During the 2017 season, Shore Sports Network has been selecting both players and pitchers of the week from each of the six Shore Conference divisions and opened up the voting to the readers in order to pick an overall Player of the Week. In addition to the six pitchers and players from each division, there two wild cards on the ballot - one pitcher and one player now that the pool of teams has shrunk for the postseason. Vote early and often until Thursday at 10 p.m., when the voting will close and the winners will be posted.


Class A North Player of the Week

Dylan Taliaferro, Neptune

Neptune had many heroes during two big wins last week, but Taliaferro stands out for the job he did at the plate and on the mound. He went 2-for-3 with a double in both of Neptune’s wins over Wall and Northern Burlington, including the go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning during Friday’s win over Northern Burlington. He also earned the win with five innings of work in that game and went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in Tuesday’s upset of Wall.

Pitcher of the Week

Zack Pericone, Freehold Township

The Freehold Township rotation has been weighed down by injuries from the start of the season, but different pitchers have routinely stepped up all year. Pericone has picked up the slack as much as anyone on the staff and his start this last week was one of his best. He pitched a four-hit shutout against Old Bridge in the CJ IV first round.

A North Player of the Week Honorable Mention: John Gannon, Neptune; Justin Tucker, Neptune; Ron Cole, Neptune; Ryan Ford, Freehold Twp.; Matt Granato, Freehold; Giovanni Ciaccio, Manalapan; Tom Holdorf, Freehold Boro; Dillon Pellecchia, Colts Neck; Dan Chiusano, Freehold Boro


Class A Central Player of the Week

Jack Povey, Red Bank

Povey delivered the game-winning RBI in both of Red Bank’s North Jersey Section 2, Group III upsets last week and also pitched the first seven innings of the Bucs’ 15-inning quarterfinal win over Middletown North on Friday. He hit an RBI single against Somerville in the first round and his sacrifice fly in the 15th inning broke a 2-2 tie.

Pitcher of the Week

Matt Birdsall, Raritan

Birdsall capped his strong senior season with a three-hit shutout against A.L. Johnson in the first round of the Central Jersey Group II playoffs. In the start, Birdsall struck out 11 while walking only one. Raritan dropped its next game against top-seeded Governor Livingston, 5-4, after taking a 4-3 lead to the bottom of the seventh.

A Central Player of the Week Honorable Mention: Will Grant, Red Bank; Ken Friend, Raritan; Dan VanMeerbeke, Raritan; Tom Collazo, Matawan; Mike Jelliff, Shore; Alex Lamattina, Raritan; Gerardo Rivera-Colon, St. John Vianney; Evan Perrette, St. John Vianney; Ryan DeMille, St. John Vianney; Mason O’Mara, Red Bank; Josh Horowitz, Red Bank; Kyle Gamble, Matawan; Mike Shirvanian, Shore


Class A South Player of the Week

T.J. Scuderi, Toms River South

The Indians junior delivered two big hits last week and returned to form on the mound to help the Indians go 3-0 and advance to the semifinals of both the Shore Conference and Central Jersey Group III Tournaments. Scuderi tripled and scored the lone run in a 1-0 win over Pinelands in the SCT quarterfinals and drove in the first of two Toms River South runs in a 2-1 win over Brick in the CJ III quarterfinals. In that win over Brick, Scuderi also pitched a complete game, allowing a run on four hits and a walk while striking out six.

Pitcher of the Week

Matt Hartshorn, Toms River South

The new pitch-count rules reward teams who sport deep pitching staffs and can pitch efficiently and Hartshorn showed that Toms River South boasts both. The sophomore right-hander outdueled fellow sophomore Joey Ventresca in the Indians’ 1-0 win over Pinelands in the SCT quarterfinals and needed only 57 pitches to complete the four-hit shutout.

A South Player of the Week Honorable Mention: John Prato, Brick; Colin Mackle, Toms River South; Mike Koslowski, Jackson Memorial; Shane Black, Central; Jared Bellissimo, Toms River North; Pat Barrett, Southern; Jayden Tisseker, Brick; Justin Fall, Toms River South; Matt D’Amore, Jackson Memorial; A.J. Smith, Central


Class B North Player of the Week

Tommy Sheehan, Manasquan

The Manasquan left-hander fired six dominant innings to lead his team to a first-round win over Sterling in the South Jersey Group II bracket. Sheehan allowed one hit in his six scoreless frames and struck out 13 while walking five. He also swung a loud bat during the week, going 1-for-1 with three walks and two RBI vs. Sterling and hit a big triple in the fifth inning before scoring the winning run during a 3-2 win over Bordentown on Friday.

Pitcher of the Week

Trey Dombroski, Wall

Thanks to Dombroski, Wall bounced back from the loss to Neptune and kept its season alive with a 1-0 win over CBA in eight innings. The sophomore left-hander pitched a five-hit shutout with four strikeouts over eight innings to cool off a Colts lineup that had been piling up the runs heading into the game.

B North Player of the Week Honorable Mention: Tyler Ras, Middletown North; Paul Birzin, Monmouth; Tommy Sheehan, Manasquan; Brian Sheehy, Red Bank Catholic; Brendan Doherty, Middletown North; John Martin, Middletown South; Charlie Kelly, Monmouth; Connor Muly, Manasquan


Class B Central Player of the Week

Christian Smith, Keyport

Smith spun a gem to get the Red Raiders to the Central Jersey Group I quarterfinals and his bat nearly helped them advance even further. He allowed just one hit over six shutout innings while walking three and striking out nine against South Amboy on Tuesday, then delivered a 2-for-3 game at the plate in a loss to Riverside.

Pitcher of the Week

Chris Russo, Point Beach

Russo turned in a one-hitter over seven innings to lead Point Beach to a 7-1 win over defending sectional champion South River in the Central Jersey Group III first round. Russo allowed one run, walked three and struck out eight while earning the win.

B Central Player of the Week Honorable Mention: Josh Yates, Point Beach; Jude Lovegren, Point Beach; Kevin Donnelly, Point Beach; Liam Meyer, Keansburg; Kyle Johnson, Keyport; Brendan Hueth, St. Rose; John Crowley, St. Rose


Class B South Player of the Week

Justin Diefenbach, Barnegat

The Bengals finished the season on a high note and nearly took down West Deptford Friday to reach the South Jersey Group II semifinals before ultimately falling, 6-5. Diefenbach came up big in both the 13-9 win over Oakcrest and the loss to West Deptford. In Tuesday’s win, Diefenbach went 3-for-5 with two RBI and pitched three dominant innings of shutout relief to earn the win. He allowed only one hit and struck out six without issuing a walk. In the loss to West Deptford, Diefenbach was 1-for-3 with an RBI and allowed one unearned run during three hitless innings of relief.

Player of the Week

Anthony Elefante, Lacey

Not only did Elefante fire a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in the state tournament opener against Triton, but he also continued to swing a hot bat. The Lions senior was 2-for-3 with two RBI to help his own cause vs. Triton, then went 3-for-3 with a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the sixth inning of Lacey’s 2-1 loss to Red Bank Catholic in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday.

B South Player of the Week Honorable Mention: Kyle Tavaska, Jackson Liberty; Aaron McLaughlin, Barnegat; Kyle Lauria, Point Boro; Matt Pickus, Jackson Liberty; Tom Paul, Point Boro


Wild Cards

Player of the Week

Aaron McLaughlin, Barnegat

McLaughlin led Barnegat’s come-from-behind win over Oakcrest in the first round of the South Jersey Group II Tournament with a career game. The senior shortstop went 2-for-4 with five RBI, including the go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning and a two-run double during a nine-run third inning that wiped out a 6-0 Oakcrest lead.

Pitcher of the Week

Mason O’Mara, Red Bank

O’Mara fired a two-hitter last Tuesday to pitch 15th-seeded Red Bank past Somerville, the No. 2 seed in the North Jersey 2, Group III section. O’Mara struck out six and walked three in Red Bank’s 3-1 win over the Pioneers, which jumpstarted a run to the sectional semifinals.