New York State Games Preview: Genesee Valley Region



Nine players on the Genesee Valley region roster qualified as underclassmen this past spring. Just don’t expect Tony Fuller’s squad to be short on experience when they take the field for the 2016 Prep Baseball Report’s New York State Games. Four sectional champions, including a pair who played pivotal roles with a state finalist, will lead Genesee Valley. 

Shane Marshall (2017) and Phil Ferranti (2017) hit in the middle of the order for Matt Knight’s Webster Schroeder team which advanced to the NYSPHSAA Class AA finals. Batting third in the lineup, Marshall hit .394 during the regular season with 22 RBI and 21 runs scored. A menace on the basepaths, Marshall consistently gets from home to first under four seconds. 

“He’s on a different level from everyone else,” Fuller said. “He’s as dynamic a player as I’ve seen at his age in the last five five years.” 

The 5-foot-11 center fielder/ third baseman/ right-handed pitcher stole 16 bases and claimed Section Five Class AA Player of the Year. Marshall collected five hits combined in the state semi-final and finals. He reached base on seven occasions during the two contests. He hurled six innings in the championship game against Shenendehowa before leaving in the seventh with a 6-4 lead. The Warriors lost, 7-6.   

“Shane’s versatility is impressive,” Fuller added. “He looks so natural at every position. You can’t teach what he does.” 

Ferranti batted fifth in the Schroeder lineup. He played a bulk of his time at third base this season but will look to make the move to behind the plate. With a sturdy, 5-foot-11, 190 pound-build, Ferranti will make a smooth transition behind the plate.  He generates power with the bat through his torso and has been measured with an exit velocity at 87. His POP time is 2.03-2.19.

Tanner Cooper (2017) led the Canandaigua Braves to their first sectional title in 21 years. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound multi-talented player hit .333 with 18 RBI during the regular season.  

“Tanner is a very physical athlete,” Fuller stated. “He is mature beyond his years and makes great in-game adjustments. 

“He is a guy who might hit 10 to 12 home runs a year at the next level.” 

Cooper also won four games on the mound prior to the post-season with 51 strike outs in 64 innings pitched. The right-hander stymied top-seeded Greece Arcadia in the semi-finals sending the Braves to the finals. 

Trey Brown (2018) hit third in the order for Mark Magliocco’s Aquinas L’il Irish squad which advanced to the Far West Regionals before falling to Williamsville-East (VI). Brown drove in 12 runs and scored 17 with a .396 batting average. He finished with 23 walks and a .502 on-base percentage.  

Erik Johnson (2018) led Fuller’s McQuaid Knights with a 7-0 record. Relying more on guile than velocity Johnson finished with an almost unbelievable ERA of 0.34. The left-hander developed a slider during the season and became comfortable enough to use it any count.

“He throws a lot of strikes,” Fuller commented. With every start he gets a little better. I’ve seen him throw 55-60 innings and only give up a couple runs. That’s almost unheard of.” 

Johnson hurled 15 straight scoreless at one point this season including a shutout against Aquinas and an inning of relief work against Section VI Class AA Champion, Lancaster. It’s easy to see the 6-foot-4, 165 pound lefty adding velocity as he fills out into his frame.

Johnson’s McQuaid teammate, Tyler Griggs (2019), adds pop to the Genesee Valley lineup. As a freshman, Griggs hit .447 with 14 RBI and 14 runs scored. With a balance of power, skill and athleticism Griggs is one of the state’s up and coming stars. 

“He can swing it,” Fuller said. “At 15 years old, he is a pure of a hitter I have seen at his age.” 

Fellow McQuaid Knight, Nick Tomei (2017), will add depth to the Genesee Valley middle infield. Tomei along with Geneseo’s Brian Linton (2017) and David Stirpe (2018) logging innings at shortstop and second base.

Stirpe is a smooth fielder comfortable taking away hits up the middle and in the hold at third. The 5-foot-10, 160 pound Hilton Cadet has a strong arm across the infield and makes consistent contact at the plate. Tomei uses all fields at the plate and is an aggressive baserunner. Linton’s exit velocity has been clocked at 78. 

Penfield’s Ryan Kalbfus (2017) adds gap power to the lineup. The 6-foot-2, 205 pound first baseman displays above average plate discipline and plate coverage. He is deceptively quick up the line and a sure glove at first. 

Steve Hendrick (2017) and Cas Sobaszek (2017) will serve as key cogs for a Rush-Henrietta team that will be one of the most improved squads in Section V next season. Hendrick hit .387 this past spring and drove in 19. Sobaszek plated 11 and hit .348. R-H’s Peyton Parmeter (2018) throws low 80s and can touch 83. The right-hander’s curve ball has been clocked at 68-70.

Sobaszek, the R-H shortstop, will get the ball for two innings in Genesee Valley’s opener. Batavia’s Alex Jones (2107) will start the opener. Jones went 2-0 with 32 strike outs and an ERA of 1.22 for the top-seeded Blue Devils who lost to Aquinas in the A2 final. 

Pittsford Mendon’s George Gines (2018) will also throw two innings in the opener. Gines, who plays shortstop and outfield, hit .418 with 11 RBI and 25 runs scored for the Vikings.

Fairport’s Mike Sabatine (2018) is a speedy outfielder. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound sophomore gets good jumps in the outfield.  Disciplined at the plate, he makes intelligent two-strike adjustments and uses all field with the potential for power.

Brighton’s DJ Berry (2017) and Andrew Zibuck (2018) along with Victor’s Tommy Ryan (2018) as well as Penfield’s Logan Martella-Tasick (2017) and Noah Wulforst (2017) round out the Genesee Valley lineup.

Readers can view the Genesee Valley roster by scrolling herePitching matchups can be viewed here.

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