Three Newfane High School junior baseball players have been named First Team Niagara-Orleans League all-stars.
Panthers pitcher Rohn Pierce, a repeat selection, and outfielders Dan Hambruch and Steve Gertz received the N-O’s highest diamond honor.
For the second year in a row, Albion capped off an undefeated (14-0) championship season by placing a record-tying six players on the N-O’s First Team. The Purple Eagles contingent includes first baseman Brad Rush, infielders Buddy Keeler and Ronnie Mannella, catcher Nick Gregori, outfielder Matt Monacelli and designed hitter/utility player Nate Lester, all seniors. Rush is a three-time honoree while Keeler, Mannella, Monacelli and Lester are all repeat selections.
Rounding out the first team are Barker junior infielder Andrew Carmer, a three-time honoree, and Akron junior pitcher Zach Jordan.
Pierce, a three-year varsity player, struck out 48 in 28 innings pitched an had an earned run average of only 1.01. At the plate, he hit .339 with 16 RBIs, three home runs and two doubles.
“Rohn is a solid leader and a dominant presence when he takes the mound,” Newfane coach Jeff Kneeland said.
Hambruch led Newfane with a .456 batting average, drove in 13 runs, stole 11 bases and had five doubles. On the mound, he went 4-0 with a 1.83 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in 23 innings.
“A three year varsity player, Dan has developed into an outstanding centerfielder covering large amounts of ground and was also a clutch hitter for us all year,” coach Kneeland said.
Gertz, a two-year varsity player, hit .299 with six RBIs, eight stolen bases, three doubles, two triples and one home run.
“Steve provides us with a solid contact hitter in the leadoff spot and also did a solid job in the outfield throwing out two runners at the plate,” coach Kneeland said.
Carmer hit .438 and had an on base percentage of .598 with 14 hits, eight RBI and eight stolen bases.
“Andrew continues to be a solid all around player for us at shortstop and pitcher,” Barker coach Rob Mucha said. “He is one of only three defensive players that I have complete faith in making every play despite fighting bicep tendonitis and jammed fingers suffered early in the season.”
Jordon posted a 6-1 record on the mound for Akron with an earned run average of 1.46 and 73 strikeouts in 48 innings. At the plate, he hit .375.
Rush, who earned second team All-Western New York honors a year ago, led Albion with a .513 batting average, 21 RBIs and a .636 on base percentage. He plans to attend St. John Fisher to major in nursing and play baseball.
“Defensively Brad has an outstanding glove saving many errant throws and he has a great knowledge of the strike zone drawing 14 walks this season,’ said Albion coach Gary Mannella.
Ronnie Mannella hit .509 and led the Purple Eagles with 29 hits including four doubles, a triple and a home run. He had an on base percentage and drove in 21 runs. He will attend SUNY Fredonia to major in elementary education and play baseball.
‘Ronnie has played a great defensive shortstop using his arm strength to make many plays in the hole,” coach Mannella said. “He has also been our closer on the mound with three saves and has been a spot starter when needed with 24 strikeouts in 15 innings of work.”
Monacelli, who had a batting average of .457 and an on base percentage of .583, scored 14 runs and had 14 stolen bases, 13 RBIs an 14 walks. He will attend Baldwin Wallace to major in Physical Education and play football.
“Matt is a typical leadoff hitter with good speed and plate discipline,” coach Mannella said. “He roams centerfield very well and was captain of our outfield with a good arm.”
Keeler hit .434, drove in 20 runs and had a team high slugging percentage of .698. He led the team in doubles with six, in triples with four and scored 21 runs. He will attend Mount Union College to major in Civil Engineering and play baseball.
“Buddy played a very solid third base for us with a strong throwing arm,” coach Mannella said. “He made many difficult plays this year at third and was also one of our starting pitchers.”
Gregori hit .500 and had a slugging percentage of .688. He had two doubles, two triples , one home run and 19 RBIs and scored 13 runs. He plans to attend Genesee Community College and hopes to play baseball.
“Nick played above and beyond our expectations,” coach Mannella said. “Defensively he is an outstanding receiver and blocks the ball very well. He also has a very strong arm which has kept many teams from stealing.”
Nate Lester registered a 4-0 league record on the mound with a 2.90 earned run average and 26 strikeouts and only four walks in 26 innings. At the plate he hit .458 with a slugging percentage of .626. He had six doubles, one triple and stole 12 bases. He plans to attend SUNY Fredonia to major in Sports Management and play baseball.
“Nate has been the first team All-League utility player the past two year and is a true utility player in every sense of the word,” coach Mannella said. “He was one of our top starting pitchers whose outings included defeating last year’s state Class A champion Aquinas. He also plays third base, shortstop or rightfield when Keeler, Mannella or Craft is pitching and also served as our back up catcher and first baseman.”
Among those named to the N-O Second Team are Barker senior pitcher Matt McKee, Roy-Hart junior infielder Mike Porter, R-H sophomore pitcher Ryan Metz and Rams freshman infielder Judd Jamieson, Newfane junior catcher Stephen Kneelandand Wilson sophomore catcher Cameron Sidote.
The N-O’s 2010 Honorable Mention squad includes Barker senior stalwart Ethan Dewart, Newfane senior Andy Schermerhorn and Panthers sophomore Scott Kneeland, Roy-Hart senior Bryan Warren, junior A.J.. Szklany and sophomore Connor Baker; and from Wilson, senior Nate Meier and sophomore Brad Schlosser.
P — Zach Jordon Akron Jr.
P — Rohn Pierce Newfane Jr.
C — Nick Gregori Albion Sr.
IB — Brad Rush Albion Sr.
INF — Ron Mannella Albion Sr.
INF — Buddy Keeler Albion Sr.
INF— Andrew Carmer Barker Jr.
OF — Matt Monacelli Albion Sr.
Of — Dan Hambruch Newfane Jr.
Of — Steve Gertz Newfane Jr.
DH — Nate Lester Albion Sr.
P — Matt McKee Barker Sr.
P — Ryan Metz Roy-Hart So.
P — Jordan Wansart CSAT Sr.
P — Russell Craft Albion Sr.
C — Stephen Kneeland Newfane Jr.
C — Cameron Sidote Wilson So.
INF — Mike Porter Roy-Hart Jr.
INF — Judd Jamieson Roy-Hart Fr.
INF — Ryan Carberry Akron Jr.
OF — Cody Schie Akron Jr.
OF — Stephen Rogenmoser Medina So.
OF — Matt Boring Medina Sr.
DH — Ryan Riemer Medina Sr.
Akron — Josh Hill, sr.
Albion — Jake Lester, jr., Kyle Moore, sr.
Barker — Ethan Dewart, sr.
Medina — Ron Washak, so.
Newfane — Scott Kneeland, so., Andy Schermerhorn, sr.
Roy-Hart — Bryan Warren, sr., A.J.. Szklany, jr., Connor Baker, so.
Wilson — Brad Schlosser, so., Nate Meier, sr.
CSAT - David Battel, so., Eric Adolf, so., Kyle Kiebzak