The Kean-bound southpaw led the state with 153 strikeouts while walking just 33 over 87 2/3 innings. He compiled an 11-2 record with a 2.08 ERA , five complete games and two shutouts and held opponents to a .191 batting average while pitching for a team that reached a sectional final for the first time since 1962.
Sean Keselica, Voorhees, 6-2, 210, Senior
The Virginia Tech-bound left-hander set single-season school records in strikeouts (121) and wins (10) and career home runs (17). He ended 10-1 with a 1.04 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and held opponents to a .125 batting average in 60 1/3 innings. He also hit .420 with an .826 slugging percentage with six home runs, 10 doubles and 24 RBI.
A.J. Murray, Westfield, 6-1, 215, Senior
The state’s Player of the Year was instrumental in Westfield's 25-5 season that culminated in a first-ever trip to the Group 4 final. The Georgia Tech-bound catcher batted .540 (54-for-100) with 52 runs, 45 RBI, 14 doubles, and nine homers. A 48th-round draft pick by the Astros, he made just one error and did not allow a passed ball.
Alex DeBellis, Pope John, 6-0, 205, Senior
UConn-bound catcher holds the Sussex County record for hits (179) and is Pope John's career leader in runs (107), doubles (60), home runs (23), RBI (139) and batting average (.526). He threw out 73 percent of would-be base stealers and hit .532 with an .899 slugging percentage, four homers, 35 RBI, 13 doubles and stole 23 bases without getting caught.
Mark Zagunis, Holy Cross, 6-1, 187, Senior
Like the other two talented catchers on this backstop-rich team, Zagunis boasts an ability to run, stealing 25 bases and scoring 47 runs. But it was his outstanding defense, arm and bat that turned most heads. Headed to Virginia Tech, he batted an alarming .643 while drawing 31 walks. He had six doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 44 RBI.
John Brue, Gloucester Catholic, 6-1, 180, Junior
Considering his team's productive top of the batting order, the insertion of Brue at the clean-up spot was almost too cruel to opponents. The first baseman exploited every advantage his teammates provided, batting .557 (54-for-97) and driving in 56 runs. He also had 10 doubles, one triple and nine home runs and scored 42 runs for state's No. 1 team.
Nick Henriquez, Paramus, 5-10, 190, Senior
One of the state's best kept secrets, Henriques was thoroughly consistent for the Group 3 runner-up. Third baseman went 7-for-11 in his last three state tournament games. He batted .593 with 53 hits, 16 doubles, two triples, seven homers and 46 RBI. He scored a stunning 54 runs and, equally amazing, struck out just once in 109 plate appearances. He has an offer from St. Peter's College.
Jason Vosler, Don Bosco Prep, 6-1, 185, Senior
Lefty-hitting shortstop bound for Northeastern triggered the potent Don Bosco Prep. Vosler batted .518 (44-85) with 10 doubles, two triples and two homers and scored 36 runs. His 35 RBI from the leadoff spot highlighted his clutch ability. The Bergen County Tournament MVP also drew 15 walks and struck out just four times in 106 plate appearances.
Ed Charlton, St. Augustine, 5-10, 170, Senior
Right fielder set the table for one of the state's more ferocious offenses. He batted .465 (47-101) with 14 doubles and nine home runs and drove in 39 runs from the leadoff spot. Bound for NJIT, he scored 42 runs and stole 12 bases. One of the right-hander's victories in a 5-0 season came in the Non-Public A final when he shut out Pope John over the final four innings in a nine-inning 8-7 victory.
Mark Tomei, South Plainfield, 5-9, 185, Junior
The left-handed hitting outfielder batted .496 with a whopping 58 hits, 34 for extra bases, including 20 doubles, five triples and nine home runs. Drove in 26 runs as lead-off batter with a .983 slugging percentage and 1.522 OPS, ended his season with a 16-game winning streak.
Tim Carney, Brick, 5-10, 215, Senior
Carney’s value and impact was wide ranging. The right-hander went 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 77 strikeouts, hit .386 with 12 homers, 37 RBI and 26 runs and his defense at third base was stellar for the Ocean County Tournament champion. He blasted nine of his home runs over the final six games of the season.
Jake Winston, Manalapan, 6-2, 195, Senior
The versatile Elon University recruit put together a 6-1 mark and helped his cause by fielding his position with unmatched polish. Winston also emerged as a force offensively, hitting .453 with 34 hits, including six doubles, 21 runs and a .559 on-base percentage. He also swiped 10 bases for Group 4 champion.
Kevin Comer, Seneca
Kenny Roder, Hoboken
Kyle Rubbinaccio, Manalapan
Matt Rakus, St. Augustine
Tommy Burns, Don Bosco Prep
Anderson Rosa, Perth Amboy
Keith Skinner, Gov. Livingston
Dan Kerr, Westfield
Jake DeWitt, Florence
Ryan Karl, Montville
Rich Ricciardi, Manalapan
Carl Thomore, East Brunswick
Kidane Rutty, St. Mary (Ruth.)
Matt Ackerman, Pope John
David Jesch, West Essex
Will Siegfried, Middletown South
Brendan Mayers, Pope John
Sam Burum, Robbinsville
Connor White, Wall
Tyler Boyd, Roxbury
Rob Fonseca, Seton Hall Prep
Mike Rampone, Randolph
Jackson Baird, Morris Knolls
Chris Suseck, Hunterdon Central
Matt Meleo, Jackson
Mike Tolerico, Wayne Valley
Donnie Cimino, Westwood
James Locklear, Steinert