Besides Millville's Mike Trout, The Inquirer's South Jersey player of the year, nobody faced greater scrutiny this season than

Steve Bruno,

the Gloucester Catholic senior shortstop.

Despite being watched all season by major-league scouts, Bruno enjoyed an outstanding two-way season.

Along with Trout, Bruno heads up this year's Inquirer all-South Jersey team.

Selected on Wednesday in the 26th round of the majors' first-year player draft by the New York Yankees, Bruno batted .515 with a .686 on-base percentage. He had four home runs and 33 RBIs and, incredibly, was hit by a pitch 17 times. He also stole 18 bases.

If Bruno doesn't turn professional, he has a scholarship with the University of Virginia.

Here is a look at the rest of the first team. It includes three players from Olympic Conference National champion Bishop Eustace, which finished No. 2 in the final Inquirer South Jersey ratings:

Kevin Casey, Bishop Eustace, senior pitcher: Headed to Lafayette for college, Casey went 9-2 with a 2.43 ERA. He had 70 strikeouts in 631/3 innings. He also batted .407 with four home runs and 23 RBIs. Casey's career pitching record is 23-7.

Dan Smith, Cherokee, senior pitcher: He went 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA, striking out 56 in 542/3 innings. He also had two saves. The lefthander will compete next season for Monmouth.

Tyler Smith, Haddon Township, senior pitcher: Ticketed for Rider next season, he went 7-0 with a 1.64 ERA and three shutouts for the South Jersey Group 2 champion Hawks. He struck out 53 in 44 innings, and he batted .441 with five home runs and 29 RBIs.

Anthony Montefusco, Shawnee, senior pitcher: He went 8-3 with a 1.95 ERA for the South Jersey Group 3 champion Renegades. A George Mason recruit, Montefusco struck out 120 in 751/3 innings. He also hit .374 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.

Dom DePasquale, Gateway, senior pitcher: He went 8-1 with two saves and a 0.91 ERA for the South Jersey Group 1 champion Gators. Also a third baseman, he batted .397 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. DePasquale will attend Widener and play football. He also wants to participate in baseball.

Juan Velazquez, Sacred Heart, senior catcher: As strong at the plate as he was behind it, he hit .402 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. He is considering attending Kean.

Chris Branigan, Bishop Eustace, senior first baseman: Bishop Eustace coach Sam Tropiano said that Branigan was the best defensive first baseman he has ever coached. A Delaware recruit, Branigan hit .431 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs. This season, Branigan was also 4-1 on the mound. He finished with 104 career hits.

Nick Favatella, Washington Township, junior shortstop: He batted .556 with nine home runs, 26 RBIs, and a .686 on-base percentage. A third-year starter, Favatella has 94 career hits.

Nick Allen, Cherokee, senior shortstop: The George Mason recruit batted .465 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. He scored 45 runs.

Kenny Miles, Buena, senior outfielder: He hit .385 and had a .466 on-base percentage. He had eight home runs and 32 RBIs, scored 38 runs, and stole 23 bases. Miles has accepted a football scholarship to Villanova, but Buena coach George West said Miles also was considering baseball.

Ian Lindsay, Haddon Township, senior outfielder: A repeat first-team selection headed to Rider, he batted .350 with six doubles, seven home runs, and 36 RBIs. He had a .640 slugging percentage.

Greg Brodzinski, Bishop Eustace, junior designated hitter: Also a catcher, he is a repeat first-team selection. The junior batted .411 with six home runs and 38 RBIs. He has 23 career home runs, 116 RBIs, and 124 hits. Brodzinski has made an oral commitment to attend South Carolina.

All-South Jersey Baseball Team


Pos. Player               School, Class             Statistics

1B: Chris Branigan      Bishop Eustace, Sr.              .431

INF: Nick Allen             Cherokee, Sr.                   .465

INF: Nick Favatella       Washington Township, Jr.       .556

INF: Steve Bruno          Gloucester Catholic, Sr.          .515

C: Juan Velazquez       Sacred Heart, Sr.                .402

DH: Greg Brodzinski       Bishop Eustace, Jr.            .411

OF: Kenny Miles          Buena, Sr.                      .385

OF: Mike Trout             Millville, Sr.                      .531

OF: Ian Lindsay          Haddon Township, Sr.          .350

P: Dan Smith             Cherokee, Sr.              7-1, 2.18

P: Kevin Casey          Bishop Eustace, Sr.        9-2, 2.43

P: Tyler Smith             Haddon Township, Sr.     7-0, 1.64

P: Anthony Montefusco Shawnee, Sr.              8-3, 1.95

P: Dom DePasquale       Gateway, Sr.              8-1, 0.91


Pos. Player               School, Class             Statistics

1B: Eric Barbieri          Cherokee, Jr.                   .455

INF: Chris Davis         Haddonfield, So.               .433

INF: Shane Lynch          Cherokee, Sr.                   .448

INF: Shawn Ballay         Delran, Jr.         .            .407

C: Matt Cann             Cinnaminson ,Jr.                .434

DH: Don Haines          Penns Grove ,Sr.                .491

OF: Sam Slutsky          Cherry Hill East, Jr.             .569

OF: Rolando Gautier       Pennsauken, Jr.                .500

OF: Nicco Esgro          Glassboro, Sr.                   .408

P: Josh O'Neill             Millville, Sr.                 9-0, 2.38

P: Kevin Comer          Seneca ,So.              4-0, 1.87

P: Christian Rahmann    Maple Shade, Sr.           5-0, 1.78

P: Ryan Martin             Cherry Hill East, Sr.        5-2, 2.28

P: Joe Calogero          Cherry Hill West, Sr.        3-2 1.44

- Marc Narducci EndText