Baseball – VOTE: Toyota World Week 3 Player and Pitcher of the Week
Welcome back for Week 3 of the Toyota World of Lakewood Shore Sports Network Player of the Week Feature, which recognizes the top players and pitchers from each of the six Shore Conference division and turns over the voting to the SSN Readers in order to choose the best performers. Read about the top players from between April 15 and April 21 and vote for the player and pitcher who stood out above the rest.
Vote in the polls at the bottom of the post and come back every hour to cast another set of votes until the polls close at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The top overall vote-winner (player or pitcher) will receive a $20 gift card to Beacon 70 in Brick.
Class A North Player of the Week
Michael Kuver, Manalapan
Statistically speaking, Kuver had a week worthy of Player of the Week recognition, but it was his flare for the dramatic that sealed the deal both for his individual prospects in this contest and, perhaps, for Manalapan in its pursuit of a Class A North title. The Braves won a huge game in that pursuit on Thursday by beating Middletown South on an extra-inning, three-run walk-off homer by Kuver, which capped a week in which the senior outfielder hit .667 (6-for-9) with three doubles, a triple a home run and six RBI in three wins by the unbeaten Braves.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Aaron Ayers, Manalapan
There were not any individual performances like the ones turned in by CBA’s Pat Reilly, Howell’s Bryan Bernard and Ryan Bearse and Manalapan’s Ben Levin over the first two weeks, but there were a handful of commendable performances by pitchers who delivered for their teams when needed. Ayers did just that when he came on in relief of Levine in Thursday’s win over Middletown South and fired three scoreless innings to get the game to extra innings. He did not start the game, nor did he get the win, but Ayers quieted one of the Shore’s top lineups long enough to give his team a chance to walk off with the win in eight innings.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Cam Elslager, Freehold Boro; Robby Zega, Middletown South; Cristian Corcione, Freehold Twp.; Joe Escandon, CBA; Ryan Bearse, Howell; Zach Gorman, Freehold Twp.; Pat Burns, Freehold Twp.; Justin Kapuscinski, Marlboro; Vin Ferrigno, Marlboro; Tommy DiTullio, CBA; Ben Settino, CBA; Matt Panzica, Manalapan
Class A Central Player of the Week
Dante Ciaramella, Monmouth
The Monmouth Regional ace has been dealing on the mound all season long and last week, his bat rivaled his right arm in potency. He went 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBI in a Tuesday win over St. Rose, followed that up with a 1-for-3 day with an RBI on Wednesday vs. Long Branch and capped his week with a three-hit shutout on the mound vs. St. Rose. Ciaramella struck out eight and did not walk a batter, which give the Monmouth University commit 36 strikeouts and five walks in 24 innings to go with a sparkling 0.58 ERA.
Class A Central Pitcher of the Week
Shane Panzini, Red Bank Catholic
Panzini picked up some tips from one of the country’s best pitchers and the son of a former big-leaguer and put the advice to good use last week. The Caseys sophomore closed out a win over Rumson-Fair Haven on Tuesday to earn the save and then fired a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in a 1-0 Red Bank Catholic win over previously-unbeaten Manasquan. For the week, Panzini allowed one run on three hits with three walks and 1 strikeouts in eighth innings of work.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Ezra Caspi, Holmdel; Thomas Elgrim, Rumson-Fair Haven; Alex Gonzalez, Red Bank Catholic; James Harmstead, Manasquan; Mike Anthony, Manasquan; Nick Bogan, Monmouth; Jake Cushing, Monmouth; Brian Yadlon, Monmouth; Jason Lind, Raritan
Class A South Player of the Week
Mike Murphy, Brick Memorial
Murphy came out swinging last week and did major damage in Mustangs wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. He went 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI in a win over Toms River East, which proceeded a career day for the senior catcher the next day. On Wednesday, Murphy went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and six RBI in a win over Central to give him four extra-base hits and nine RBI in two days. Central wised up and walked Murphy twice in three trips to the plate on Thursday, giving him a 4-for-8 week with three doubles and a homer.
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Mike Masino, Central
Masino was the man to cool off Murphy and Brick Memorial, which scored 23 runs in the first two games of last week’s slate. Against Masino, the Mustangs managed just one run in a 5-1 loss. The junior right-hander worked around seven his and four walks by whiffing five batters and getting big outs in front of a defense that did not commit an error. Masino also doubled home two runs in Thursday’s win and was 3-for-9 with two doubles and three RBI in the three-game week.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Matt Hartshorn, Toms River South; Torrey Savoia, Brick Memorial; Nick Beetel, Jackson Memorial; Alex Iadisernia, Jackson Memorial; Frank Pellegrino, Southern; Max Cala, Brick Memorial; Jon Giordano, Toms River North; Mike Montenegro, Toms River South; Robert Jeans, Toms River North; Ryan Ciccardo, Toms River East; Ryan Goodall, Toms River East; Troy Bathmann, Jackson Memorial
Class B North Player of the Week
John Gannon, Neptune
Last week, Gannon homered in back-to-back Neptune wins and drove in seven runs in the two games combined. The junior catcher went 1-for-2 with a two-run shot in an 11-9 win over Red Bank on Tuesday and was 3-for-4 with a double, homer and five RBI in a wild, 17-9 win over St. John Vianney on Thursday.
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Justin Coppola, Colts Neck
Colts Neck has won some thrilling, back-and-forth games during a five-game winning streak but Tuesday’s win over Middletown North proved to be stress-free thanks to a career-best performance on the mound by Coppola. The junior right-hander pitched six one-hit, shutout innings with 12 strikeouts and three walks to earn his first win.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Reece Horneck, Colts Neck; Ryan Sekman, St. John Vianney; Ron Cole, Neptune; Trey Dombroski, Wall; Teddy Sharkey, Wall; Sean Gardiner, Middletown North; Tim Egan, Matawan; Jacob Ramirez, St. John Vianney; Scuba Hagerman, Ocean; Nick Ferrogine, Red Bank; Sebastian Jno-Baptiste, Neptune; Max Stamer, Red Bank; Colin Chatto, Red Bank; Sean O’Mara, Red Bank; Jay Kalieta, Matawan
Class B Central Player of the Week
Patrick Mastro, Mater Dei Prep
Mastro won his first game of the season on the mound with five three-hit innings in a 14-1 win over Keansburg and followed that performance up with a big hit in each of Mater Dei’s two wins that followed later in the week. He hit a two-run triple in a 6-0 win over Ranney on Wednesday, then cracked a two-run double in a three-run sixth inning that proved to be the difference in a 8-5 win over Ranney.
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Anthony Longo, Keyport
The Red Raiders have started to turn things around with two straight wins following a 1-6 start and it all began with a sparkling pitching performance from one of their standout freshmen. Longo served up six innings of shutout, one-hit ball vs. rival Keansburg on Wednesday, which including five strikeouts against just one walk. He also went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI one day prior in a loss to Henry Hudson.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Brandon Sansone, Mater Dei; Liam Hagan, Henry Hudson; Sean Turner, Mater Dei; Mike Mohr, Henry Hudson; J.J. Young, Keyport; Phil Trebour, Point Beach; David Terra-Nova, Point Beach; Alec Glen, Point Beach
Class B South Player of the Week
Shane Hickey, Jackson Liberty
During a 3-0 week for Jackson Liberty, Hickey stepped to the plate 12 times and reached base in 11 of those trips. He went 6-for-7 with three doubles, five walks, a pair of runs and a pair of RBI for Jackson Liberty, which tore through Lakewood on Tuesday, Pinelands on Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s wins were lopsided and in the 5-1 win over Pinelands on Wednesday, Hickey went 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI off Monmouth commit Joey Ventresca and also made two key plays at third base.
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Sam Collins, Point Boro
Collins silenced a capable Manchester lineup in a 2-0 Point Boro win over the Hawks on Wednesday. The senior right-hander pitched a three-hit shutout with five strikeouts and no walks, running his season-long strikeout-to-walk ratio up to 19-to-3 over 17 2/3 innings. Collins also went 5-for-11 with a double and four runs during the week out of the leadoff spot in Point Boro’s batting order.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Pete Hammond, Pinelands; Kevin Ritz, Jackson Liberty; David Melfi, Jackson Liberty; Jake Sorbara, Pinelands; Scott Wierciszewski, Jackson Liberty; Nick DeCarlo, Jackson Liberty; Connor Keenan, Jackson Liberty; Nick Guzzi, Point Boro; Bob Nosti, Donovan Catholic; Lawrence Zingi, Donovan Catholic; James Johns, Manchester; Jacob Bowles, Lacey; Jorden Jurkiewicz, Lacey