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The last two Ocean County Sports Medicine Player of the Week contests have featured the best performers from the two county tournaments, followed by the Shore Conference Tournament. Now, it's time to feature the top performers so far in the NJSIAA Tournament, which includes the first three rounds of the public sectional playoffs and the early rounds of the Non-Public tournaments.

Below are the 10 nominees for this week's award with a summary of accomplishments for each one, followed by a hearty list of players whose performance during the state tournament were more than worthy of a mention.

Vote once per hour in the poll at the bottom of this post until the poll closes Thursday at 10 p.m. The winner will receive a Player of the Week shirt courtesy of Ocean County Sports Medicine.

Cullen Condon, Manasquan

Manasquan sprung a eye-opening upset in the opening round by taking out second-seeded Governor Livingston in Central Jersey Group II and Condon led the way. The senior right-hander struck out 10 and allowed one earned run over six innings while also going 2-for-4 with a double at the plate in the 5-2 Warriors victory.

Joe Dionisio, Manalapan

Facing a neighboring rival and a Class A North divisional foe in Marlboro, Dionisio was at his best. With Mustangs ace and Seton Hall commit Alex D’Ambrosio opposing him on the mound, Dionisio pitched a five-hitter, allowing two unearned runs and one walk while striking out eight as the 13th-seeded Braves upset No. 4 Marlboro in the Central Jersey Group IV first round.

Ryan Frontera, Middletown North

There are no shortage of Middletown North candidates for Player of the Week, with Gabe Ahlemeyer, Zach Hampton and Dylan Briggs all have big starts to the tournament. Frontera’s contribution should be mentioned, with the senior shortstop inserting himself into every run-scoring rally the Lions have had over the last two games and finishing off the walk-off win over Allentown with a crafty slide into home plate on a throw that beat him there.

Shane Garrett, Ocean

Garrett left his fingerprints all over Ocean’s three-game stay in the Central Jersey Group II bracket, as well as its 19-win season en masse. The Spartans senior finished the tournament going 5-for-10 with four doubles, two runs scored and three RBI, notching at least one double in each of Ocean’s three games vs. South River, Carteret and top-seeded Rumson – all of which were on the road.

Andrew Gendi, Matawan

Gendi helped jumpstart Matawan’s run to the sectional semifinals with his bat, then pitched the Huskies to their biggest win of the season. The junior was 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in an opening-round win at Hopewell Valley, then pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts on the road to lead Matawan to a 3-2 win over Steinert – the No. 1 seed in Central Jersey Group III.

Jackson Hinchcliffe, Rumson-Fair Haven

Hinchcliffe has been Rumson’s top pitcher this postseason and he turned in one of the Shore’s most memorable pitching performances in the state-tournament opener. Facing a capable No. 16 seed in Nottingham, Hinchcliffe pitched the Shore’s only seven-inning no-hitter of the season – a performance that included 10 strikeouts and just one walk by the Richmond commit. Hinchcliffe then pitched five solid innings Tuesday to earn a sectional semifinal win over Ocean.

Jake Howlett, Wall

Howlett capped a monster season for himself with two strong showings at the plate in the Central Jersey Group II Tournament. In two tight games vs. A.L. Johnson (a Wall win) and Spotswood (an extra-inning loss), Howlett went a combined 4-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and an RBI in each game while putting in work behind the plate as the team’s catcher.

Brady Lesiak, Southern

In what has been a breakout junior season for Lesiak, Southern’s two-way standout had his signature week during the first two rounds of the South Jersey Group IV Tournament. Lesiak got in on the fun during Southern’s 13-0 rout of Gloucester Tech by going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI, then carried the Rams in the sectional quarterfinals at No. 2 Vineland. In the quarterfinal win, Lesiak allowed two runs over five innings to pick up the win on the mound while going 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI to help his cause at the plate.

Ben Schild, Middletown South

Schild made it back to the mound in time to impact the Eagles in the state tournament, with Middletown South making it to the Central Group III semifinals and nearly getting over the hump into the championship game. Schild struck out 12 in 5 1/3 innings while allowing one unearned run on five hits and a walk in Middletown South’s 4-2 win over Northern Burlington. The senior also went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in a first-round win over Somerville and 2-for-3 with an RBI in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss at Middletown North.

Christian Simonsen, Shore

Shore made it back to the Central Jersey Group I semifinals before falling to Middlesex for a second straight season and Simonsen turned in one of the best pitching efforts of his career to help get the Blue Devils there. The senior struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings against South Hunterdon on the way to a 2-1, walk-off win for Shore. Simonsen also went 1-for-2 with an RBI in that game and 1-for-3 with an RBI in the Tuesday loss to Middlesex.


Honorable Mention

Nick Coniglio, Ranney

Brennan O’Keefe, CBA

Niko Diamantopoulos, Southern

Dylan Briggs, Middletown North

Brandon Falco, Matawan

Gabe Ahlemeyer, Middletown North

Kevin Prime, Manasquan

James Larsen, Point Beach

Jack O’Shea, Manasquan

Dave Yorke, Donovan Catholic

Jack Riva, Rumson-Fair Haven

Glen Cantalupo, Ranney

Ben Robinson, Ocean

Kyle Kolans, Point Beach

Nick Bigotto, Henry Hudson

Bryan Matuschat, Point Beach

John Chiusano, Middletown South

Roger Dreher, Southern

Chris Levonas, CBA

Christian Zito, Monmouth

Zach Szatkowski, Wall

Steve Svenson, Red Bank Catholic

George Krenkel, Ocean

Connor Voelkson, Manasquan

Matt Sliva, Middletown South

Joe Santi, Shore

Andy Osmond, Jackson Memorial

Ryan Butchko, Donovan Catholic

Ray Mulhern, Southern

Owen Kenney, Rumson-Fair Haven

Dylan Vowteras, Manasquan

Matt Koblos, Jackson Memorial

C.J. Sears, Shore

Joe Sclama, Manchester

Lucas Rosa, Shore

Brady Leach, Brick Memorial

Wyatt Hunt, CBA

Jack Tallent, Ranney

Will Fahey, CBA

Gavin McCarthy, Marlboro

Mike Milevoi, Monmouth

Cristian Soto, Central

A.J. Pierson, Toms River South


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