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SJBCA honors area's best

06/05/2014, 7:45pm EDT
By Anthony Mungiole, Special to SJSD

All-South Jersey baseball squad recognized Wednesday evening

GLASSBORO — On Wednesday, June 4, the South Jersey Baseball Coaches Association held its 41st annual banquet at Masso’s Crystal Manor Restaurant in Glassboro. They recognized the 2014 All South Jersey team, College Players of the Year, Umpires Sportsmanship & Scholarship Awards, Paul Owens Family & Athletic Scholarship Award, Tom Haas & Scholarship Award, and South Jersey Coach of the Year.  Also recognized were this year’s sectional champions.

The South Jersey Group 4 Championship was defended by Eastern High School, which is coached by Rob Christ. The South Jersey Group 3 title was won by Mainland High School, which is coached by Billy Kern.  The South Jersey Group 2 title was won by Buena High School, which is coached by Harry Grose and the South Jersey Group 1 was won by Pennsville coached by Matt O’Brien.  Mainland and Buena will play in the Group 3 and 2 championship games, respectively, on Saturday.  

Here's a look at the players honored as All-South Jersey as selected by the SJBCA:

2014 All-South Jersey Team
Pitchers 
Denny Brady (Buena)
Zachary Gakeler (Northern Burlington)
Joe Gatto (St. Augustine)
John Murphy (Gloucester Catholic)
Devin Smeltzer (Bishop Eustace)
Mitchell Walker (Pennsville)

Catcher 
Adam Rapp (Northern Burlington)

Infielders
Sean Breen (Gloucester Catholic)
Thomas Flacco (Eastern)
David Geary (Delran)
Jon Hansen (Cherry Hill East)
Joshua Shimp (Pennsville)
A.J. Wright (Cherry Hill West)

Outfielders
Nick Browne (Bishop Eustace)
Eric Lankenau (Pennsville)
Darnell Maisonet (Winslow Twp.)
Eric Schorr (Audubon)
Kyle Stinson (Highland)

Utility Players
Kyle Cox (Millville)
John Schoelkopf (Washington Twp.)

Names to look out for in the 2014 MLB Draft are Joe Gatto, Tom Flacco, Devin Smeltzer, and Kyle Stinson.  Another name to look out for is Bryan Dobzanski. 

There were five former South Jersey high schoolers named College Players of the Year honored by the SJBCA:

  • Nick Crescenzo of Rider University batted .274 with three doubles, two triples, and one home run.
  • Nick Favatella of Rutgers University batted .298 with 16 doubles, three triples, four home runs along with 33 runs batted in.
  • Anthony Montefusco of George Mason University was 9-4 as a pitcher with a 2.19 ERA while striking out 82 batters.  
  • Chris Knott of East Stroudsburg University batted .399 with 15 doubles, four triples, and 6 home runs while knocking in 44 runs.  
  • Anthony Lopez of Cumberland County Community College batted .433 with 23 doubles, 16 triples, and five home runs while driving in 80 runners. 

The New Jersey Baseball Umpires Association honored Kyle Bordner of Cherry Hill West High School as its Scholar-Athlete and the Glassboro High School baseball team with the sportsmanship award.  The Independent Umpires Association awarded Andrew Valichka of Penns Grove the scholar athlete award and Pennsville High School's baseball team with the sportsmanship award.

The Paul Owens Family & Athletic Scholarship Award was given to Michael McLaughlin of Haddonfield High School.  McLaughlin will be attending Tufts University in the fall.  The Tom Haas Scholarship Award was giving to Jack Tierney.  Tierney will be attending Penn State University.  

Coach of the Year was awarded to Pennsville’s coach Matt O’Brien. O’Brien led his team to a record of remarkable record of 28-3.  They won the South Jersey Group I crown and were also runner-up in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic Tournament.  Pennsville was led by infielder Joshua Shimp, outfielder Eric Lankenau and pitcher Mitchell Walker.

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