Meet the athletes who excelled during the 2012 baseball season. The awards were selected by MSG Varsity's staff of reporters and editor.
MSG Varsity: Connecticut Region baseball awards
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bryan Daniello, McMahon
A two-time FCIAC player of the year, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior pitcher/shortstop added Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year honors to his trophy case this season. On the mound, Daniello had an 8-1 record with a 1.22 ERA, seven complete games and 78 strikeouts in 63 innings. Offensively, he batted .407 with seven home runs, three triples, 19 RBI, 27 runs and 19 stolen bases. Daniello, who will play at UConn, maintained a B average and volunteered on behalf of an area soup kitchen, youth baseball camps and his church's bible camp.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mark Mooney, Bullard-Havens
In just his second year at the helm, Mooney guided the Tigers to a 20-3 record and their first CSC championship in recent memory. For good measure, Mooney, who lives in Newington and has about a four-hour commute both ways, also drives the team bus to and from road games.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Under Mike Mora's guidance, the Cardinals used strong pitching, solid defense, timely hitting and some late-inning magic to win their first 23 games of the season. Greenwich would finally lose in the FCIAC finals and later in the Class LL quarterfinals, but completing a perfect regular season in the ultra-tough FCIAC was a remarkable achievement. Just consider that New Canaan, which finished the regular season 10-10 and didn't even make the FCIAC tournament, went on to the state finals for the first time in 40 years.
All Connecticut Region: First team
Dylan Callahan, Greenwich: Like Daniello, Callahan starred both on the mound and at shortstop when he wasn't pitching. Callahan posted a 5-2 record with two shutouts, a 1.15 ERA and 54 strikeouts compared to just 16 walks. Offensively, the first-team All-FCIAC selection batted .313 with five doubles, two triples, 20 runs scored, 11 stolen bases and 11 RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Mike Concato, Amity: The hard-throwing junior right-hander went 11-2 for the SCC champion Spartans. In addition to being named All-conference in the SCC Housatonic Division, Concato earned All-State honors in Class LL.
Bryan Daniello, McMahon: Player of the Year
Casey Gaynor, Greenwich: The Elon-bound right-hander and first-team All-FCIAC choice went 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA and 31 strikeouts. As the Cardinals' cleanup hitter, Gaynor batted .346 with eight doubles, two triples and a team-best 25 RBI.
Joe Burns, St. Joseph: Chosen first-team All-FCIAC and All-State in Class M, the St. John's-bound backstop batted .410 with five homers, five triples, 12 doubles and 30 RBI in leading the Cadets to the league and state semifinals. Burns also threw out eight of 10 runners.
Charlie Ameer, Weston: An All-State selection in Class M, Ameer went 9-2 on the mound with a 1.42 ERA and 101 strikeouts. Ameer, who also saw time at third base and shortstop, batted .303 with a .478 on-base percentage, scored 18 runs and drove in 20.
Matt Batten, St. Joseph: Named first-team All-FCIAC, the senior second baseman batted .397 with 22 runs scored, 15 RBI, seven doubles and two home runs in helping the Cadets to a 19-6 record overall.
Dario Pugliano, Warde: The senior third baseman was named first-team All-FCIAC and All-State in Class L after hitting .468 with an .887 slugging percentage, 19 RBI and 18 runs scored.
Vin Siena, Amity: The UConn-bound senior shortstop came into the season with a reputation as one of the state's top all-around players, and only added to his on-field legacy with a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh in leading the Spartans past Xavier in a Class LL second-round matchup. Siena was named All-State in Class LL for the second straight season.
Taylor Olmstead, Greenwich: The fleet-footed junior right fielder and No. 3 hitter was selected first-team All-FCIAC and All-State in Class LL after batting .338 with five doubles, five triples and 15 RBI. Helped lead Greenwich to a 24-2 record overall.
Eric Rinaldi, Torrington: One of the top players in the NVL, Rinaldi hit close to .400 in the middle of the Red Raiders' lineup and was named All-State in Class L. Rinaldi will play at Gordon College.
Angel Rosario, Bullard-Havens: It was certainly a stellar senior season for Rosario, who batted .494 with five doubles and four triples, stole 28 bases, scored 30 runs and drove in 20 more for the CSC champion Tigers. Rosario also had a perfect fielding percentage and went 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA, 61 strikeouts and two complete games.
John Amoroso, Sr., Pitcher, St. Joseph
Axel DeJesus, Sr., Pitcher, Stratford
Matt Ederle, Sr., Catcher, Norwalk
Alex Guadalupe, Sr., Outfielder, St. Joseph
Jason Holcomb, Sr., Shortstop/Pitcher, St. Joseph
Ryan Manning, Sr., Pitcher, Foran
Paul Merolla, Sr., Pitcher, Wilton
Ryan Reuther, Jr., First base/Pitcher, Wilton
Bryan Terzian, Jr., First base, Staples
Jack Voigt, Sr., Shortstop/Pitcher, Brunswick
Dan Warren, Sr., Second base/Pitcher, Warde
Frank Zumbo, Jr., Pitcher/Outfielder, Notre Dame-Fairfield