Baseball – VOTE: Toyota World Week 6 Player and Pitcher of the Week
Welcome back for Week 6 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 May 6 and May 12 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
Chris Lotito, Middletown South
This past week, Middletown South clinched the program’s fifth Class A North title since 2012 and Lotito pitched in with his bat in the two wins over Long Branch that sealed it. The junior went 3-for-6 with a doubled and three RBI in those two wins to help secure the A North crown, then turned his attention to the mound and rival Middletown North. Against the Lions under the lights, Lotito turned in a career performance on the mound, pitching a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and no walks while also going 1-for-3 with an RBI in the 4-0 Eagles win.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Joe Escandon, CBA
Junior teammate Pat Reilly has earned a lot of the headlines among the CBA pitching staff for his outstanding start to his junior season, but Escandon has lately reminded the rest of the Shore that he is as much of a big-game pitcher as anybody. The senior left-hander took a perfect game into the sixth inning of the Monmouth County Tournament championship game vs. Ocean and wound up with a two-hitter, one unearned run allowed, six strikeouts and one walk in the complete-game win over the Spartans.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Braedin Hunt, CBA; Ramon Fontanes, Marlboro; Mike Keenan, Middletown South; Danny Minze, Middletown South; Justin Kapuscinski, Marlboro; Billy Watters, Manalapan; Ryan Gonzalez, Howell; Cam Elslager, Howell; Mason Wolf, CBA; Tommy DiTullio, CBA; Ryan Bearse, Howell; Zach Gorman, Freehold Twp.; Nick DiPietrantonio, Manalapan
Class A Central Player of the Week
Mike Iulo, Holmdel
Making the Shore Conference Tournament was on the table for Holmdel this week and the Hornets gave it a good run thanks, in large part, to the hot bat of Iulo. The senior hit .500 (6-for-12) for the week with two doubles and two RBI, including the game-winning, walk-off single in the Hornets’ 2-1 win over Monmouth.
Class A Central Pitcher of the Week
Vincent Bianchi, Red Bank Catholic
Bianchi has found his groove on the mound and he showed it with a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and three walks against a formidable Toms River North team. The St. John’s commit has also been swinging a hot bat, which produced a home run in a win over St. Rose early in the week. In the second game against the Purple Roses, Bianchi went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI and also picked up a hit in a 10-1 win over Red Bank Regional.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Shane Panzini, Red Bank Catholic; Drew Faccone, Monmouth; Dante Ciaramella, Monmouth; Jake Tennant, Raritan; John Foreman, Manasquan; Mike Anthony, Manasquan; Jack Scrivanic, Red Bank Catholic; Johnny Bruno, Rumson-Fair Haven; Jake Cushing, Monmouth
Class A South Player of the Week
Max Cala, Brick Memorial
Last week was a big one for the Mustangs and thanks to one of the best individual games at the plate during the Shore Conference season, it was almost a very memorable one. The Mustangs went 3-3 this week to make the Shore Conference Tournament, despite having to play Jackson Memorial twice and Jackson Liberty once in those six games. Cala went 8-for-22 (.364) with two home runs and 10 RBI in those six games and most of that damage came in a wild, 11-10 loss to Jackson Liberty. In that game, Cala went 5-for-5 with two three-run home runs and finished with seven RBI to nearly lead the Mustangs to an upset of the No. 2 seed. He also doubled home a run in a win over Pinelands and was 2-for-3 in a win over St. Rose.
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Reece Miller, Toms River East
Miller got the ball twice last week and kept two of the better lineups in Ocean County in check. On Monday, he limited Lacey to two runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in taking a no-decision vs. the Lions. His signature effort, however, came on Saturday morning against Jackson Memorial. Miller took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and recorded the first two outs before giving up back-to-back singles. The junior left-hander got out of trouble to complete a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 upset win for the Raiders over the top-seeded Jaguars.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Gabe Driscoll, Toms River South; Alex Iadisernia, Jackson Memorial; Brandon Feigin, Toms River North; Matt Ostroman, Toms River North; Jake Dawson, Toms River North; John Wade, Brick; Jimmy Leblo, Brick; Cole Groschel, Brick; Nick Gillen, Brick Memorial; Sam Angelo, Toms River North; Lucas McLaughlin, Brick Memorial; Mike Schiatarella, Southern; Frankie Pellegrino, Southern; Joe Princiotta, Jackson Memorial
Class B North Player of the Week
Rocko Brzezniak, St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney’s standout freshman is putting up eye-popping numbers in his first high-school season and that continued last week. In just two games, Brzezniak drove in nine runs and belted three homers while going 6-for-8 at the plate in the two wins over Colts Neck. He went 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBI at home and was 3-for-4 with a homer and six RBI in a 17-8 drubbing of the Cougars in game two of the series. Brzezniak now has six home runs as a freshman – good for third in the conference.
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Jack Povey, Red Bank
Povey has had to swallow some tough losses over the course of his season but early last week, he made sure he was walking off the mound a winner. Against Monmouth County Tournament runner-up Ocean, Povey fired a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and three walks to beat the Spartans, 1-0. He also went 1-for-2 with a double and the lone RBI in that game to carry the Bucs to the finish line over the No. 9 Spartans. Povey capped the week by going 2-for-2 with the lone RBI against Red Bank Catholic over the weekend.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Trey Dombroski, Wall; Teddy Sharkey, Wall; John Gannon, Neptune; Ron Cole, Neptune; Jackson Hercek, Matawan; Ryan Napolitano, Wall; Robert Skinner, St. John Vianney; Reece Horneck, Colts Neck; Ryan Toomey, Ocean
Class B Central Player of the Week
Alec Glen, Point Beach
The Garnet Gulls lost a tough game to Mater Dei to open the week and responded with some strong play to finish it. Glen was the offensive standout, hitting .400 (4-for-10) with a double, triple and eight RBI during a 2-2 week for Point Beach. He knocked a run in a big 4-2 win over Brick, tripled and drove in five in a win over Asbury Park, and doubled in a run in a loss vs. Donovan Catholic to increase his season RBI total to a team-high 22.
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Darwin Gutierrez, Asbury Park
Last year, Asbury Park dug in a beat Keyport for their lone win of the season and the way things were going to start this year, it looked like that was going to be the only win of the past two seasons. The Blue Bishops, however, came through again by beating Keansburg – with ace Liam Meyer on the mound, now less. Gutierrez went the distance on the mound for a four-hitter and went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI to lead Asbury Park to its first win of 2019.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Brandon Sansone, Mater Dei Prep; Jamir Cancel, Asbury Park; Rob Cassin, Mater Dei Prep; Andrew Banick, Point Beach; Ethan Gavin, Ranney; Tommy Jensen, Ranney; Phil Trebour, Point Beach; Will Baranello, Point Beach
Class B South Player of the Week
Charlie Rudderow, Jackson Liberty
As usual, a whole slew of Jackson Liberty players had a great week at the plate – a big reason the Lions have won a Shore-Conference-best 18 straight games and became the first team in the conference to 20 wins. Rudderow gets the nod as the man last from last week by going 6-for-13 (.462) with seven runs and four RBI, including the tiebreaking solo home run in the bottom of the fifth Friday to make it 11-10 – the final score in Jackson Liberty’s OCT quarterfinal slugfest win over Brick Memorial.
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Nick Guzzi, Point Boro
Guzzi threw two games last week and both were scoreless outings in the Ocean County Tournament. He pitched a six-hit shutout to beat Gabe Driscoll and Toms River South, striking out five, walking none and also going 1-for-3 with Point Boro’s only hit and its only RBI in the game. Guzzi followed that performance up with a dominant five innings against Toms River East in the SCT semifinal round, in which he allowed one hit, no walks and struck out eight before being lifted after five in hopes of using him for the championship game – originally scheduled for Tuesday but now set for Thursday night at Toms River North.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Colin Trembley, Lacey; Miles Feaster, Lacey; David Melfi, Jackson Liberty; Noah Dean, Pinelands; Jacob Tafrow, Manchester; Pat Apgar, Pinlenads; Nick Danbrowney, Barnegat; Judae Rosario, Lakewood; Kevin Ritz, Jackson Liberty; Shane Hickey, Jackson Liberty; Liam Leonard, Donovan Catholic; Mike Conger, Manchester; Connor Keenan, Jackson Liberty; Lawrence Zingi, Donovan Catholic; Christian McElroy, Donovan Catholic