Each week during the 2022 high school baseball season, Shore Sports Network will recognize the top performers in each Shore Conference division and give fans a chance to pick the overall winner of the Shore Sports Network Baseball Player of the Week. The nominees include a Player of the Week from each of the six Shore Conference divisions, plus two wild cards which are worthy of consideration as well.
Check out this week’s group of nominees and vote for the one you think stands out in the poll at the bottom of the post. Voting ends Wednesday at 10 pm, with the winner receiving a Player of the Week shirt courtesy of Ocean County Sports Medicine.
Class A North Player of the Week
Cristian Bernardini, Manalapan
Manalapan is off to a 0-3 start as a team, but it’s not because the Braves’ best hitter isn’t hitting. Bernardini has been retired as many times as his team has lost, going 7-for-10 with four doubles, a triple and four RBI. That represents five of the six extra-base hits Manalapan has hit so far and the four runs he has driven in account for more than half of the Braves’ total runs scored this season (7).
Class A North Honorable Mention: Zaine Toneske, CBA; Harrison Campi, CBA; Josh Mack, Marlboro; Nik Gomolka, Marlboro; Devon Smith, Howell; Joe Zito, Howell; Thomas Strauch, Howell; Braden Walsh, Howell; Colin Dowlen, Middletown North; Ryan Keegan, Freehold Twp.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Christian Zito, Monmouth
Zito is off to a scoring start and his first two games went about as well as they could imaginably have gone. Through two games, Zito was 6-for-6 with a home run, a double and four RBI and also pitched a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts on the mound. He didn’t stop there either. The Falcons senior broke up a Red Bank Catholic no-hitter with a double in the top-of the ninth and scored one of the two winning runs on Wednesday, then went 2-for-3 with a double while holding RBC to four earned runs in six innings on the mound in Saturday’s loss to the Caseys.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Alex Stanyek, Red Bank Catholic; Shane Andrus, Red Bank Catholic; Jack Meyers, Red Bank Catholic; Matt Rigby, Rumson-Fair Haven; Brian Doherty, Rumson-Fair Haven; Reece Moroney, Rumson-Fair Haven; Donovan Hughes, Shore; Christian Simonsen, Shore; Cole Stefanelli, Shore; Joe Santi, Shore; Aiden Denton, Monmouth; Joey Esposito, Monmouth; Ben Robinson, Ocean; Shane Garrett, Ocean; Alex Dekis, Raritan
Class A South Player of the Week
JR Osmond, Jackson Memorial
While it has been an uneven start overall for Jackson Memorial, Osmond has been scoring hot for the Jaguars. In the first four games, the senior is hitting 8-for-13 (.615) with three doubles, a home run and eight RBI, including 6-for-7 with two doubles, a homer and four RBI in his team’s last two games against Southern and Toms River East.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Nick Hoheb, Brick; Matt Kunzman, Brick; Charlie Meglio, Jackson Memorial; Tom Kendrick, Jackson Memorial; Dante Carr, Toms River East; Anthony Martino, Brick Memorial; Brady Leach, Brick Memorial; Declan Sheehan, Brick Memorial; Cam Leiter, Central; Dom Masino, Central; Case Pierce, Central; Mike Nasti, Southern; Stephen Stafford, Southern; Dom Saldida, Toms River North; Ryan Baker, Toms River North
Class B North Player of the Week
Cullen Condon, Manasquan
Not only did Condon throw two of the best games on the mound so far in the Shore Conference season, but he was also one of several Manasquan players who raked in the season’s first 10 days. Heading into this week, Condon is 5-for-10 with a double, four walks and three RBI with a bat in his hands. He has been even better on the rubber, pitching a five-inning no-hitter with 11 strikeouts on opening day, then throwing a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts against a potent Wall lineup.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Mike Antonucci, Manasquan; Pat Woodford, Manasquan; Nicolas Galvan, Manasquan; Brett Patten, Manasquan; Jackson Coan, Wall; Ryan O’Neill, Wall; Nick Quagliato, Neptune; Ryan Cole, Neptune; Christian Rice, Colts Neck; Dave Cohen, Colts Neck; Brady Oswick, St. John Vianney; Dan Aflitto, St. John Vianney; Andrew Zottar, St. John Vianney; Matteo Pasculli, St. John Vianney; Josh Medina, Freehold Boro
Class B Central Player of the Week
AJ Gracia, Ranney
Ranney has four wins so far this year and three of them are important games on the Panthers’ unique schedule. Gracia came up big in all three, hitting the go-ahead two-run double and recording a two-out save in a win at Delbarton, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBI before pitching the final inning og a 14-3 win over division rival Point Boro, and picking up the win with three scoreless innings of relief against Ferris on Saturday.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Connor DeLorenzo, Point Beach; Andrew Banick, Point Beach; James Larsen, Point Beach; Anthony Longo, Keyport; DJ Thomson, Keyport; Brandon Hendrickson, Henry Hudson; Aiden Flynn, Keansburg; Andrew Valle, Keansburg; Gavin Sansone, Mater Dei Prep; Brett Wehringer, Ranney; Charlie Chropuvka, Ranney
Class B South Player of the Week
Bryson Kirby, Point Boro
Point Boro’s standout sophomore set the tone for the season by tossing 6 2/3 strong innings with 11 strikeouts and belting a two-run home run in a 4-3 win over division favorite Donovan Catholic. Kirby homered again in a loss to No. 4 Central and pitched six more impressive innings in a no-decision vs. Barnegat. For the season to date, he is 5-for-17 (.294) with a pair of longballs and five RBI at the plate and 1-0 with 1.10 ERA in 12 2/3 innings with 18 strikeouts and three walks.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Jared Schworn, Barnegat; Stephen DeMillio, Pinelands; Kaden Inman, Pinelands; Logan Russo, Pinelands; Connor Cilento, Point Boro; Gavin Degnan, Donovan Catholic; Joe Maier, Donovan Catholic; Chris Sasso, Jackson Liberty; Garrett Drew, Jackson Liberty
Anthony Martino, Brick Memorial
Brick Memorial got shut down in its first game – a 12-2 loss to Toms River North – and all the Mustangs have done since is go 3-0 with wins over Donovan Catholic, Toms River North and Point Beach. Martino has been the power behind the winning streak, going 4-for-9 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the last three games, with his longballs coming in wins over Donovan Catholic and Point Beach.
Gavin Degnan, Donovan Catholic
Coming off an impressive debut as a sophomore in 2021, Degnan and his team came out cold in game one. Since then, his bat has come alive, going 7-for-his-last-11 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBI in a three-game stretch. Donovan Catholic lost in the bottom of the seventh at Jackson Liberty on Saturday, but Degnan was the star of the game: he homered twice, including a game-tying blast in the top of the seventh inning.