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Diamond Notes

ACBL Mourns Loss of Ben Smookler
May 28, 2015
Ben Smookler
Ben Smookler, long time general manager of the Jersey Pilots, passed away on May 26 in New Providence, New Jersey.

For over forty years Ben was dedicated to providing the opportunity for student athletes to develop their baseball skills.

His ACBL career began as an assistant GM with the Long Island Nationals in 1971. The following year he became GM of the Bergen Pilots who became the Jersey Pilots in 1976.

Over 200 former Pilots have entered professional baseball . Rick Cerone, Charlie Puleo, Rich Scheid, Eric Young, Jason Bergman and Joe Martinez are among the 20 that made it to the Major Leagues.

Chris Buckley, Dana Brown, Jeff Datz, Joe Rigoli, Kevin Barry, Darren Fenster and Tom Gregorio are former Pilots now scouting or coaching with Major League affiliated teams.

Family service and interment will be at the military cemetery in Wrightstown, New Jersey on Monday, June 1, 2015 at 11 am.

All family and friends will then meet from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 15 Locust Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922. A funerary service is planned for 4:30 pm.

Brue and Ravert Named to A-10 All Conference Team
May 23, 2015

3 Conferences Announce Post Season Awards

John Brue
Outfielder/first baseman John Brue (Saint Joseph's, South Jersey Giants, 2014-15) and designated hitter Joey Ravert (LaSalle, Trenton Generals, 2013) were selected to the Atlantic-10 All-Conference First Team.

Pitcher Justin Aungst (Saint Joseph's, Allentown Railers, 2015) gained a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie Team.

Eric Thomas (Rider, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013) was selected as Relief Pitcher of the Year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Eric Strano (Rider, Trenton Generals, 2012), James Locklear (Rider, Trenton Generals, 2013), Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan, NY Atlantics, 2012), Scott Donaghue (Quinnipiac, Shelter Island, 2012) and Vincent Guglietti (Quinnipiac, Shelter Island, 2012) were named to the MAAC First Team.

Catcher Nick Dini (Wagner, Center Moriches, 2012) was voted Northeast Conference Player of the Year and named to the NEC first team.

Relief pitcher Steven Bloodworth (Wagner, North Jersey Eagles, 2013-14) and designated hitter Anthony Godino (Wagner, Staten Island Tide, 2015) were also on the NEC First Team.

John Brue photo courtesy of South Jersey Giants

Eagles Tab New Skipper for 2015
May 21, 2015
Chris Smith, North Jersey Eagles New Skipper
The 2015 season will mark the debut of North Jersey Eagles manager Chris Smith. As the Tampa native takes the helm of his former ball club. Chris (Wagner College ‘14), will impart enthusiasm and in depth baseball knowledge as he embarks on his coaching career.

Chris was a key contributor to the two time Eagle Championship teams. He was a two time ACBL All Star, participated in the ACBL vs. The Military All Star game, and was named the sixth 2013 Best Prospect in the ACBL by Baseball America. He was also a vital offensive player for the Wagner Seahawks. As a two time ACBL champion (2012, 2013), Chris will convey his winning pedigree and dogged determination to his former team.

This spring, Chris was an assistant coach for perennial powerhouse Armwood High School in Seffner Florida, where he was instrumental in the development of the younger players.

Trotter Named Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year
May 20, 2015
Tommy Trotter (Scranton, Jersey Pilots, 2015) was named Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, Photo Courtesy of University of Scranton Athletics
Outfielder Tommy Trotter (Scranton, Jersey Pilots, 2015) was named Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year after hitting .404 for the Royals.

He was joined on the All-Conference First Team by Mike Roethke (Moravian, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2014), Ryan Luke (Moravian, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2014) and Matt Hanson (Moravian, Trenton Generals, 2013, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2014).

Freshman RHP Dan Morrin (Moravian, Quakertown, 2015) and shortstop Colin Case (Allentown Railers, 2012, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013) were named to the second team.

Kevin Becker-Menditto (Alvernia, Trenton Generals, 2012) notched a D3 career record 47th save as Alvernia defeated Misericordia in the regional playoffs. Becker posted a 1.00 career ERA which is a record for D3 pitchers with over 100 career innings.

Tommy Trotter photo courtesy of University of Scranton Athletics

Garzillo Selected for All-Patriot League Honors
May 10, 2015
Mike Garzillo (Lehigh, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013-14) First Team All-Patriot League and Academic All-Patriot League team selection, Photo Courtesy of Lehigh University Athletics
Junior second baseman Mike Garzillo (Lehigh, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013-14) was named to the First Team All-Patriot League and also selected for the Academic All-Patriot League team.

He was joined on the first team by Xavier Hammond (Bucknell, Allentown Railers, 2012-14), Anthony Critelli (Holy Cross, Jersey Pilots, 2014), Pat Donnelly (Lehigh, Quakertown Blazers, 2014) and Justin Pacchioli (Lehigh, Allentown Railers, 2013).

Toby Schwartz (Lafayette, Staten Island, 2012) and Steven Cohen (Lafayette, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2015) were selected for the second team.

Cory Spera (Lafayette, Lehigh Valley Catz, 2013-14) and Jacen Nalesnik (Lehigh, Allentown Railers, 2014-15) were on the Academic All-Patriot League Team along with Garzillio and Schwartz.

Schwartz also won the Corvias Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

Mike Garzillo photo courtesy of Lehigh University Athletics


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