Three Rome Free Academy baseball players were selected as first-team all-stars in the Central New York Counties League American Division as selected by league coaches.
Representing the Black Knights were seniors Dylan Thomas and Steven Eychner, along with junior Jeff Cooke.
Thomas finished the season with a team-high 17 RBIs and finished with a .339 batting average, was clutch with three game-winning hits, was 5-for-5 in stolen bases, scored 15 runs, and played an errorless centerfield for the Black Knights.
Eychner finished the team in numerous categories with team-highs. He led the team with a .341 batting average, 24 hits, swiped 7-of-8 stolen bases, and finished with 33 total bases. He also scored 15 runs and drove in nine RBIs as the team’s predominate lead off hitter.
Eychner also pitched for the Romans and went 2-3 on the mound with a 2.72 ERA.
He was the team’s co-captain this past season, a three-year letter winner for the Black Knights, and finished with .313 career batting average.
Cooke went 6-1 on the mound with six complete games, and four complete-game shutouts while sporting a 2.42 ERA.
He also finished the year while batting .322 with eight RBIs at the dish.
RFA’s pitching staff had 13 complete games.
The Black Knights finished 12-10 overall after a heartbreaking 7-6 eight-inning setback against Liverpool in the Section III Class AA quarterfinals playoff game.
The three Romans were joined by other first-teamers in the American Division including, Mike Monashefsky, Mike Perry, Zach Tucker, and Dave Nuzzo from Fayetteville-Manlius, Sean Pisik and Matt Naton from West Genesee, Dave Culeton from Oswego, and Gage Lanning from Central Square.
First-team all-stars from the CNYCL National Division included, Alex Caruso, Ryan Contegni, Nick Pilotti, and Pat Wright from Liverpool, Brett Charbonneau, Connor Martin, Gabe Levanti, and Scott Blewett of Baldwinsville, Joe Pokerntowski, Kyano Cummings, and Brandon Kapcinski from Cicero-North Syracuse, Avery Brooks and Frank Vigliotti from Syracuse East, Jordon Treen and Tyler DeMarco from Utica Proctor, and Ryan O’Neill and Liam Kirst from Syracuse West.
RFA also saw senior catcher Josh Mazzaferro make the second-team all-star honors, and he was joined by Matt Godleski, Jack McClure, Tommy Flynn, and Mike Hoalcraft from F-M, Stephen Payette, Wes Randell, Mike Sgroi, and Adam Wierbinski from West Genesee, Tom Dillion from Oswego, AJ Cordone and Joey Battaglia of Central Square, and Matt Nolan and Matt Colella from Auburn as the other American League second-teamers.
Second-team all-stars from the National Division include, Steve Baldini and Tyler Bliss from Liverpool, Josh Savacool, Zach Leo, and Scott Orr of Baldwinsville, Will Apps, Eric Hamilton, and Joe Bodnar from C-NS, John Larca, Mark Andrews, and Anthony Santoro from Syracuse East, Joe Nappoli and Lawrence Elliot of Utica Proctor, and Matt Thompson and Collin Thompson from Syracuse West.
RFA head coach Mike Davis on his first-team all-stars:
¿ Jeff Cooke: Jeff obviously had one of the greatest seasons as a pitcher in the history at RFA. He could throw three pitches for strikes, had command of those pitches, and he wanted to pitch and take the mound for us every game. He had that winning mentality and he exceeded at it. He really picked up from where he got called up from junior varsity level two years ago, and he had just a great year for us with six complete games.
¿ Dylan Thomas: He was a surprise somewhat because he took a year off the season before, but came back and had a stellar year. He was clutch every game for us.
He had a number of game-winning hits, and didn’t make an error while playing centerfield. He was great with the glove, and he was flawless all year.
¿ Steven Eychner: I don’t ever remember him missing any practices, or games. He just went out there and gave you everything he had every time. Just a complete player, and just a natural born leader.
He was the kid that we wanted up there every time we needed to get something going for our team. He did it all for us, and he will truly be missed.