Awards were decided by Sean Martin, Ryan Wydra, and Jim Rosa.
Player of the Year- Brandon Martorano: Christian Brothers Academy
The Colts catcher went on an absolute tear in the second half of the season to carry the Colts to a Monmouth County, Shore Conference, state section and group title. Brandon led the Shore Conference with 11 home runs this season. Brandon’s two run home run against Don Bosco Prep in the non public A Championship proved to be the game winner for CBA.
Brandon was also behind the plate for the Colts this season, who got great pitching from ace Luca Dalatri as well as Kenny Campbell and others throughout the season.
Pitcher of the Year- Luca Dalatri: Christian Brothers Academy
Behind any great team is a great number one pitcher. For potentially the best team in Shore Conference history, pitcher Luca Dalatri was just that. Dalatri was brilliant all season, and solidified his spot as the state’s best pitcher in throwing a complete game shutout masterpiece against Bosco in the group final. Luca finished with an unbelievable 12-0 record as a starter. Scary thought baseball fans, he’s back next year along with Brandon.
Coach of the Year- Marty Kenney: Christian Brothers Academy
Talking to Kenney after the season, he agreed that the run his Colts team made was improbable. Becoming only the second Shore Conference team to win every title possible, Kenney admitted that it is not often a team has a chance to pull of such a feat. The Colts wrapped up their season ranked No 1 in the state of New Jersey, and an unbelievable No 23 in the Nation. CBA won a Non Public A State Title and robbed Don Bosco Prep of an undefeated season. With Kenney at the helm, the Colts navigated through the postseason unblemished- earning him this award.
Best Coaching Staff and Most Improved Team- Williamstown Braves: Joe Smith & Greg Lopez
The Williamstown Braves took the Monroe Twp community on a ride that they will never forget. With new head coach Joe Smith at the helm, and Greg Lopez and JR Tolbert assisting him, the team made a significant nine game improvement in 2015. The Braves went from being 12-10-1 in 2014, to finishing 21-6-1 in 2015. Williamstown won their first ever South Jersey Group IV Championship and finished their season as the state championship runner up. The team ripped off five wins in a row with a tremendous playoff run which included victories over Toms River North, Cherokee, and Old Bridge. Seniors Ross Micka, and Nick D’Alessandro did a great job providing leadership for this team. The Braves have ace pitchers Denny Bentley and Tyler Apt returning in 2016. This is a program with a bright future and as Coach Lopez says, “you have to respect the chop”!!
Best Field and Atmosphere- Ken Frank Stadium: Toms River South
When someone wants to think about where they should watch a game, Ken Frank Stadium is certainly second to none. This is one of New Jersey’s oldest fields, but one that provides the greatest energy and atmosphere. Keith Fisher has done a fantastic job making this field the best around. Toms River South also has such great support from their fan base. The parents donate their time, working extremely hard to make this the best environment around. As you know, we have been to many schools during the season, and this is the only one with a full menu in their concession stand. Come get a hot dog, hamburger, or even chicken nuggets while watching one of the best teams in the Shore play baseball. As Coach Frank says, “you can smell the burgers all the way from the field”. The announcer is also top notch, and the 60’s music provides a unique experience. Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are on every baseball fan’s list of must see fields, but Ken Frank Stadium should make the list for HS fans. Thank you to all the parents and volunteers who make this such a great place to experience a game.
Citizenship Award- Zach Mason: Southern Regional
When you think about Southern Regional baseball, one name comes to mind, and that is Zach Mason. Zach has had a spectacular high school career for the Rams, finishing with 103 career strikeouts. Zach was MVP of the Autism Challenge game. Mason pitched the second best single game in the Shore Conference this year with 14 strikeouts against Class B Central Champion Mater Dei. However, it is not just numbers alone that define Zach Mason. Zach has strong leadership skills, and a rare ability to motivate his teammates, and rally everyone together. 2015 was certainly a challenging season for Southern Regional with a lot of changes being made, but it was Zach who was able to remain calm and focused as a leader. Zach really showed why he is so great at handling adversity as a Senior captain. The Rams would rally to win four out of their last six games and end the season on a positive note. Zach pitched a complete game against Pinelands to win the Doc Cramer Challenge MVP Award. Zach will head to Misericordia University this year to join an amazing rotation in Pennsylvania. We wish Zach the best of luck in the future and can’t wait to see him at Misericordia.
NJSR will have more end of season coverage tomorrow as we take a look back at all the action from the Shore Conference All-Star game and Home Run Derby.