Toms River South’s Devish, Middletown South’s Brey Honored by Big Ten Conference

Toms River South’s Devish, Middletown South’s Brey Honored by Big Ten Conference

Rutgers University senior catcher R.J. Devish, a Toms River High School South product, was one of the nation's top catchers. Photo credit: Rutgers University Athletics Communications Department

Athletes from Ocean and Monmouth counties continue to win postseason honors. New Jersey Sports Report congratulates all athletes. Tips? Comments? E-mail Chris:

Rutgers University senior R.J. Devish, a former Toms River High School South player, and senior teammate Howie Brey (Middletown South) earned All-Big Ten Conference baseball honors.

Devish, a second-teamer at catcher, also won the conference’s Sportsmanship Award. Brey captured third-team honors as a starting pitcher.

Previously honored as a national semifinalist for the Olson Award for National Breakout Player of the Year, Devish capped his career in the Scarlet Knights’ uniform by leading the league with a .524 on-base percentage, which ranked seventh nationally and first among all seniors in the nation. The mark is the highest by a Scarlet Knight since 1994 and the first over .500 by a Big Ten player since 2009.

The former Indian also paced the conference with 56 runs scored. He was second in stolen bases (24), fourth in walks (41) and fifth in batting average (.375). He was hit by 15 pitches. The stolen bases were first among all catchers in the nation and No. 39 overall. The leadoff hitter had 20 multiple-hit games and caught 10 runners stealing.

Devish began his collegiate career as an infielder and moved behind the plate due to the team’s necessity for a backup catcher. He cut down 15 prospective base stealers as a junior. He was named the league’s Player of the Week on Feb. 29 as a senior.

It’s the initial all-conference honor for Devish and the seventh by a Rutgers catcher since 1992.

Brey won his second career all-conference honor and first pitching in the Big Ten. The left-hander worked 100 1/3 innings this year, second-most in the conference. He pitched four complete games in league play–Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland. He was fifth with 84 strikeouts, a total that ranks third in a single-season in league history.

For his career, Brey sits fourth with 291 1/3 innings, tied for third with 206 strikeouts and tied for eighth with 18 victories in the program record books. He is the first All-Big Ten pitcher for Rutgers.

Other notables

Thaiss honored: University of Virginia junior catcher Matt Thaiss (Jackson Memorial) made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team.

Thaiss hit a club-high .378 (fifth in the ACC) while playing in each of the Cavaliers’ 54 games, including starts in all but five games behind the plate. He ranked fourth in the conference in base hits (79), sixth in runs batted in (54), total bases (122) and slugging (.584), seventh in on-base percentage (.474), 10th in home runs (nine) and 12th in runs (49).

The former Jaguar is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Johnny Bench Award and is on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award.

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Ex-Southern Regional athlete Chelsea Vaughan leaves Stockton University as one of the top women’s pole vaulters in NCAA Division III history. Photo credit: Stockton University Athletics Communications Department

Stockton University update: Senior Chelsea Vaughan (Southern Regional) won New Jersey Athletic Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honors for the second straight week. She captured the honor for the sixth time of the year (three indoor, three outdoor). She concluded her career by earning her sixth NCAA Division III All-America nod in the pole vault, tying for third place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a vault of 3.90 meters.

The former Ram tied high jumper Lisa Shepherd (2007-10) for the most All-America accolades by a Stockton female. She qualified for All-America status in all six of her appearances at the NCAA Championships (three indoor, three outdoor).

Senior Tyler Pinto (Toms River North) and junior Cassandra Hrusko (Manchester) were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for their work in academics and athletics.

Manchester graduate Cassandra Hrusko excelled in athletics and the classroom as a Stockton University junior. Credit: Stockton University Athletics Communications Department
Manchester graduate Cassandra Hrusko excelled in athletics and the classroom as a Stockton University junior. Credit: Stockton University Athletics Communications Department

Pinto, a criminal justice major with a 3.91 grade point average, is a nine-time NJAC all-conference performer for the Ospreys. This year, he won one race in the 800 meters and won NJAC honorable mention nods in the indoor 4×800 relay and outdoor 800. Pinto holds five school records, the fifth of which came in his final college meet on May 18 as he broke the mark in the outdoor 800 that was previously held by his coach Jayson Resch.

Hrusko owns a 3.83 grade point average in health science. She has earned a total of 10 NJAC all-conference honors, eight in track and field and two in cross country. Last fall, she was NJAC second team, NJAC Runner of the Week and ECAC Runner of the Week once each and USTFCCCA All-Academic in cross country.

Rowan University wins men’s, women’s track and field titles: Former Shore Conference athletes helped the Profs to Eastern College Athletic Conference championships.

The men’s team scored 90.5 points in the 36-team field for its first ECAC outdoor title in history. The women’s team scored 61 points in the 60-team meet for its second ECAC outdoor title.

Sophomore Dave Benjamin (Freehold Township) ran the anchor leg on the winning 4×100-meter relay team (41.33). Sophomores Cripsin D’Augusta (Middletown North), Kevin Veltre (Brick Memorial) and Brandon Eldershaw (Jackson Memorial) ran the ran the first, second and anchor legs, respectively, on the fourth-place 4×800 relay team (7:47.24).

Junior Glenn Kohles (Toms River East) won the discus (164-7) and was third in the shot put (54-8 3/4). Veltre was second in the 1500 (3:54.27).

In women’s action, sophomore Brianna Angellella (Southern) ran the anchor leg on the winning 4×800 team (9:16.63). The victory clinched the meet for the Profs. She was 25th (2:19.33) in the 800.

Benjamin and Kohles won U.s. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Atlantic Region honors. Benjamin was honored in the 4×100 and the 110 hurdles. Kohles was cited in the shot put and discus.

Monmouth a success: The Monmouth University men’s tennis team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament and lost to defending champion Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

To win the MAAC, the Hawks rallied for a 4-3 victory over Quinnipiac. The winners trailed 3-0. They won their first-ever team flighted conference tournament championship.

The Hawks fell to the top-ranked Cavaliers 4-0. Monmouth junior Vidit Vaghela, who hails from India, matched 2015 NCAA singles champion Ryan Shane 6-6 in the opening set at the top flight when the match was halted.

The Hawks closed their season at 12-10.

“It was a great season,” first-year Monmouth coach Kyle Bailey said on the Hawks’ web site. “We established what this program is about and moving forward we can build off of today. This performance let the guys know that they belong and can play at this level. If we can play with these guys we can play with anybody.

Schmid at Wagner: Former Howell standout Kaitlyn Schmid has been named an assistant women’s basketball coach at Wagner College.

She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2015-16. She worked primarily with the team’s guards last season in addition to assisting in the areas of video coordination, scouting upcoming opponents, on-campus recruiting, social media enhancement, scheduling and team logistics as well as community, campus and team activities.

She starred at guard at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where she was a four-year letterwinner for the Devils. As a senior, she set an NCAA Division II single-season record with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.25, which came on 136 assists and just 28 turnovers, a ratio that was second-highest among all three NCAA Divisions and broke the previous NCAA Division II mark of 4.09.

Schmid graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology before earning a Masters of Science Degree at Southern Mississippi graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.

She was a three-year varsity starter at Howell where she was a two-time team captain. She led the Rebels to an unbeaten season and the Shore Conference Class A North title, winning team Most Valuable Player honors.

Kenny strong off, on court: Caldwell University senior guard Brian Kenny (Jackson Memorial) made the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference All-Academic team for the 2015-16 winter athletic season for the third time.

Kenny is a financial economics major with a 3.97 grade point average. He appeared in and started 26 games, averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder was second on the team in rebounding. Kenny, who averaged 2.5 minutes per game, added 10 steals and two blocks.

Off to college: Women’s soccer and women’s softball players from Brookdale Community College are off to four-year schools, according to Katelyn Amundson, the Jersey Blues’ assistant director of athletics.

Soccer players are Marti Stewart (Wilmington University), Ashley Cafarella (Wilmington), Simone McEnough (Bloomfield College) and Alexandria Montefinese (Dominican College).

Bound for Georgian Court University are Cassie Varvaro and Jacquie Coulahan.

Reese moves on: Former Georgian Court head men’s basketball coach Brian Reese, who guided the Lions to a 5-21 overall record, including 4-15 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference in his lone campaign at the helm during the winter, has been hired as an assistant men’s coach at Illinois State.

Reese was an assistant men’s coach at Monmouth for four seasons (2011-15) under King Rice. He helped the University of North Carolina win the 1992-93 national title, averaging 11.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He has played professionally in Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, England, Finland, Iceland, France, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Puerto Rico.