TOMS RIVER - Freehold Township junior second baseman Cristian Corcione collected a lot of hardware from this Monmouth-vs.-Ocean Underclass All-Star Event and at least some of it has to do with what he gave away at last year's event.

Corcione was named the Most Outstanding Player of Tuesday night's 8-2 Monmouth win over Ocean County in the second annual Monmouth-Ocean Underclass All-Star Game at Toms River High School South after being named one of two recipients of the Ken Frank Character Award one week earlier.

According to game director Mike McGarrell, one of the moments that made Corcione stand out - on top of the nomination from his head coach at Freehold Township, Todd Smith - was when he gave one of his at-bats away to a teammate who had not yet had one in last year's event, which was the first of its kind.

On Tuesday night, Corcione got the start at second base, reached base in each of his first two plate appearances, and finished 1-for-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases in the win. The performance showed Corcione has the game to go with the character.

Freehold Township junior Cristian Corcione with Underclass All-Star event director Mike McGarrell. (Photo by Matt Manley)
Freehold Township junior Cristian Corcione with Underclass All-Star event director Mike McGarrell. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"Coach Frank is obviously an icon in Toms River and around the Shore so to get an award named after him is an honor," Corcione said. "It was a great feeling to be recognized for what I do off the field and it felt great to come here tonight and show what I can do on the field."

During his sophomore season, Corcione hit .292 with two doubles, a triple, 15 runs scored, 13 RBI and nine stolen bases while playing sharp defense at second base alongside, classmate, double-play partner and fellow All-Star Brandon Smith.

"It was great for me and my teammates from Freehold Township to play in a game with some of the best players in the Shore," Corcione said, referring to Smith and sophomore right-hander Ryan Kurczeski, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning on eight pitches. "Being picked to play in this game is something I think all the guys here really appreciate and you can tell by how many showed up and competed hard tonight."

Corcione and St. John Vianney outfielder Spencer Margulis were recognized as the two Ken Frank Award winners at the pre-game awards dinner on June 19 at Eagle Ridge Country Club in Lakewood.

Wall senior Grant Shulman produced two RBI during a 2-for-3 game at the plate for Monmouth and Ocean catcher Max Winters was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI single in a three-run fifth inning that gave Monmouth a 4-2 lead.

Wall junior Grant Shulman. (Photo by Matt Manley)
Wall junior Grant Shulman. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Winters was forced into early duty behind the plate after Marlboro junior Justin Kapuscinski was hit in the face by a pitch by Toms River North junior Jonathan Giordano in the top of the first inning. After spending several minutes on the ground, Kapuscinski walked off the field with ice over his left eye.

According to McGarrell, Kapuscinski had swelling and a cut over his left eye and he left for Jersey Shore Medical Center with his father.

Kapuscinski recently announced a non-binding verbal commitment to Marist College on the heels of a junior season in which he hit .281 with four doubles, two home runs and a .468 on-base percentage.

Giordano went on to pitch a game-high three innings, during which he allowed one unearned run on three hits and no walks while striking out six.

On the other side, Monmouth used nine pitchers to finish off the win, the last six of which fired a scoreless inning. Howell left-hander Bryan Bernard pitched a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout to earn the win and Christian Brothers Academy junior left-hander Joe Escandon did the same in the fifth, minus the win.

Howell junior right-hander Ryan Bearse followed with two strikeouts during a scoreless, two-hit sixth and Red Bank Catholic sophomore John Nimeth breezed through a perfect seventh on nine pitches with one strikeout.

After Kurczeski's perfect eighth, Wall junior left-hander and Shore Sports Network Pitcher of the Year Trey Dombroski struck out three batters in a scoreless ninth. One of Dombroski's strikeout victims reached on an errant throw after a third strike in the dirt.

Monmouth Regional junior Dante Ciaramella also pitched a scoreless frame in the second while St. John Vianney junior Brendan Martin and CBA sophomore Braedin Hunt gave up a run each - Martin in the first and Hunt in the third.

Jackson Liberty junior catcher David Melfi drove in both Ocean County runs with an RBI single to left in the first to score Jackson Memorial junior outfielder Alex Iadisernia and an RBI single to the right-center field wall that scored Toms River South junior outfielder Colin Mackle.

Melfi and Iadisernia each finished 2-for-2, with Iadisernia scorching two singles to centerfield and also showing off his strong arm in right field with a an outfield assist to cut down a runner at third base.

Each of the five pitchers to appear for Ocean Tuesday surrendered at least one run, with Giordano, Pinelands junior left-hander Noah Dean and Jackson Memorial sophomore left-hander Nick Beetel each pitching more than one inning. Dean gave up the three runs in the fifth and took the loss, while Beetel - a Shore Sports Network All-Shore Second Team member - allowed one unearned run in the ninth and recorded all six of his outs via the strikeout.

Red Bank Catholic junior outfielder David Glancy singled off Point Pleasant Boro junior Sam Collins in the seventh and scored with a nifty slide on a wild pitch and Marlboro junior Ramon Fontanes and Bearse each added an RBI single in the eighth off Lacey's Sam Sramaty.

The two teams combined for 19 hits, all of which were singles.


Box Score

Monmouth 8, Ocean 2



Brendan Martin12110014
Dante Ciaramella11001120
Braedin Hunt13110123
Bryan Bernard (W)1000017
Joe Escandon10000112
Ryan Bearse12000215
John Nimeth1000019
Ryan Kurczeski1100008
Trey Dombroski10000221
Jonathan Giordano33100655
Noah Dean (L)23331241
Sam Collins11111217
Sam Sramaty12221023
Nick Beetel21101635

Top Hitters

Grant Shulman2-3, R, 2 RBI, SB
Cristian Corcione1-3, R, 2 SB
Max Winters1-3, R, RBI
Aurelio Licata1-2, R, SB
Liam Meyer1-3, R
Braedin Hunt1-1, 2 R
Ramon Fontanes1-2, RBI
Ryan Bearse1-2, RBI
David Glancy1-3, R, SB
Alex Iadisernia2-2, R, SB
David Melfi2-2, 2 RBI
Colin Mackle1-2, R
Connor Keenan1-2
Jack Felipe1-1
Scott Wierciszewski1-2
Ahmir Cournier1-1


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