Baseball – RBC Sophomore Shane Panzini Commits to Virginia
A memorable week for Red Bank Catholic sophomore Shane Panzini just got even better Sunday night.
The hard-throwing right-hander gave his non-binding verbal commitment to attend and play college baseball at the University of Virginia, Red Bank Catholic coach Buddy Hausmann confirmed Sunday night.
Four nights earlier, Panzini pitched a one-hit shutout in the Shore Conference Tournament championship game against Manalapan as the Caseys blanked the Braves, 5-0, to capture their second ever SCT championship trophy and first since 2011.
Panzini's one-hit masterpiece at FirstEnergy Park on Wednesday night capped a sophomore season in which he went 7-2 with a 0.66 ERA, 20 hits allowed, 29 walks and 73 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Panzini was one of 12 Shore Conference pitchers to throw more than 50 innings this season and one or only two among that group to post an ERA below 1.00. The other was Wall senior Trey Dombroski, who just completed one of the more historic seasons in the history of the conference with his 126-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
While Dombroski is off to Monmouth University next season, Panzini is just beginning to scratch the surface at the halfway mark of his high-school career. He brushed up against the 90-miles-per-hour mark with his fastball as a freshman last season and topped it on several occasions this season, including in the SCT final at Lakewood on Wednesday.
According to Hausmann, Panzini had multiple offers from schools including Maryland and Seton Hall and was drawing interest from multiple SEC programs.
The last Shore Conference player to play a game for Virginia was Matt Thaiss, the former Jackson Memorial standout who was the starting catcher on the Cavaliers National Championship team in 2015 and is now a top prospect in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization.
Coincidentally enough, Panzini's senior teammate and fellow pitcher, Vincent Bianchi, was selected by the Angels in the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
Bianchi is weighing his choice between college at St. John's and a professional contract and while Panzini could be making a similar decision two years from now, he has given himself an early option of playing at one of the top programs in the country in a hyper-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Shane's older brother, Blaise, also played at Red Bank Catholic and currently pitches for Seton Hall University.