It was obvious that the final #lohudbaseball Player of the Week for the 2015 season would come from a championship team, but the problem was that all four championship teams had at least least one player who they could make a strong case for. In some ways, that made this week’s decision even more difficult than usual.
If you look at Class AA champ Mamaroneck, two players come to mind immediately. Catcher Andy Karlan, who had the walk-off hit in the semis and was named MVP of the section final, and ace Kumar Nambiar, who did not allow an earned run in nine innings while striking out 14 between the semis and the finals. It’s the same for Class B champ Albertus Magnus with pitchers Owen Lorenz and James Reilly. Lorenz did not allow an earned run over eight innings between the semis and the finals with 12 strikeouts, while Reilly tossed more than 10 innings in the two games and was named MVP of the final. Tuckahoe ace Austin Pope took a no-hitter late into the Tigers’ win over Solomon Schechter in the title game, but unlike the other three title winning teams, Tuckahoe only played one game this past week.
I felt like I was splitting hairs trying to decide between Karlan and Nambiar, or Lorenz and Reilly, but there was one championship club where the most important player in the semis and finals seemed to be more obvious. That would be Byram Hills’ Frankie Vesuvio, who not only tossed a five-hitter to earn MVP honors in the Class A final, but was also probably the Bobcats’ most feared bat throughout the playoffs.
The junior started the week by going 2 for 2 with a walk, a hit by pitch, a homer, two RBI, three stolen bases and three runs scored in Wednesday’s semifinal win over Lincoln. He also sparked the offense in the finals against top-seeded Rye, launching an RBI double in the third inning to drive in Byram’s first run of the game. On the mound, Vesuvio pitched a complete game and allowed just one earned run and one walk, striking out eight on an efficient 87 pitches (64 strikes).
You’d be hard-pressed to find a player in Section 1 who does as many things well, and the right-hander was able to use his skill set to bring the Bobcats their first ever section title. I really believe that there were six players who deserved #POTW honors this week, but Vesuvio gets the nod for clearly being the most critical player to his team’s success.
NOTE: All of the top postseason performers will be highlighted later in the week when we announce our annual #lohudbaseball All-Tournament teams. There will be three teams — one for Class AA, one for A and one for B/C — comprised of 15 players each. I’ve reached out to all of the coaches whose teams made it to the quarterfinals or further and will likely post the all-tourney teams on Wednesday.
Photo by Jim Alcorn/For The Journal News