JERSEY CITY, N.J. (May 16, 2013) – Freshman Matt Tietz (West Milford, N.J.) of the Rutgers baseball team has been selected as the New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division I Rookie Player of the Year, the state’s head coaches voted earlier this week. In addition, the Scarlet Knights placed five on First Team All-State, two on Second Team and two on All-Rookie.
Breaking his way into the lineup March 9, Tietz has started the last 41 games for RU as the leadoff hitter and third baseman. He leads the team with 14 doubles and has collected 50 hits and 32 runs for the season. The freshman has a .400 on base percentage when leading off an inning.
The five Rutgers representatives that made First Team All-State include senior reliever Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.), senior utility player Charlie Law (Mainland, N.J.), senior catcher Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.), sophomore outfielder Vinny Zarrillo (Forked River, N.J.) and outfielder senior Steve Zavala (Randolph, N.J.).
Corsi earns recognition after pitching to a 3.80 ERA through 20 appearance so far in 2013. The left-hander has earned six saves and picked up 28 strikeouts. A dual threat, Law leads the Scarlet Knights with 46 RBIs at the plate and 69 strikeouts on the mound. Melillo takes a spot on First Team for the second straight year after catching a BIG EAST-leading 21 runners stealing, while also collecting 53 hits and 32 RBIs batting. Zarrillo has broken out in his second season and paces RU with a .382 batting average in conference games, notching 63 hits overall. Zavala, who has played in 165 career games, has accumulated a team-best .442 on base percentage this season and is hitting .331.
Senior Rob Smorol (Clark, N.J.) and junior Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) both take a spots on Second Team All-State after also being honored by the NJCBA last year.
Smorol has worked to a 2.70 ERA in 13 starts in 2013, picking up five wins. The left-hander is second in school history with 307.0 innings and needs 10 more frames to tie Casey Gaynor for the most. He is also second in the RU record books with 42 starts, tied for third with 22 wins, third with 199 strikeouts and tied for eighth with 69 appearances. Favatella has started the last 138 games for RU and is batting .304 this season. In addition, the second baseman has scored 35 runs and knocked in 25.
Joining Tietz on the All-Rookie Team is freshman Howie Brey (Middletown, N.J.), who has appeared in a team-leading 22 games on the mound this year. The left-hander currently has a 3.58 ERA in 32.2 relief innings and has won three games.
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