MSG Varsity's All-New Jersey baseball teams
P-Rob Kaminsky, St. Joseph Regional: Named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, the junior left-hander merited such an accolade based on his utter dominance. Kaminsky fashioned an 8-2 mark that featured 103 strikeouts in 53 innings and a 0.20 ERA. He fired three no-hitters, highlighted by consecutive gems versus Bergen Catholic and eventual NJSIAA Non-Public B state champion Marist. Kaminsky also knows a little something about hitting. When not pitching, he played center field and batted .398 with 33 hits, 29 runs scored and 18 RBI.
P-Tommy Burns, Don Bosco: Don Bosco coach Mike Rooney laid it out right from the start when he informed Burns to anticipate the ball for practically every big game the Ironmen encountered. The senior right-hander responded by going 9-2 mark with 74 strikeouts and 0.65 ERA over 66 1/3 innings. In the process, the 6-1, 190-pound Burns rang up victories over Delbarton, St. Joseph Regional (twice), Fox Lane of New York and Paramus in the Bergen County Tournament final. Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Draft, Burns is heading to Howard College in Texas, a junior college powerhouse.
P-Brandon Holup, Jackson: The 6-6 right-hander wrapped up his senior year on a particularly stingy note, tossing 35 straight scoreless innings en route to five straight shutouts to stamp his 8-2 campaign. During that span, Holup tossed a three-hitter with eight strikeouts to blank Brick Memorial, 1-0, to earn Jackson its first Ocean County Tournament title since 1972 and capped it by fanning seven in a two-hitter that helped blank Toms River North, 7-0, in the Shore Conference Tournament final. The East Stroudsburg recruit ended with a 0.75 ERA and 70 strikeouts against 38 hits and 13 walks over 65 2/3 innings.
P-Kenny Roder, Hoboken: The delivery begins in a unique coil, with the left hander squared more toward first base than home plate. But, by the time the senior left-hander elevates to his sweeping leg, all his energy is steered toward the target and it’s one he rarely missed. The 5-8, 145-pound senior went 7-4, absorbing a pair of 1-0 losses to Harrison and Dunellen. He collected an unfathomable 178 strikeouts over 85 1/3 innings while allowing 29 hits and walking 16. Roder fanned 16 over seven innings while spinning a perfect game in an 11-0 victory over St. Anthony and struck out 15 in a 1-0 no-hitter against St. Peter’s Prep.
C-Chris Folinusz, Cranford: The junior catcher blossomed into one of the most feared hitters in New Jersey. The 6-1, 215-pounder punctuated his breakout season by launching a pair of tape-measure solo homers in a 4-1 triumph over Freehold Borough for the Group 3 state championship. He hit .520 with 38 hits, 28 runs, 46 RBI, 13 doubles and eight home runs.
1B-Nick Maguire, Mendham: The ball screamed off the bat of the mighty Maguire, who packed enormous power to all fields. The first baseman, who is defensively solid with soft hands and good range, hit .405 (30 for 74) with a .550 OBP and 1.316 OPS. He racked up 29 runs, 22 RBI, eight doubles, two triples and six home runs in 27 games. Just how much did opponents want to avoid his offensive output? Maguire walked 25 times, including 18 intentional pass. The 6-2, 225-pound is heading to Columbia.
2B-Jeremy Ake, Hunterdon Central: A smooth, fluid swing from the right side fueled the junior to a .400 batting average while his combination of exceptional foot and glove work made his reliable defensively at second base. Ake (6-0, 195 pounds) proved to be a pain for opposing pitchers, who he touched for 38 hits, including seven doubles, three triples and five homers. He knocked in 29 runs, scored 35 more and was 14 for 16 in stolen base attempts.
SS-Kevin Bradley, Hopewell Valley: The 6-2, 195-pound senior shortstop, who has committed to Clemson, was the standard by which all other offensive players were measured in the Colonial Valley Conference for the last two years. Bradley, who was selected in the 36th round by the Colorado Rockies in the Major League Baseball First-Year Draft, batted .407 (37 for 91) with 26 runs scored, 33 RBI, 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs.
3B-Justin Avedissian, Wayne Hills: Avedissian provided an eye-opening example of his power in the semifinals of the Passaic County Tournament at Passaic Tech, when he unloaded a titanic home run into the middle of the elevated second-tier parking lot well beyond the leftfield fence. The 6-1, 250-pound senior third baseman owned a .489 average marked by 12 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBI. He put together an unconscious tear in the middle of the campaign in which he was 22 for 26 with seven doubles, two triples, five homers and 18 RBI.
OF-James Locklear, Steinert: One of the premier defensive centerfielders in the state, the 6-1, 205-pound senior, who is heading to Rider, was equally adroit at the plate. As the leadoff man for the Spartans, who won the Mercer County Tournament title, Locklear hit at a .422 clip (46 for 109) with 37 runs and an astonishing 31 RBI, a testament to the depth of the Steinert batting order. He roped nine doubles, four triples and a homer while slugging at a .606 rate and swiped 24 bases in 25 tries.
OF-Tommy Marcinczyk, Middlesex: His high leg kick and ability to extend his hands from the left side are two primary reasons why the junior center fielder has already surpassed the 100-hit plateau. Rare is the occasion Marcinczyk gets beat on a pitch and his competitiveness gave way to a .473 average keyed by 35 hits, including six doubles, three triples and three home runs. He scored 40 times, knocked in 32 runs, had a .757 slugging percentage and .615 on-base percentage, working out 31 walks and totaling 16 stolen bases. The anchor of the outfield defense, the 5-10, 175-pounder showed unlimited range to track down drives into either gap.
OF-Russell Messler, Toms River South: Only a sophomore, the right fielder was one of the driving forces behind a 22-6 showing by the Indians. Messler topped the Shore Conference with a .505 batting average that featured 46 hits and some good power to the gaps. He amassed nine doubles, six triples and three homers (for an .835 slugging percentage) and had 24 RBI to go with his 25 runs.
UTILITY-Christian Campbell, Sayreville: There isn’t much the junior can’t do. On the mound, the right-hander went 9-1 with three saves, a 0.95 ERA and 87 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings. At shortstop, Campbell showed good range and a strong arm while at the plate, he hit .443 with 40 runs and 19 RBI from the leadoff slot. He rapped seven doubles, six triples and six home runs.
DH-Joe Purritano, Don Bosco: Bound for Dartmouth, the senior designated hitter wielded one of the most lethal bats in the state. Purritano, a left-handed hitter whose power was especially strong to the opposite field, hit .398 with 45 RBI. 13 doubles, four triples and six homers, highlighted by a three-run, walkoff blast in the bottom of the 10th that lifted the Ironmen past Gloucester Catholic on May 6.
P-Chris Baldi, Mahwah, Jr.
P-Ryan Williamson, Cranford, Jr.
P-Evan Edelman, Hillsborough, Sr.
P-John Masella, Delbarton, Jr.
C-Matt Thaiss, Jackson, Jr.
1B-Matt Dacey, Don Bosco, Sr.
2B-Nick Wolyniec, St. Joseph Regional
SS-Joe Ogren, Jackson, Sr.
3B-Luke Cahill, Monmouth Regional, Sr.
OF-Willie Cruz, North Bergen. Sr.
OF-Pat Roberts, Hillsborough, Sr.
OF-James O’Rourke, Westfield, Sr.
UTIL-Luis Hidalgo, Ridgefield, Sr.
DH-Sean Jones, DePaul, Sr.
Bergen: Austin Solecitto, Indian Hills; Grant Van Orden, George Iskenderian and Andrew Herrera, Don Bosco; Corey Lerche, St. Joseph Regional; Joe Fisco, Emerson; Tyler Gargiulo, Paramus; Tyler Blind, Glen Rock.
Essex: D.J. Link and Mark Venice, Seton Hall Prep; Mike Carter, Bloomfield; Evan Janifer, Montclair; Jordan Farber, Livingston; Ian Riddell, Millburn; Jimmy Murphy, Columbia.
Hudson: Mark Peralta, Matt Littrell and Steve Tsugranes, Marist; A.J. Gale, North Bergen; Sal Mendez, Weehawken; Kyle Greaves and Charlie Castellano, Bayonne; Ryan O’Connor, St. Peter’s Prep.
Mercer: Brock Podgurski, Carston Raab and Adam Riese, Steinert; David Osnato and Shane Finley, Hamilton; John Croak, Hopewell Valley.
Middlesex: Jose Hernandez, Perth Amboy; Stephen Fortuna, Metuchen; Steve Petriello and Mark Tomei, South Plainfield; Casey Wenzel and Jeff Plunkett, Dunellen; Nick Muha, South Brunswick; Chris Petiya, Middlesex; Scott Griffin and Matt Rivera, Sayreville; Brandon Bielak and Anthony Teixeira, St. Joseph; Ben Vietze, Highland Park.
Monmouth: Howie Brey, Middletown South; Anthony Santoro, St. John Vianney; Joe Dudek, Christian Brothers; Matt Holtz, Freehold Borough; Brian Lamboy, Manalapan; Scott Duncan, Wall; Chris Lorenz, Rumson; Mike Rescigno, Red Bank Catholic.
Morris: Jon Kristoffersen, Jefferson; Adam Schreck, Delbarton; Tommy Zaher, Pequannock; Ryan Brunnock, Morristown; Connor McMahon and Tom Asbaty; Randolph; Joe Grato, Madison; Connor Higgins, Madison; Scott Baker, Chatham; Ben VanPut, Kinnelon; Matt Facas, Hanover Park; Mike Fuela, West Morris.
Ocean: Mark McCoy, Barnegat; Brian Cottrell, Brick Memorial; Jack Bush, Southern Regional; Kyle Driscoll and R.J. Devish, Toms River South.
Passaic: John Ferrell and Eric Fernandez, Lakeland; John Scarr, DePaul; Jon Steele and Mike Coss, Pompton Lakes; Darlyn Beato, Passaic Tech; Garvin Jones and Aidan Stewart, West Milford; Chris Amato, Wayne Hills; Adnan Pjetrovic, Clifton.
Somerset: Ray Bertram and Josh Jankowski, Bridgewater-Raritan; Mike Roethke, Kellen Sperduto, Tyler Fox and Ronny Sessa, Immaculata; Brett Ender, Montgomery; Dan Keller, Pingry; Joey Rocchietti and Mark Blajsa, Watchung Hills; RJ Fanelli, Hillsborough.
Union: Anthony DiFrancesco, Sean Feeney and Kurt Rutmayer, Cranford; Martin Tavaras, Elizabeth; Keith Skinner and Joey Graziano, Gov. Livingston; Matt Varakian, Brett Ryan, Westfield.
West Jersey: Anthony Ciavarella, Phillipsburg; Brett Bonn, Geggie Russomagno and Pete Monahan, Hunterdon Central; Matt Tietz and Ryan McNally, Pope John.
Coach of the Year: Brian Boyce, Manalapan
The toll graduation took on Manalapan cast a perception that defense of its Group 4 state title was going to be bit of a reach. What the Braves proved, under the guidance of Boyce, is that nothing is unattainable.
In his seventh season at Manalapan, Boyce masterfully got a read on his squad over the course of the season and pushed all the right buttons come tournament time in piloting Manalapan through some treacherous waters. The Braves (18-11) eliminated Brick Memorial, Jackson, Middletown South and Steinert en route to the Central Jersey sectional crown, then defeated Cherokee in the state semifinals to provide Boyce with his 200th career victory in the process.
The improbable run came to a triumphant close as senior right-hander Joe Serrapica tossed a three-hitter and Vito Gadaleta belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 2-0 decision over Hillsborough for a second straight Group 4 championship.
Gregg Lerner covers baseball for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @gregglerner