OCC Lacrosse Takes Championship

The Ocean County College men's lacrosse team celebrates its championship. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County College men’s lacrosse team has won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Region XIX Tournament championship.

The Vikings captured their latest title, downing Delaware Technical Community College 10-9 in the championship game. The Vikings fell to Delaware 13-12 in the final minute of the game earlier this season.

Freshman midfielder Matt Ferullo, a Jackson Liberty High School graduate, paced the Vikings with four goals. Freshman attack Nick Parente, a Jackson Township resident and a former Monroe player, added two goals. Freshman midfielder A.J. Alvarez (Toms River South) added one goal and three assists.

Ocean County College’s A.J. Alvarez, a Toms River South graduate, starred for the Vikings. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

Freshman midfielder James Manzo (Southern Regional) added one goal and one assist. Sophomore defender-long stick midfielder Joe Jinks (Barnegat) and freshman attack Gavin Murphy (Brick Memorial) contributed one goal each. Sophomore goalie Mike Trezza (Lacey Township) made 11 saves, including three in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Vikings rallied from a 5-2 first-half deficit. The game was tied at six through three quarters.

OCC was 7-7 overall, including 2-0 in Region XIX.

Parente led OCC in points (50) and goals (39) and handed out 11 assists. He appeared in 14 games and started 11. He hustled to 17 ground balls.

Murphy was second on the team in points with 39 on 25 goals and 14 assists. He added 31 ground balls. He played in 13 games and started six. He finished the season in a two-way tie for first on the team in assists.

The Vikings of Ocean County College won an academic award in men’s cross country. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

Ferullo added 24 points on 14 goals and 10 assists and added 18 ground balls. He appeared in 14 games and started one. Alvarez finished the season with 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points, appearing in 12 games and starting two. He added 25 ground balls.

Manzo netted nine goals and added 11 assists for 20 points. He played in 14 games, all as a reserve.

Trezza, who appeared in 14 games and started seven, played 736:26. He allowed 169 goals en route to a 13.77 goals against average. He made 176 saves for a 51.0 saves percentage. He was 7-5 for a 58.3 winning percentage.

Another winner: The OCC baseball team was 27-19 overall, including 15-14 in Region XIX.

Sophomore righty Matt Malatesta, a former Southern player, paced the Vikings in wins with seven and suffered two losses.

Toms River East graduate Sam Lanzano led Ocean County College in batting. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

He appeared in nine games. In 54 innings, he allowed 38 hits, walked 32 and struck out 52. He posted a 2.50 earned run average for head coach Ed McRae.

Tom Coraggio, a freshman righty out of Lacey, was 5-5 with a 4.09 earned run average.

He pitched 55 innings and appeared in 12 games. He allowed 64 hits, walked 10 and whiffed 50.

Ian Ambrose, a sophomore out of Brick Memorial, won five of six decisions and posted a 4.50 earned run average.

He whiffed 46, walked 18 and allowed 59 hits in 54 innings.

The Vikings put up a 4.78 staff earned run average. In 326 innings, they allowed 341 hits, walked 136 and whiffed 316. They surrendered 18 home runs.

Kyle Lauria, a freshman third baseman and a former Point Pleasant Boro player, led the offense.

He paced the Vikings in batting average (74-for-163), base hits, runs scored (54), doubles (19), home runs (nine), runs batted in (49), on-base percentage (.506) and slugging percentage (.748).

Kyle Lauria keyed the Ocean County College offense. He is a Point Pleasant Boro graduate. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

Lauria, who played in 45 games, drew 17 walks and struck out 17 times.

Sophomore catcher Dhillon Barbetti (Shore Regional) batted .361, stroking 53 hits in 147 at-bats.

He drove in 35 runs, scored 38 and hit 17 doubles, one homer and one triple. He walked 32 times, struck out 27 times and stole 13 bases. He posted a .481 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage.

Nick Mogila, a sophomore first baseman from Brick Township, batted .362 (50-for-138) in 42 games.

The former Green Dragon drove in 40 runs, scored 28 runs and hit five homers and eight doubles, He drew 14 walks and struck out 22 times. He finished the season with a .421 on-base percentage and a .529 slugging percentage.

Former Toms River East player Mike Calabrese, a sophomore catcher, bashed the ball at a .395 clip (28-for-129).

He appeared in 40 games. He scored 28 runs, plated 31 and hit one home, four triples and three doubles. He walked 19 times and struck out 16 times. He stole two bases and put up a .473 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage.

The Vikings batted .342 as a team and slugged 20 home runs.

Nick Mogila hit .362 for Ocean County College. He graduated from Brick Township High School. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

Lanzano wields hot bat: Former Toms River East player Sam Lanzano, a freshman third baseman, paced the Vikings in batting average at .454 (49-for-108).

She finished in a two-way tie for first on the team in base hits and paced the club in runs batted in (40) and doubles (14). She hit six triples and four home runs. She posted a .457 on-base percentage and an .806 slugging percentage.

Maggie McCarthy, a freshman second baseman from Brick Memorial, batted .405 (49-for-121) in 35 games.

She hit five doubles, a team-high eight triples and added one homer. She drove in 16 runs and scored 35 runs. She finished in a three-way tie for the team lead in the latter category. She sped to six steals to finish in a three-way tie for the team lead.

Sophomore left fielder Monica Brignola (Lacey) hit .406 (43-for-106) in 36 games.

Among her hits were five doubles. She drove in 11 runs and scored 35 runs. She drew nine walks, struck out three times and stole six bases. She put up a .457 on-base percentage and a .453 slugging percentage.

Toms River East graduate Shea Branda paced the Vikings in runs scored. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

Sophomore shortstop Shea Branda (East) led the Vikings in runs scored with 38 and plated 28 in 36 games.

She hit .408 (42-for-103) and slugged six homers, five triples and five doubles. She drew 15 walks, whiffed 14 times and swiped six bases. She put up a .479 on-base percentage and a .728 slugging percentage.

Gabby Loffredo, a sophomore center fielder from Toms River South, batted .374 (37-for-99).

She hit eight doubles, drove in 21 runs and scored 15 runs. She drew 11 walks, whiffed seven times, stole one base and put up a .436 on-base percentage and a .455 slugging percentage in 36 games.

Freshman pitcher-first baseman Hailey Dries (Manchester) was 13-13 and posted a 3.05 earned run average.

She pitched in 27 games. She tossed two complete games. In 154 innings, she allowed 178 hits, walked 71 and struck out 128.

OCC hit .345 as a team and whacked 11 homers. Its staff earned run average was 3.55. In 206 innings, the Vikings allowed 296 hits, walked 88 and struck out 147.

The Vikings of coach Bob Mazenec were 17-19 overall, including 7-5 in Region XIX.

Michael Spino, who attended Jackson Memorial, putts from the fringe for Ocean County College. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

On the links: OCC’s golf team placed second with a 329 at the Garden State Athletic Conference Championship at the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth.

Freshman Patrick Carney (Manchester Township)) and sophomore Michael Spino (Jackson Memorial) paced OCC with rounds of 77. Sophomore David Linthicum (Brick Memorial) carded an 81.

Carney and Spino made the first team. Linthicum was a second-teamer. Sophomores Ryan Stanley (East) and Kevin Laney (Pinelands Regional) carded rounds of 94 and 99, respectively, for coach Rich Wortman.

At the net: The men’s tennis team placed fourth at the Region XIX Championship at Mercer County Park.

The Vikings’ top players were sophomore first singles player Isaiah Hill (Manchester), freshman fourth singles player Anthony Mazzone (Brick Memorial) and freshman fifth singles player Ryan Patterson (Point Pleasant Boro).

The team was 3-6 overall. Its coach was Wayne Ruhl.

David Linthicum, who hails from Brick Memorial, earned all-conference honors for the Vikings. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

On target: The Vikings’ men’s basketball team featured five players who averaged in double figures in points per game.

Freshman forward Alfred Demby (Lakewood) led the team in scoring at 22.0 points per game for first-year coach Patrick Boylan.

Sophomore guard Damien Singleton (Toms River North) was second on the club at 15.4 points per game.

Third in scoring was freshman guard Patrick Marinaccio (Toms River North) at 13.3 points per outing.

Sophomore guard-forward R.J. Laing (Toms River South) averaged 12.6 points per game for fourth on the team.

Fifth on the club in scoring was freshman guard Sean O’Donnell (Toms River North). The former Mariner averaged 11.7 points per game.

The Vikings were 9-16 overall, including 6-14 in Region XIX.

Matt Malatesta paced Ocean County College in wins. He’s a Southern Regional graduate. (Photo courtesy Kevin Byrne/Ocean County College)

More on the hardwood: Sophomore guard Sydney Ulrich (Brick Memorial) paced the Vikings’ women’s team in scoring at 17.8 points per game.

Tied for second on the team in scoring were Brignola, a guard, and Iyanla Donaldson, a freshman forward from Lakewood, at 6.1 points per outing.

The Vikings were 2-21 overall, including 1-15 in Region XIX, under first-year coach Tom Westen. Taking over in 2018-19 is former Southern athlete Avery Hodgson-Walters, an assistant under Westen.

Smart and swift: The Vikings’ men’s cross country team was named the 2017-18 Academic Team of the Year in Division III by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The Vikings of coach Jen Nelson, the former Barnegat and Monmouth University distance standout, posted a 3.49 grade point average.

Team members were freshmen Dylan Antonelli (Lacey), Kyle Sarno (Barnegat) and Grant Tokarski (a Brick resident and a Calvary Academy graduate) and sophomores Zachary Piscopo (Southern), Xavier Ramirez (Brick Township High School) and Noah Reilly (Toms River North).

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Chris Christopher covers sports for Micromedia Publications Inc. with knowledge, pride and passion. His beats are the high school, college, professional, youth and recreational scenes. A three-time New Jersey Press Association award winner for sports writing, Christopher was inducted into the Shore Football Coaches Foundation Hall of Fame in 2015 for his work in the media. The Lakewood resident enjoys taking walks in Ocean County Park and on the boardwalks in Ocean and Monmouth counties and rooting for the New York Mets.