Thursday July 19, 2012

Austin Salnitis

Junior, Lenox

Pitcher

The left-hander was 5-2 for Lenox with a 1.67 earned-run average. The statistic that jumps out at you was that in 39 innings, he struck out 105 hitters.

The coach’s take: Austin was great. He struck out 105 in 39 innings. That about says it all. If it wasn’t for Austin, we wouldn’t have made the tournament. He throws hard. He’s got a curve ball that drops off the table.

-- Lenox coach Kevin Downer Liam Nolan

Senior, Taconic

Pitcher

Nolan was the ace of the Taconic staff this year. The right-hander was 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 511Ž3 innings. He gave up only 17 earned runs and struck out 50 hitters.

The coach’s take: We scored four runs right in the first inning. Some pitchers would get rattled. He settled down and got locked in. He had a nice curve and was always around the plate.

-- Greylock coach Steve Messina

Wilson Flower

Senior, Monument Mountain

Pitcher

A repeat selection from last year, the senior’s numbers were very similar to last year’s 7-1, 1.50 statistics. After playing basketball this winter, Flower came into baseball in what his coach called outstanding shape.

The coach’s take: You could always count on him for that big effort. He was a big-time competitor for us. He threw hard and he would go after you. He knew he had a decent slider and curve to keep [hitters] off balance.

-- Monument coach Tom Hankey

Erik Derwitsch

Junior, Mount Everett

Pitcher

Derwitsch threw a shutout in the Eagles’ state semifinal victory. He was 7-3 in 561Ž3 innings and had a 1.00 ERA. In the postseason, Derwitsch gave up one earned run in 19 innings. He had a 3-0 tourney record and a 0.37 ERA.

The coach’s take: He just did a tremendous job pitching this year. All season long, he was great in keeping us in games.

-- Everett coach Jesse Carpenter

Dylan Wheeler

Senior, Mount Everett

Pitcher/Outfield

Wheeler’s offensive stats were pretty good as he recorded a .350 batting average and was second on his team with 28 runs batted in. The lefty was just as good on the bump. He was 5-1 with a 2.67 ERA.

The coach’s take: He played for us for four years. He was our best player. When he was at first he was our best first baseman. When he was in center field, he was our best center fielder. What he did [on the mound] for four years was tremendous for us.

-- Carpenter

Nick Greenleaf

Senior, Monument Mountain

Catcher/Pitcher

The MVP stepped up in a big way this year. Taking a leadership role when John Kinne was lost for the season, Greenleaf also had a big year on the mound and at the plate. An Honorable Mention selection last year in the North, Greenleaf hit over .450 and got his team rolling with a four-hit shutout to beat Athol in the Division II tournament.

The coach’s take: I call Nick a bulldog. He had a slider that was pretty much unhittable when he was on. He came into his own all around this year. He hit fourth, he hit third. He picked up a lot of slack for losing John [Kinne].

-- Hankey

Scott Blanchette

Senior, Pittsfield

Infield

A four-year starter at shortstop, Blanchette hit .415 for Bob Moynihan’s Generals. Blanchette had an on-base percentage of .519 and committed only 9 errors in 114 chances. He also hit four home runs and drove in 17. Blanchette was an All-North Utility selection a year ago.

The coach’s take: He was the heart and soul of our team. What can you say about someone who started every day since he was a freshman.

-- Pittsfield coach Bob Moynihan

Andrew Leitch

Junior, Mount Greylock

Infield/Pitcher

The Southern Division MVP had an outstanding year. Playing third base, he hit .365 with 9 extra-base hits, 26 RBI and 19 runs scored. On the mound, he gave up fewer earned runs (11) than he scored. Leitch was 8-1 with a 1.46 ERA in 522Ž3 innings. What’s better is that he returns next year. Leitch was an All-South Honorable Mention pick last year.

The coach’s take: Andrew’s a rock-solid kid. When he was on the mound, everbody felt comfortable. He doesn’t get rattled and he keeps his composure. [In the infield] he has great hands. He has the quickest hands I’ve seen.

-- Messina

Eric Leitch

Junior, Mount Greylock

Infield

When brother Andrew didn’t pitch, the Leitch brothers provided Greylock coach Steve Messina with a near-impregnable left side of the infield. Offensively, Eric Leitch hit .467 -- maybe the best average in the county -- with 8 doubles, 4 triples, 19 RBI and 30 runs scored.

The coach’s take: He’s so unassuming and quiet. He goes about his business. By the game is over, everyone has noticed him.

-- Messina

Trevor Jamross

Senior, Wahconah

Infield

Jamross started the season at shortstop, but when coach Jared Shannon moved him to second, the senior took off. He ended the season batting .420 with 29 hits, 16 RBI and struck out only 8 times in 80 plate appearances. Jamross was an All-North Honorable mention pick last spring.

The coach’s take: We moved him to second base and he made only one error. He could hit in the middle of any lineup in Western Massachusetts.

-- Wahconah coach Jared Shannon

Billy Pulasky

Senior, Mount Greylock

Infield

The three-sport senior wrapped up his high school career by hitting .444 and playing a solid second base for the Mounties. He had 2 home runs, 14 RBI and scored 28 runs. He moved up from being an All-South selection last year.

The coach’s take: He’s been a starter for two years. He’s made some impressive plays. When he’s out there everyone feels confident.

-- Messina

Zach Neary

Junior, St. Joseph’s

Outfield

The Crusaders started their season on quite the skid. First-year coach Dan Caritey rallied the troops and St. Joe made the Division III tournament. Neary was a huge part of that comeback. The outfielder led the Crusaders with a .460 batting average and he chipped in with 16 RBI. Neary is a repeat All-Eagle outfield selection.

The coach’s take: He’s an exceptional kid. He comes to work every day and he’s a student of the game. He can play anywhere for us.

-- St. Joseph’s coach Dan Caritey

Luke Toomey

Senior, Taconic

Outfield

Toomey patrolled left field for Stannard’s Braves and got to almost anything that was hit to him and made only one error all season. Offensively, he hit .333 and had 8 stolen bases. A repeat selection, Toomey moved to the outfield this year.

The coach’s take: I thought he was a senior last year. He hit the ball all over the place. He did the same thing this year. He’s a solid, solid player.

-- Messina

Zack Lancia

Senior, Hoosac Valley

Outfield

Lancia was the only Hurricane on the All-South team to crack the .400 mark hitting. He had a .406 average and was a catalyst for the Hurricanes with 11 stolen bases.

The coach’s take: He was consistent all year long. When he had two strikes, he was able to make contact.

-- Hoosac coach Bob Rivard

Chris Robitaille

Senior, Pittsfield

Designated Hitter

The North coaches designated Robitaille as their DH, and the PHS catcher demonstrated to one and all during the regular season that he certainly earned that moniker. He hit .406 with 4 home runs and 4 triples. He also drove in 24 runs. Behind the dish, Robitaille did not make an error in 120 chances. He’s another player who was All-North Honorable Mention last year.

The coach’s take: He’s been special for a couple of years. He had a 1.000 fielding percentage. I cannot remember any passed balls. He blocked everything. He’s one of the biggest threats in the county as a hitter.

-- Moynihan

-- Capsules by Howard Herman, Berkshire Eagle Staff