June 15, 2011
Four Trojans, Stacy have 1st team glitter
Fresh off its first league title since 1994, Homer Central received four OHSL Freedom American Division first team baseball all-star selections as voted on by the league’s coaches.
Four Trojan seniors were named to the elite squad — pitcher Tyler Simonetta, first baseman Zephan Kash, outfielder Zach Blanden and utility player Andy Parker. Joining them on the first team were Cortland High senior infielder Alex Stacy.
Homer, Chittenango and Mexico each received four first-teamers each, with CHS and Jamesville-DeWitt each received one first-team selection.
Rounding out the Freedom American first-team squad were senior pitcher Jeff Pierce, junior catcher Greg Jasek, junior infielder Wesley Burghardt and junior outfielder Devin Christopher from Chittenango; senior infielder Eddie Tagliareni, senior infielder John Beck, senior outfielder Dominic Veiga and senior outfielder Brian Ross of Mexico, plus Jamesville-DeWitt senior pitcher Justin Marzella.
Freedom American Division second-team all-star selections included the Homer trio of sophomore infielder Payten Boice, senior outfielder Ethan Forster and junior outfielder Kevin McNeil, along with the Cortland trifecta of sophomore pitcher Brian Hughes, senior catcher Brycen Dunn and junior infielder Connor Griffin.
Other Freedom American second team honorees include junior pitcher Matt Yonta, senior infielder Tyler Kirwin and sophomore Chris Lemish from Jamesville-DeWitt; Mexico junior pitcher Tyler Dunsmoor and senior utility player Tanner Squires; senior infielder Dan Dunnigan and junior outfielder Tyler Button from Phoenix; plus Chittenango senior outfielder Brendan Galek.
Honorable mentions include Trojan junior infielder-outfielder Brent Quinlan; Chittenango senior outfielder Zac Drake, junior utility man Erik Kurz, senior infielder Nic Bacon and senior pitcher-infielder Mike Moon; Mexico senior pitcher-third baseman Josh Hutchinson and senior outfielder Anthony Veiga; J-D’s junior outfielder-pitcher Dan Canfield and junior first baseman-pitcher Max Bregande, along with Phoenix junior pitcher-utility man Kyle Himes.
Homer coach Robert Nasiatka and Cortland High’s Ben Albright comment on their first-team selections:
Nasiatka on the combination of Blanden and Kash: “The devotion to the sport and the change in both players this year was tremendous. It was not about personal goals, it was about the team. Even though they tied or broke numerous Homer records they always asked what they could do to make the team better. They attended all the pre-season team activities and worked on their game while helping others. I will miss both of them equally and hope they are very successful at Binghamton (Blanden) and Mohawk Valley CC (Kash). Zach received the team Player of the Year while Zephan received our Hitter of the Year award.”
Blanden hit .500 (36x72) this season with seven doubles, three triples, six home runs, 11 stolen bases, 26 RBIs and a team-leading 34 runs scored. He also has a 3-0 pitching record with two saves and 3.19 earned run average.
Kash hit .617 (37x60) this spring to lead the team along with team tops in hits, doubles (8), home runs (8) and RBIs (32) while hitting in all 19 games, tying the school’s single-season hitting streak record. He hit an impressive .633 (31x49) in Freedom Division games. He graduates with the single-season (11) and career (19) home run marks.
Nasiatka on Simonetta: “Tyler Simonetta was outstanding this year. He posted the school’s first seven-win undefeated season. My favorite memory this year from Tyler was at the Whiteboro game. Tyler three-hit Chittenango the night before. He figured out that he was still eligible to pitch three innings that day and asked me multiple times if he could pitch. His drive is what I will take away from the season. I look forward to seeing him pitch for Brockport against Cortland. Tyler received our pitcher of the year award, deservedly so.”
Simonetta built his 7-0 record while pitching a team-leading 49 innings. He led the team in strikeouts with 52 and had the second-best earned run average at 2.71.
Nasiatka on Parker: “Andy had another outstanding year behind the plate and in the field. Andy caught every game but three. Andy only allowed four passed balls for the entire year. Andy’s intangibles are what set him apart from other players. He listens to his coaches and adjusts appropriately thus improving his game. Andy received the team’s Coaches Award honoring the most coachable player on the team. I would love to see him play baseball in college, but I know his heart is set on football. Either program at SUNY Cortland should be honored to have him.”
Parker hit .361 with seven doubles, three home runs, 22 RBIs, 16 runs scored and five stolen bases.
Albright on Stacy: “Alex definitely deserved this honor. I think it shows the level of respect that other teams had for his ability. He definitely was one of the best players in our league. He was recognized as a first-teamer for his infield play. I can honestly say, though, that Alex excelled wherever we needed him, whether it was catching, pitching or at third base. Alex is a leader and deserved to be recognized as a top player in our league. I think he has a bright future ahead of him in athletics (St. John Fisher football and baseball).”
Stacy batted a team-best .491 with seven doubles (best on the squad), one triple, a home run and 14 RBIs. He won three games as a pitcher, going against the Purple Tigers’ top opponents, and also earned a save while compiling an ERA of 3.02 with 37 strikeouts in 44 innings.
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