Glen Ridge HS baseball players earn All-Area honors

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GLEN RIDGE – Under first-year head coach Liam Penberthy, the Glen Ridge High School varsity baseball team achieved much success this season as the squad advanced to the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 tournament final where it lost a tough 3-2 decision to Bloomfield Tech to finish with a 12-13 record.

Indeed, the Ridgers had many accomplishments. Without a doubt, several players helped make this year a good one for the rookie coach.

The following GRHS players have earned Worrall Media All-Area honors:

Griffin Cancro, Owen Hannigan and Brian Schnack, who made First Team; and Keeler Patton, Robert Spitaletta and Matt Buchmann, who made Second Team.

Leading the way, the coach said senior catcher Griffin Cancro was a major contributor for the team. On the year, the senior finished with 26 hits, a team-high four doubles, 13 RBI and 17 runs. In addition, Cancro had a .366 batting average, a .464 on-base percentage and a .549 slugging percentage.

“Griffin, who also played third base, batted in the middle of our order,” said the coach. “He is athletic. He is a hard worker and he also has a very strong arm.”

Another player who had a strong year for the team was first baseman Keeler Patton, who finished the season with 23 hits, 10 RBI and 15 runs to go along with a .315 batting average and a .427 on-base percentage.

“Keeler, also played first base and DH (designated hitter), is a lefty bat who brought pop to our lineup and was our vocal leader on the field,” said Penberthy on Patton.

Similarly, sophomore pitcher and second baseman Owen Hannigan also played well for the team.

“He has tremendous control of all his pitches and has fluid mechanics and he just loves the game of baseball,” Penberthy of the second-year starter in a previously published article.

This season Hannigan recorded 27 hits, four doubles, three triples, 13 RBI, and 17 runs at the plate. On the mound, he had a 6-2 record with a 3.00 ERA.

Along with those players, Penberthy said the Ridgers received stellar play out of sophomore third baseman Brian Schnack.

“Brian has a smooth left-handed swing and he lives, eats, breathes baseball,” Penberthy said of Schnack, who had a team-high 30 hits to go with four doubles, nine RBI and 18 runs. Additionally, Schnack finished with a .429 batting average and a .518 on-base percentage.

Also, senior shortstop Robert Spitaletta and senior center fielder Matt Bachmann enjoyed a fine year for the Ridgers. This season, Spitaletta had 25 hits, 12 RBI, 12 runs and a .384 on-base percentage. Bachmann ended the season with 23 hits, a team-high 16 RBI and 14 runs to go along with a .389 on-base percentage.