Baseball – VOTE: Toyota World Week 4 Player and Pitcher of the Week
Welcome back for Week 4 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 22 and April 28 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 Thursday. 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
Jarrett Urban, Freehold Twp.
It was a breakout week for Urban, the junior outfielder who jumped into the starting lineup and made an immediate impact. He was 2-for-3 in a win over Long Branch to start things off and really got going in the Monmouth County Tournament over the weekend. Urban blasted two solo home runs in a 6-5 win over Howell on Saturday, then went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in an 8-4 loss to Manalapan on Sunday.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Pat Reilly, CBA
Even with some stiff competition this week in the form of a no-hitter by Freehold Township’s Ryan Kurczeski against Long Branch, Reilly is the hands-down choice for A North Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season. The junior right-hander dominated Wall on Saturday for his second win of the week, striking out 12 while allowing only three hits and three walks over six shutout innings and beating reigning SSN Pitcher of the year Trey Dombroski to boot. He also picked up a win with two scoreless innings of relief against Marlboro earlier in the week.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Ben Levine, Manalapan; Ryan Kurczeski, Freehold Twp.; Tommy Guidice, Manalapan; Ben Settino, CBA; Vin Impresa, Howell; Tommy Talbot, Howell; Aaron Ayers, Manalapan; Chris Nicol, Manalapan; Justin Kapuscinski, Marlboro; Shaun Piotrowski, Freehold Boro; Anthony Brienza, Marlboro; Chris Lotito, Middletown South; Cam Elslager, Freehold Boro; Zach Gorman, Freehold Twp.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Jake Tennant, Raritan
Tennant started the week with four shutout innings on the mound in a 13-0 win over Rumson and never stopped hitting throughout Raritan’s three games, in which the Rockets went 2-1. Tennant went 2-for-3 with a double and five RBI in the win over Rumson, went 2-for-4 with two RBI in a 7-5 win over Monmouth and was 1-for-2 with a double in a 7-1 loss to Monmouth.
Class A Central Pitcher of the Week
Kevin Shanes, Rumson-Fair Haven
With his team coming off a 13-0 loss to Raritan, Shanes stepped up in a big way vs. St. Rose. The junior left-hander fired a three-hit shutout with a career-high 15 strikeouts and also went 2-for-3 with a triple at the plate. Sophomore Thomas Elgrim hit a solo home run for Rumson’s only run in the 1-0 win over the Purple Roses.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: James Harmstead, Manasquan; Alex Galvan, Manasquan; Alec Wells, Manasquan; Spencer Bauer, Manasquan; Jason Lyons, Holmdel; Tyler Bruno, Raritan; Dante Ciaramella, Monmouth; Alex Alonso, Monmouth; Vincent Bianchi, Red Bank Catholic; Ryan O’Hara, Red Bank Catholic; Chris Anfuso, Monmouth; Tommy Turnbach, St. Rose; Frank Bellezza, St. Rose; Aidan Flanagan, Holmdel
Class A South Player of the Week
Rob Page, Brick
Page made three appearances on the mound last week for the Green Dragons and came away with a win in two of them. He struck out seven in five innings in a 10-5 win over Toms River East, record two outs to stop a seventh-inning rally by Brick Memorial in Friday’s loss to the Mustangs, and pitched four shutout innings Saturday at Mater Dei. At the plate, Page was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI in the win over Toms River East and was 1-for-3 with an RBI in a big win over Toms River South the next day.
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Joe Princiotta, Jackson Memorial
After a shocking loss to Central on Thursday, Jackson Memorial bounced back by handling Barnegat on Saturday behind a relentless offensive attack and a nearly flawless performance by Princiotta. The senior left-hander pitched a five-inning no-hitter in which he allowed just two base-runners to reach – one on an error to lead off the game and another on a six-pitch walk to the No. 9 hitter. Princiotta struck out four and threw 37 of his economical 48 pitches for strikes to sew up the no-hitter and his third win of the year.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Gabe Driscoll, Toms River South; Robert Jeans, Toms River North; Shane Sajewicz, Central; Dan Greene, Central; Tom Cartnick, Jackson Memorial; Christian Pellone, Jackson Memorial; Tristan Savoia, Brick Memorial; Max Cala, Brick Memorial; T.J. Rosace, Brick Memorial; Matt Santos, Toms River East; Lucas McLaughlin, Brick Memorial; Tyler Skurat, Brick; Derek Serino, Southern; Joe Carchio, Brick; Jimmy Leblo, Brick; Christian Malta, Brick; Phil Antoniotti, Toms River North
Class B North Players of the Week
Ryan Toomey, Ocean; Rocko Brzezniak, St. John Vianney
It’s not a common practice for us to give out co-players of the week but it would be unfair to wrap up last week’s action without acknowledging the weeks that both Toomey and Brzezniak had. Toomey did his damage with Ocean contending for the Class B North title and in the Monmouth County Tournament and it was serious damage. In five games, Toomey went 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles, a home run, four runs scored and 10 RBI. He doubled and drove in three against both Mater Dei and Middletown North and homered and drove in two in an MCT win over Matawan on Saturday. Toomey also went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Sunday’s MCT quarterfinal win over Monmouth.
Brzezniak has been a bright spot during a rough start to the season for St. John Vianney, with the freshman hitting .516 with four doubles, a triple and three homers on the season. A lot of that production came last week, when Brzezniak went 6-for-9 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and seven RBI in three games. That amounts to a week-long slugging percentage of 1.778 for the Lancers rookie, who has already offered a verbal commitment to play at Lousiville. The two homers were also in the clutch: the first was a go-ahead three-run home run to the opposite field off Neptune ace Ron Cole in the sixth inning and the second was a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning of an extra-inning loss to Marlboro in the MCT one day later.
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Sean Gardiner, Middletown North
Gardiner got two chances to impress the rest of the Shore this week and he did not disappoint. The senior outdueled Villanova commit Jack Povey and Red Bank by throwing a four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and no walks to start the week. Gardiner took the ball five days later against unbeaten Manalapan and left the game with a 2-1 lead in the seventh having maxed out his pitch count for the day. Manalapan pulled out the win and Gardiner took the hard-luck loss after the runners he left on base came around to score, but the Shore got a glimpse of a pitcher having one of the best under-the-radar seasons in the conference that should be under the radar no more.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Max Winters, Ocean; Nick Callano, Ocean; Jay Bant, Wall; Trey Dombroski, Wall; Dan Cowles, Colts Neck; Rob Mannino, Colts Neck; Chase Masterson, Colts Neck; Ron Cole, Neptune; Jack Smith, Neptune; Chris Gendi, Matawan; Sean O’Mara, Red Bank; Aidan Keale, Red Bank; Nick Ferrogine, Red Bank; Ryan Chin, St. John; Colin Dowlen, Middletown North; Grant Shulman, Wall
Class B Central Player of the Week
Colin Matuschat, Point Beach
In two Point Beach wins last week, Matuschat went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI to keep Point Beach on track for its first outright division championship since 2010, which the Garnet Gulls will have a chance to clinch when they finally clash with Mater Dei Prep – which is also unbeaten within the division – on Thursday of this week.
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Patrick Mastro, Mater Dei Prep
Speaking of Mater Dei, the Seraphs got a solid win over South River this week thanks to Mastro’s performance on the mound. Mastro pitched a two-hitter with four strikeouts on the mound and went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI at the plate in Mater Dei’s 3-1 win over the Rams. He was also 1-for-3 with an RBI in an MCT loss to Freehold Boro on Thursday.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: David Terra-Nova, Point Beach; Hunter Alia, Point Beach; Andrew Banick, Point Beach; Anthony Longo, Keyport; Lucas Dant, Keyport; Liam Meyer, Keansburg;
Class B South Player of the Week
David Melfi, Jackson Liberty
If you are looking for a hotter hitter at the Shore than Melfi, it might be best to call off the search. The Jackson Liberty catcher leads the Shore with nine doubles and is tied for the lead with four home runs and his last week was his best yet. In four Jackson Liberty wins, Melfi was 10-for-15 with three doubles, three home runs and a whopping 16 RBI for the week. He homered and drove in six in a win over Barnegat, doubled and drove in four in a second win over Barnegat, drove in two vs. St. Peter’s Prep and hit two home runs to drive in four vs. Washington Township to cap his eye-popping week.
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Jacob Bowles, Lacey
Prior to a Monday loss vs. Donovan Catholic, Lacey rolled up six straight wins and Bowles was responsible for the fifth of those. The sophomore right-hander fired a five-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over Manchester on Thursday, tallying five strikeouts while walking two. For the season, Bowles is 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Jorden Jurkiewicz, Lacey; Pete Hammond, Pinelands; Nick Chiappisi, Manchester; Sam Young, Point Boro; Charlie Rudderow, Jackson Liberty; Alex Torres, Jackson Liberty; Miles Feaster, Lacey; Brandon DeAngelo, Lacey