Baseball – VOTE: Toyota World Week 7 Player and Pitcher of the Week
Welcome back for Week 7 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 13 and May 19 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
Tommy Talbot, Howell
It was another strong week at the plate for Talbot, who went 6-for-11 at the plate with three RBI in three games – two of which were tournament games. The junior center fielder went 3-for-6 in the two Shore Conference Tournament games this past week – the first a 10-0 win over Monmouth in which Talbot went 2-for-3 and the other a 3-0 loss to Red Bank Catholic in which he had one of his team’s three hits. On top of his performance on the field, Talbot was also voted the Class A North Co-Hitter of the Year by the coaches in his division on the strength of his .423 average, 22 runs scored, 14 RBI and four strikeouts in 83 plate appearances.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Ivan Navarro, Long Branch
Although last season resulted in a losing record, Long Branch still had some memorable moments in 2018. This season was devoid of those until the Green Wave finally broke into the win column with a 3-2 win over Keansburg in eight innings – a game that ended with a successful squeeze bunt on the game’s final play. While the last play gave Long Branch its first win, it was Navarro’s pitching performance that made it possible. The senior took over one batter into the game and never came out, going 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two runs allowed on six hits and three walks.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Bryan Bernard, Howell; Robby Zega, Middletown South; Kyle Brex, Howell; Connor Baksh, CBA; Anthony Celestre, CBA; Tommy DiTullio, CBA; Thomas Brewer, Long Branch; Julian Buchman, Marlboro; Ben Levine, Manalapan; Nick DiPietrantonio, Manalapan; Hunter Serrano, Manalapan; Tommy Giudice, Manalapan; Chris Lotito, Middletown South
Class A Central Player of the Week
Vincent Bianchi, Red Bank Catholic
The St. John’s commit keeps putting up big weeks and keeps coming back for more. Already a Pitcher of the Week this season, Bianchi did that and more this past week. It started out with a loss to Jackson Memorial in which Bianchi checked in with a double in a 1-for-3 performance at the plate. It looked as though RBC would lose again on Friday against Marlboro, which stormed out to a 10-0 lead, but the Caseys rallied. With Bianchi going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, RBC stormed back to beat Marlboro, 15-11. The next day, Bianchi prevented a rally by closing out the final two innings in a 3-0 win over Howell in the SCT. He struck out three to preserve the win for starter Shane Panzini and also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double to cap a 5-for-9 week with two doubles and a homer.
Class A Central Pitcher of the Week
Spencer Bauer, Manasquan
Manasquan’s pitching staff this season has been its rock on a day-in, day-out basis, even when Bauer was injured for a two-week stretch. The senior right-hander, though, appears to be ready to put Manasquan over the top at least in one of the tournaments after throwing yet another postseason gem on Saturday at Ocean. Facing a 19-win team on the road, Bauer pitched six shutout innings in which he allowed five hits, one walk and struck out eight before being lifted with an 11-0 lead. He also helped his cause by going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI to help the Warriors surge into the SCT quarterfinals and a shot at top-seeded Manasquan on Wednesday.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Mike Anthony, Manasquan; James Harmstead, Manasquan; Sam Del Guercio, Manasquan; Jack Scrivanic, Red Bank Catholic; Shane McLaughlin, Shore; Rob Shangle, Holmdel; Mike Iulo, Holmdel; David Glancy, Red Bank Catholic
Class A South Player of the Week
Tristan Savoia, Brick Memorial
Last week, it was sophomore Max Cala who stepped up and helped push Brick Memorial into the Shore Conference Tournament with a big week at the plate. Once they were in it, the Mustangs got a lift from the senior, Savoia, who had a strong showing at the plate during the week and pitched admirably despite some defensive miscues in Saturday’s loss to Middletown South in the SCT round of 16. He hit his firs career home run to open the scoring in Brick Memorial’s 3-2 win at St. John Vianney in the opening round of the SCT, then went 2-for-3 in regular-season wins over both Donovan Catholic and Barnegat. He drove in two runs vs. the Griffins and another vs the Bengals on the way to a 5-for-12 week with a homer and four RBI. In the loss to Middletown South, Savoia allowed six runs in a complete game effort and only one was earned. He kept the Eagles’ dangerous offense to five hits and a pair of walks while striking out three.
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Sam Angelo, Toms River North
Toms River North had some demons to exorcise in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament after entering the Ocean County Tournament as a No. 3 seed and getting picked off by No. 14 seed Southern in the first round. The Mariners had to face another dangerous underdog in Lacey, which was the No. 21 seed in the SCT and averages close to six runs per game (5.82) for the season. Angelo made sure there would be no upset this time, spinning six shutout innings on the mound with only two hits and three walks allowed while striking out six. Angelo emerged as one of Toms River North’s top hitters as a junior last season and has done the same on the mound this season by posting a 1.51 ERA in 24 1/3 innings.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Nick Mortellito, Toms River North; Matt Hartshorn, Toms River South; Greg Hanlon, Brick Memorial; Nick Gillen, Brick Memorial; Ryan Lasko, Jackson Memorial; Tom Cartnick, Jackson Memorial; Damon Clayton, Toms River East; Mike Gallaro, Southern; Mike Schiatarella, Southern; Dan Greene, Central; Jimmy Leblo, Brick; Colin Mackle, Toms River South; Andrew Sefick, Jackson Memorial
Class B North Player of the Week
Brooks Condon, Colts Neck
The award in question is the Player of the WEEK and in one of Condon’s two games last week, he went 0-for-4. That means his other game had to be a pretty big deal and it was. The senior shortstop came into pitch the Cougars’ SCT first-round game at Toms River South with two out in the first inning and did not give the ball up, going 7 1/3 innings with one unearned run allowed on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Prior to Wednesday’s win, Condon had not pitched longer than one inning in any of his four mound appearances this season. On top of that, Condon went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI and scored the winning run on freshman Colin Kratzer’s go-ahead RBI double in the top of the eighth inning.
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Sebastian Jno-Baptiste, Neptune
Neptune returned to the Shore Conference Tournament for the first time in 10 years and gave the ball to one of its foundational players over the past three seasons. Opposing Old Dominion commit Noah Dean and Pinelands in the opening round, Jno-Baptiste continued his work as Neptune’s steadiest pitcher this season by pitching a first-round shutout by scattering eight hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts in an 8-0 Neptune romp. The senior and Neptune’s regular center fielder is now 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 33 innings on the mound this season. Jno-Baptiste also went 1-for-3 with a two-run double at the plate to help his cause in Wednesday’s win.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Kevin Novobilsky, Ocean; Max Winters, Ocean; John Iradi, Wall; Trey Dombroski, Wall; Jack Povey, Red Bank; Teddy Sharkey, Wall; Jay Bant, Wall; Rocco Richard, Neptune; Colin Dowlen, Middletown North; Ryan Napolitano, Wall; Tanner Powers, Wall
Class B Central Player of the Week
Will Baranello, Point Beach
Shore Conference Tournament week was not kind to the Shore’s small-school division and its teams, but there were still some performances worth recognizing. Baranello came to play in both Point Beach’s losses this week, which came against Manasquan in the SCT and Toms River South in a regular-season meeting. The junior was 1-for-3 with the lone RBI in the 11-1 loss at Manasquan, then went 1-for-2 with a double and two runs scored in a 6-2 defeat at Ken Frank Baseball Stadium in Toms River. Baranello also took the loss on the mound in the loss to the Indians.
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Grady Hendrickson, Henry Hudson
The Admirals got back in the win column last week with a 12-0 win over Academy for Urban Leadership, led by Hendrickson’s two-way effort. The junior struck out five over three scoreless, one-hit innings and also went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI at the plate to highlight Henry Hudson’s sixth win of the 2019 season.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Alec Glen, Point Beach; Liam Meyer, Keansburg; Mike Hoey, Henry Hudson; Liam Hagan, Henry Hudson; Sean Turner, Mater Dei
Class B South Player of the Week
Christian Aurin, Point Boro
Last week was a landmark one for Point Boro and Aurin did just about everything a baseball player can do to help his team win during that three-game stretch. The senior went 5-for-10 with two doubles and five RBI in the three games, pitched 5 2/3 innings over two appearances and made one memorable play in center field in Point Boro’s first ever Ocean County Tournament championship win. In that 10-7 win over Jackson Liberty on Thursday night, Aurin went 2-for-4 with two RBI at the plate and made a huge running catch in center field to rob Lions senior Kevin Ritz of extra bases on a ball hit to the warning track in dead center field during the sixth inning. Aurin started the week going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, as well as 1 2/3 scoreless innings in an SCT win over Mater Dei and capped it with a double and an RBI in an SCT loss at Wall in which he also took the loss on the mound.
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Tyler Suydam, Barnegat
After a strong performance as a sophomore, Suydam has had an up-and-down couple of seasons on the mound for Barnegat but he showed last week what he can do when he is on his game. The Bengals senior took the ball vs. Freehold Township in the SCT opening round Thursday and pitched a gem, limiting the Patriots to one run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts as No. 22 seed Barnegat upended the No. 11 seed on the road. Suydam also brought his bat to the park, going 1-for-3 with a game-tying RBI double in the top of the third inning.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Nick Guzzi, Point Boro; Sam Young, Point Boro; Mike Conger, Manchester; Miles Feaster, Lacey; Lawrence Zingi, Donovan Catholic; Connor Keenan, Jackson Liberty; Charlie Rudderow, Jackson Liberty