CLARK, NJ – The Union County Baseball Association will honor two Clark athletes along with other local athletes at this year’s Hot Stove League awards event being held on Sunday Feb. 11, at 1:00 p.m. at the Grand Centurions.
Each Union County athlete will be honored for their accomplishments in high school, college and other leagues during the event. The honorees are:
Shannon Brogan of Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark will receive the Banyasz Brothers Award for most valuable scholastic softball player. Brogan finished her high school softball career at ALJ with a .425 batting average and 152 hits. At shortstop, she helped lead the Crusaders to the Union County championship in 2016 and a return trip to the tournament in 2017. She now plays for Moravian College.
Gianna Randazza, another 2017 Arthur L. Johnson High School graduate will share the Banyasz Brothers Award with her former teammate Brogan. Randazza is a three-time Union County Player of the Year, graduated as ALJ’s all-time leader in hits (192), runs batted in (179), runs scored (140), triples (17) and home runs (26); and as a pitcher, wins (59), strikeouts (532), and no hitters (5). Gianna now plays for Boston College.
Alanna Namit of Berkley Heights will also receive the Banyasz Brothers Award. Namit was a Group 3 All-State for Governor Livingston High School. She had a .408 batting average and excelled at pitching with a record of 13-4. She now plays for the College of New Jersey.
Brian Oblachinski of Cranford will receive the Edward R. Cooper Award for outstanding high school baseball player. Oblachinski was a stellar shortstop and leadoff hitter for the Cranford High School Cougars last year. He posted a .396 batting average with 33 runs scored and only eight strike outs. Brian stole 15 bases in 15 attempts. He now plays for Montclair State University.
Katarina Polyviou of Cranford, who will receive the Joseph R. Lombardi Award for outstanding female athlete. Polyviou is a standout two-sport player at DeSales University. In May, she was named to the All-MAC Freedom Second Team in lacrosse. In the fall, she was named to the All-MAC Freedom First Team in field hockey and she was profiled in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” feature.
Nathaniel Roe of Plainfield will receive the Chris Zusi Award for outstanding male athlete. Roe enjoyed his best season on the pitching mound as a 2017 Atlantic League All-Star with the New Britain Bees. A Rutgers grad, Roe finished the year with a 7-6 record, one save and 60 strikeouts in 79 innings, primarily in relief, after spending the offseason in the Australian Baseball League.
During the event the UCBA will induct four new members into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame. The four Hall of Fame inductees are:
- Bill Feehan, a longtime firefighter for the City of Elizabeth, who played for Roselle Catholic High School and helped Kean College win two ECAC championships.
- Jack Goldberg, a First Team All-State slugger for the Union High School Farmers, who later played in the minors for the Atlanta Braves.
- Ernie Hoffer of Linden, a three-sport athlete who earned All-County and All-State honors in 1960 and 1961 as a third baseman.
- Curt Wallace who distinguished himself as a hitter at Edison Tech in Elizabeth and in inter-county leagues before going on to play, manage, instruct and scout in six countries.
Major League Baseball Umpire and New Jersey native Phil Cuzzi is the guest speaker at this year’s event. Nutley resident, Cuzzi has been an umpire for 22 years and worked behind the plate in game one of the 2017 World Series.
Tickets for the 82nd annual Hot Stove League awards dinner may be purchased online at www.UCBA-NJ.org
Sponsored by the Union County Baseball Association, in cooperation with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Hot Stove League awards dinner is the primary annual fund-raising effort for the Union County Youth Baseball Leagues. The summer and fall leagues have given more than 40,000 boys and girls an opportunity to participate in an organized baseball program for the past 70 years.
For more information call Jim Iozzi, UCBA president, at 908-917-2523.
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