson went 9-0 to grab a share of the Shore Conference lead and consistently kept Wall’s potent lineup in the game. Johnson pitched a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts in a Central Group II quarterfinal win over Metuchen and held Rumson-Fair Haven to one run on three hits over four innings in the sectional final.
P.J. Craig, Sr., RHP, Barnegat
Whether starting or coming out of the bullpen, Craig was up for whatever coach Dan McCoy threw at him and thrived in both roles. The Rider-University-bound also reserved his best pitching for the latter part of the season, which included a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts in a win over Jackson Liberty that helped the Bengals clinch a share of the Class B South title for the second straight year. Craig’s next start was a 60-pitch effort in the state tournament in which he allowed one hit and struck out 10 in six shutout frames. The low pitch count allowed Craig to pitch again in the next round and he finished the NJSIAA Playoffs with a 0.72 ERA with 15 strikeouts and two walks on the mound, as well as a three-run home run at the plate.
Stephen DeMilio, Sr., RHP, Pinelands
Voted the Pitcher of the Year in the Class B South division by the B South coaches, DeMilio is a standout control pitcher who led the Shore Conference with 1.03 walks-per-seven-innings while finishing in the Shore’s top 20 in strikeouts. (19th) and innings pitched (11th). DeMilio pitched 20 scoreless innings during a three-start stretch against Lacey, Point Boro and Donovan Catholic and later fired a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts in a 1-0 OCT win over Toms River North in which he also doubled and scored the lone run of the game.
First Four Off
As mentioned in the introduction to the All-Shore First Team, there are four players on this year's All-Shore roster who graduated high school last spring and played 2022 as post-grad players by virtue of a law enacted by the state legislature in response to the lost spring season of 2020.
That means four players did not make the 2022 All-Shore team that might have otherwise made it under normal circumstances, and while we are going to keep the number of total players on the three teams at 50, we also wanted to acknowledge the next four players who are not yet official All-Shore players but are worthy of special recognition given the circumstances.
Cristian Bernardini, Jr., Outfield, Manalapan
Rian O’Rourke, Sr., Shortstop, Pinelands
Reece Moroney, Jr., Third Base/Outfield, Rumson-Fair Haven
Brandon Falco, So., RHP, Matawan
You can vote for these four players and more in the All-Shore Final Vote. The Final Vote is an opportunity for Shore Sports Network fans to select the six more players for All-Shore honors and the four players listed above are just a small fraction of the candidates on the ballot. Click on the link below to find out who is still in the running for an All-Shore spot and follow the instructions on the page.