It proved to be a terrific season in the Tri-County Conference as Woodstown rode a red-hot finish to the South Jersey, Group 1 title and Clearview benefitted from a tough schedule to ultimately capture the South Jersey, Group 4 crown.
Gloucester Catholic, which reached the South Jersey, Non-Public B final, went unbeaten in Classic Division play. Schalick claimed the Diamond Division title and also played in a sectional final, while Delsea and Highland shared the Liberty and Williamstown staked its claim in the Royal.
There were also plenty of outstanding moments and terrific individual performances along the way that will surely to be remembered for years to come.
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The NJ.com baseball staff followed the action throughout the 2021 season and came away quite impressed with the quality of baseball played in the Garden State. Now it’s time to recognize those who stood out above the rest.
We’ve gone back through the games, mulled over the stats and asked plenty of questions leading into our postseason selections. It’s far from a simple task. Plenty of time and energy has gone into what we believe is a standout group of award winners.
Check out our selections below for the Player, Coach and Team of the Year as well as our final Tri-County Conference rankings for the 2021 season. It proved to be a great couple of weeks and we can’t wait for the 2022 season to come around next year.
A Penn commit, Schalick junior Jarrett Pokrovsky hit safely in 22 of the Cougars’ 24 games and finished among state leaders in just about every offensive category.
Jarrett Pokrovsky, Schalick, Jr.
An impact player as a freshman, Pokrovsky took his game to another level after last season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Pennsylvania commit hit safely in 22 of the Cougars’ 24 games and finished among state leaders in just about every offensive category. He batted .613 (46-for-75) with 13 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 21 walks. Pokrovsky also had 46 runs scored, 38 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. He led the state in hits and runs, while finishing second in steals. He was also among leaders in doubles, triples and RBIs. Also a top pitcher, Pokrovsky went 6-0 with 52 strikeouts and a 1.77 ERA in 39 2/3 innings of work.
Under Joe Smith, a young Delsea squad finished 18-8 overall, won the Liberty Division title and reached the South Jersey, Group 2 semifinals.Al Amrhein | For NJ Advance Media
Joe Smith, Delsea
When the season started, winning around a dozen games would have made for a successful season given the number of underclassmen and overall lack of experience Joe Smith was working with this spring. But when the final game had been played, Delsea finished 18-8 overall, won a share of the Liberty Division title and reached the South Jersey, Group 2 semifinals. The Crusaders knocked off Oakcrest and Audubon in convincing fashion before falling to Delran 1-0 in a hard-fight sectional semifinal. Many key positions were filled by freshmen and Smith worked his magic to generate solid results.
Winners of the South Jersey, Group 4 title, Clearview finished 17-7 overall and was No. 10 in the NJ.com Final Top 50 rankings.
Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media
Derrick Reagan was eager to get started when he took over the program in Oct. of 2019. “I love being a #pioneer and jacked up to wear the green and gold for a very long time! Let’s get to work!” he said in a Tweet after getting the job. Well, after the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, the coach stuck to his guns and had his team ready to perform in 2021. The Pioneers suffered a handful of losses against quality competition, but over the final month they played championship baseball. They won 10 of their final 12 games, highlighted by avenging two Royal Division losses to Williamstown with a 3-1 victory in the South Jersey, Group 4 final – the first sectional crown since 2016. And while they suffered a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals to eventual state champion Middletown South, the Pioneers proved to be a standout team. In its late-season surge, Clearview beat Non-Public A state finalist St. Augustine and Non-Public B state champion Holy Spirit en route to a 17-7 overall record and the No. 10 spot in the NJ.com Final Top 50 state rankings.
1-Clearview (17-7)2-Williamstown (21-4)3-Gloucester Catholic (22-4)4-Woodstown (20-5)5-Schalick (19-5)6-Kingsway (14-8-1)7-Delsea (18-8)8-Highland (14-6)9-Timber Creek (9-12)10-Triton (11-11)
Note: The NJ.com baseball staff was not involved in the selection of conference all-stars. Teams were selected by league coaches.
P: Mike Santiago, Overbrook, Jr.; Nate DeFilippo, Woodstown, Sr.C: Robert Crespo, Penns Grove, Sr.INF: Jarrett Pokrovsky, Schalick, Jr.; Chase Swain, Woodstown, Sr.; Lucas Prendergast, Woodstown, Jr.; Jackson Schalick, Schalick, So.OF: Austin Ludwick, Schalick, Sr.; Brandon Jones, Overbrook, Sr.; Tom Koch, Overbrook, Sr.
P: Sam Long, Schalick, Sr.; AJ Himes, Overbrook, Sr.C: Eddie Bupp, Overbrook, So.INF: EJ Burger, Overbrook, So.; Josh Mihalecz, Schalick, Sr.OF: Quinn Cardona, Schalick, So.
P: Tanner Nolan, Gloucester Catholic, So.; Billy Keehn, Pitman, Sr.C: Aiden Ewe, Pitman, Jr.INF: Jeremy Wolf, Gloucester Catholic, Jr.; Evan Biddle, Salem, So.; Matt Leahy, Gloucester Catholic, Jr.; Dane Thomas, Pennsville, Jr.OF: Adam Gates, Gloucester Catholic, Sr.; Jason Morgan, Gloucester Catholic, Sr.; Ernie Troiano, Wildwood, Jr.
P: Aiden Starn, Pennsville, Sr.; Cade Friel, Gloucester Catholic, Sr.C: Damon Suriani Gloucester Catholic, So.INF: Joseph Mormile, Wildwood, So.; Brayden Foster, Gloucester Catholic, Sr.; Joey Bogart, Gloucester Catholic, Jr.; Matthew Hill, Salem, Sr.OF: Brayden Sharkey, Pitman, Fr.; Mikey LaPalomento, Pennsville, So.; Dion D’Amico, Pitman, Jr.
P: Dan Robeson, Highland, Sr.; Josh Bonham, Cumberland, Sr.C: Mike McGinley, Delsea, Fr.INF: Adam Aquilino, Highland, Sr.; Teddy Gorski, Triton, Sr.; Kyle White, Highland, Sr.; Mike Blackiston, Deptford, Sr.OF: Luca Gebhard, Delsea, Sr.; Robert Carfagno, Highland, So.; Jake Watson, Delsea, Jr.
P: Steve Schofield, Delsea, Sr.; Ryan Harrison, Delsea, So.C: Jake Snyder, Triton, Sr.INF: Scott Price, Cumberland, Jr.; Phoenix Foster, Triton, Jr.; Luke DiPalma, Highland, Sr.: Cooper Root, Triton, Sr.OF: Aiden Sommers, Triton, Sr.; Connor Bonham, Cumberland, So.; Chase Stocklin Depftord, Fr.
P: Julian Costa, Clearview, Sr.; Chris Montone, Williamstown, Jr.C: Connor Ward, Kingsway, Sr.INF: Justin Szestowicki, Kingsway, Sr.; Brody Colbert, Williamstown, Sr.; Caden Dulin, Williamstown, Jr.; Tyler Napoli, Timber Creek, Sr.OF: Greg Zerbe, Williamstown, Sr.; Ben Maiers, Kingsway, Sr.; Anthony Charles, Clearview, Jr.
P: Landon Edwards, Kingsway, So.; Derek Boerner, Clearview, Sr.C: Bobby DiDonato, Williamstown, Sr.INF: Cole Fowler, Clearview, Sr.; Luke Franklin, GCIT, Sr.; Matt McIntire, Williamstown, Jr.; Ryan Achey, Williamstown, Sr.OF: Nick Napoli, Timber Creek, Jr.; Steven Maiers, Kingsway, Sr.; Joe Levenson, Clearview, Jr.
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Kevin Minnick covers South Jersey baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @kminnicksports