VOTE: Ocean County Sports Medicine Baseball Player of the Week: OCT Edition
The Player of the Week makes its triumphant return just as the Shore Conference Tournament is concluding. There will be a Player of the Week to recognize the top performers of the SCT, but first, we must shout out the top players and pitchers from both of the county tournaments.
In this post, we will run down the top eight standouts from the Ocean County Tournament, with an advantage built in for the two teams that made it to the championship game. There are two nominees from both Donovan Catholic and Southern and in order to ensure that those teams and players have an earned advantage, the two players from those teams will have their final voting totals combined, with the team leader getting credit for all of it. So if one of the non-finalists is going to win the OCT Player of Week/Tournament award, it will take a massive voter turnout.
The honorable mention players below are pulled both from the tournaments, as well as last week's performances from both the regular season and the Shore Conference Tournament.
Vote once per hour from now until the poll closes at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, when the Shore Conference Tournament championship game begins. The winner will be announced on Monday and will receive a Player of the Week shirt courtesy of Ocean County Sports Medicine.
Nate Clayton, Point Beach
The junior catcher was Point Beach’s best hitter in its two Ocean County Tournament games, going 2-for-3 with a grand slam that proved to be the difference in a 4-3, first-round win over Toms River North, then 2-for-3 with a run scored in the Garnet Gulls’ 2-1 loss at Southern in the OCT quarterfinals.
Joe Cordi, Brick Memorial
Cordi came up clutch for Brick Memorial as the Mustangs continued what ended up a nine-game winning streak while advancing to the OCT semifinals for a third straight season. Cordi went 3-for-6 with a double, four walks and four RBI in the OCT, including the walk-off, two-run single to beat Lacey in the OCT quarterfinals.
Gavin Degnan, Donovan Catholic
Teammate Jake Marcianco was named MVP of the Ocean County Tournament championship game, but if the MVP was the for the entire tournament, it would be hard to argue against Degnan. The senior centerfielder went 8-for-11 during the four-game run by the Griffins with four walks, two doubles and a walk-off, three-run home run in a quarterfinal win over Central.
Roger Dreher, Southern
When Southern needed shutdown innings, the Rams turned to Dreher, who pitched shutdown relief to earn the win against Jackson Memorial in the OCT semifinals, then pitched the first three innings of the OCT championship game vs. Donovan Catholic and departed with a 4-3 lead. Dreher also came through with an RBI single in the eighth inning of the semifinal win over Jackson Memorial to provide some insurance.
Jake Marciano, Donovan Catholic
The Ocean County Tournament championship MVP pitched a solid quarterfinal game vs. Central and in the championship game vs. Southern, he was spectacular. Although the junior left-hander gave up four earned runs in the first three innings, he flipped the switch over the final four innings and finished the game with 16 strikeouts, no walks and just four hits allowed.
Dom Masino, Central
While the season has been a disappointing one for Central, it has been a huge one for the all-around talented senior shortstop. Masino put up a huge two games in the Ocean County Tournament, finishing a combined 5-for-6 with three home runs and seven RBI – including a two-homer game vs. Donovan Catholic in the quarterfinal.
Charlie Meglio, Jackson Memorial
Meglio’s huge offensive season bled into the OCT, with the Campbell commit rocking a three-run home run in a 9-2 win over Manchester, then crushing a clutch, game-tying home run in an extra-inning loss to Southern in the OCT semifinals.
Dom Miranda, Southern
Miranda missed the first couple weeks of the season but has been a huge addition to the Southern lineup, particularly for the run through the OCT. The Manhattan commit went 7-for-10 with two homers and seven RBI, with both homers giving Southern the lead.
Joe Maier, Donovan Catholic; Jason Basilicata, Donovan Catholic; Nick Mellino, Jackson Memorial; Matt Koblos, Jackson Memorial; Anthony Mehmet, Jackson Memorial; Bryson Kirby, Point Boro; Brady Lesiak, Southern; Joe Bentivenga, Manchester; A.J. Ramirez, Manchester; Danny Lubach, Point Beach; Bryan Matuschat, Point Beach; James Larsen, Point Beach; Ryan Ushock, Toms River East; Dan Nafziger, Toms River East; Nicco Maribo, Brick Memorial; Tyler Garbooshian, Brick Memorial; Chase Cohen, Brick Memorial; Joel German, Central; Brett Benecke, Jackson Liberty; Mike Kisseberth, Jackson Liberty; Zack Mohr, Lacey; Ray Mulhern, Southern; Tyler McLeod, Southern; Kyle Serino, Southern; Jaihan Dominguez, Barnegat; Nick Bruno, Barnegat; Kaden Inman, Pinelands; Chris Quick, Brick; Ty Kazanowsky, Toms River North; Matt Petrocelli, Toms River North; Brenden Lavallee, Toms River North; Justin Diaz, Toms River South