Baseball – VOTE: Ocean County Sports Medicine Week 1 Pitcher of the Week
Each week during the 2022 high school baseball season, Shore Sports Network will recognize the top pitchers in each Shore Conference division and give fans a chance to pick the overall winner of the Shore Sports Network Baseball Pitcher of the Week. The nominees include a Pitcher of the Week from each of the six Shore Conference divisions, plus two wild cards who 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 p.m., with the winner receiving a Player of the Week shirt courtesy of Ocean County Sports Medicine.
Class A North Pitcher of the Week
Ben Schild, Middletown South
There were a whopping four no-hitters on day one of the Shore Conference Baseball season, but Schild’s was the only no-no that day – and on the season – that went the full seven innings and was completed by one pitcher. Coming off a masterful sophomore season in which he led the Shore in wins (8-0) and ERA (0.65), Schild carved through Freehold Township’s lineup on the way to 16 strikeouts while walking only one. He then threw 4 1/3 shutout innings with one hit allowed and 10 strikeouts in a win over Marlboro on Friday, although six walks quickly drove his pitch-count up.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Colin Reilly, CBA; Tyler Kane, Manalapan; Tyler Villa, Marlboro; Dan Furlong, Howell; Jason Pace, Howell
Class A Central Pitcher of the Week
John Goodes, Rumson-Fair Haven
The Bulldogs’ junior right-hander figures to be the No. 2 starter on the team this season with senior and Wake Forest commit Charlie Jones back, but Goodes sure pitched like a No. 1 to open the season. He got the ball on opening day and came without two outs of a no-hitter, instead settling for a five-inning one-hitter with six strikeouts and two walks in a five-inning win over Holmdel. On Saturday, he posted six more scoreless frames and left with a 1-0 lead against Red Bank, with Jones closing out the win in the seventh.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Declan Leary, Red Bank Catholic; Aiden Denton, Monmouth; Matt King, Ocean
Class A South Pitcher of the Week
Zach Crotchfelt, Jackson Memorial
Four unearned runs did in Crotchfelt and his team during his first start of the season – a 4-2 loss to Bishop Eustace on April 2 at Mainland Regional. A stunning loss to Southern three days later meant Crotchfelt was taking the ball Saturday at Toms River East needing to halt a losing streak and he did much more than that. The Auburn-bound left-hander pitched a six-inning no-hitter in which he struck out 13, walked one and faced the minimum 18 batters thanks to a pickoff of the lone baserunner who reached against him.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Zach McCabe, Jackson Memorial; Ryan Ushock, Toms River East; Matt Mancini, Brick Memorial; Cam Leiter, Central; Jake Wilber, Toms River South; Kieran Mulholland, Toms River North
Class B North Pitcher of the Week
Anthony Gubitosi, Colts Neck
Gubitosi opened his season by limiting Wall – the Shore’s highest-scoring team in 2021 – to one earned run over four innings and that turned out to be a warm-up act. The Delaware commit then came out Saturday and fired a one-hitter with 18 strikeouts to pitch Colts Neck past St. John Vianney in a pitchers’ duel.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Cullen Condon, Manasquan; Luca Marshall, Manasquan; Nathan Ruth, Red Bank; Brandon Falco, Matawan; Aiden Cody, St. John Vianney; Aiden Denham, Freehold Boro
Class B Central Pitcher of the Week
Diego Tavarez, Ranney
One of the pitchers to toss a no-hitter on opening day, Tavarez shut down Keyport over five innings, during which he gave up just one baserunner on a hit-by-pitch and struck out nine. Tavarez also unloaded at the plate with a home run, a double and three RBI.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Kyle Kolans, Point Beach; Anthony Longo, Keyport; Gavin Sansone, Mater Dei Prep
Class B South Pitcher of the Week
Ryan Kulpa, Barnegat
The only 3-0 pitcher in the Shore Conference through the end of this past weekend, Kulpa started the season-opener and has since appeared twice in relief. He went 3-for-3 in picking up wins while posting a 0.78 ERA with 13 strikeouts in nine innings.
Class B South Honorable Mention: P.J. Craig, Barnegat; Anthony Carino, Manchester; Mike Todaro, Lacey; Jack Srmaty, Lacey; Stephen DeMillio, Pinelands; Bryson Kirby, Point Boro; Ethan Bloomfield, Jackson Liberty
Cam Leiter, Central
Leiter has been dominant in two starts to open the season, pitching a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and two walks in a season-opening, 2-0 win over Toms River South, then allowing one earned run in five innings with nine punchouts in a hard-luck loss to state-ranked No. 3 St. Augustine. During the first four games, Leiter also went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double and three RBI at the plate.
Dan Furlong, Howell
Not only is Furlong 2-0 on the mound to start the season, but he is 2-0 after squaring off against two of the Shore’s best returning starting pitchers from 2021. On opening day, Furlong outlasted Manalapan ace Tyler Kane, with Howell scoring four runs against the Braves bullpen in the seventh inning and Furlong sealing the 5-3, complete-game win with a perfect seventh inning. In his second start, Furlong against went the distance, pitching an 80-pitch, four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts to beat Middletown North ace Colin Dowlen. Furlong is also 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and three RBI in the batter’s box.