Hotstovers to honor All-SJ Baseball and new HOF inductees

by Marc Narducci | Nov 24, 2023
Hotstovers to honor All-SJ Baseball and new HOF inductees
It is one of the great traditions in South Jersey baseball. Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey holds its annual banquet, honors the past All-South Jersey team and the recent South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.

This year’s 63rd annual banquet and 34th South Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be staged Saturday, Nov. 25 at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford beginning at 1:30. (For ticket information, contact Joe Smith at jsmith@delsearegional.us).

There are four players and three contributors being inducted in the HOF. The players are Bob Dacierno of Gloucester Catholic, Tookie Johnson (Schalick), Rylan Kulik (Cherokee) and Darren Ford (Vineland). 

Ford, a fleet outfielder, spent parts of two seasons in Major League Baseball in 2010 and 2011 with the San Francisco Giants. All told, he spent 15 years in professional baseball, including his last three seasons in independent ball. 

The contributors are current Phillies public address announcer Dan Baker of West Deptford, Bob Seddon as a contributor/coach and Sam Tropiano, current head coach of Bishop Eustace. Tropiano’s current career record is 748-268-1. 

Among other awards announced at the banquet will be the MVP of the All-South Jersey Team.  

All total, the Hot Stovers award more than $6,000 in scholarships to members of the All-South Jersey team.

Here is the All-South Jersey team, with the players’ grades listed during the 2023 season. 

P: Junior - Ryder Garino, Cherry Hill West

P: Senior - Mike DeBlasio, Absegami

P: Senior - Tanner Nolan, Gloucester Catholic

P: Senior - Cameron Flukey, Egg Harbor Township

P: Senior - Jackson Logar, Shawnee

C: Senior - Damon Suriani, Gloucester Catholic

C: Junior - Mike McGinley, Delsea

OF: Senior - Kai Hutchins, Pemberton

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OF: Junior - Grant Hunter, Lenape

OF: Senior - Robert Carfagno, Highland

OF: Senior - R.J. Mustaro, Gloucester Catholic

OF: Senior - Wayne Hill, Millville

INF: Senior - Evan Brown, Cherokee

INF: Sophmore - Evan Taylor, Ocean City

INF: Junior - Reid Uccello, Shawnee

INF:Junior - Anthony Mascuilli, Bishop Eustace

INF: Junior - Jake Griess, Haddon Heights

DH: Senior - Brayden Davis, Seneca

DH: Bridge Year - Tre Carano, Buena

DH: Senior - Yenuele Rodriquiez, Vineland

UTL: Senior - Raffaele Rogers, Bishop Eustace

UTL: Senior - Scott Lynch, Audubon

To show how much talent is returning, seven of the All-South Jersey players will be competing this season.

Gloucester Catholic, which won four different championships, leads the team with three selections. The Rams (24-7) won the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, the Tri-County Royal Division championship, the South Jersey Non-Public B title and finally the state Non-Public B crown with a 10-0 win over St. Mary of Rutherford.

The three for the Rams are lefthander Tanner Nolan, catcher Damon Suriani and outfielder R.J. Mustaro, all who are recent graduates. 

Suriani hit .463 and led the Rams in both hits (44) and RBI (36) according to NJ.com stats. Mustaro, a centerfielder, batted .405 with a team-high 35 runs. He shared the team-lead with four home runs and was second with 31 RBI.

Nolan had a team-best 0.48 ERA and struck out 91 batters in 58 1/3 innings. He was the winning pitcher in Gloucester Catholic’s Diamond Classic championship victory over Delsea, the SJ championship win over Ranney and the state title triumph over St. Mary. 

It’s a great team and for the graduating seniors, we should hear about many of them at the next level.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Gloucester Catholic's Tanner Nolan pitching for Tri-Cape in the Carpenter Cup


Author: Marc Narducci

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