Kevin Schnupp of Comsewogue poses with the Silver Slugger Award during...

Kevin Schnupp of Comsewogue poses with the Silver Slugger Award during the Suffolk baseball awards dinner on Monday at Villa Lombardi's. Credit: Tom Lambui

Kevin Schnupp has always been known for his defense behind the plate, but the Comsewogue senior catcher took the next step in the batter’s box this season.

Schnupp received the Silver Slugger Award at the Suffolk County Baseball Coaches Association dinner Monday night at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook. The award is given annually to the top offensive player in Suffolk.

“I’m extremely grateful. I’ve been working toward this award for a really long time now,” Schnupp said. “To have even been up for the award is extremely exciting.”

“He earned it,” coach Joe Caltagirone said. “He’s one of the hardest workers on the team. It was just impressive to watch him at the top of his game both offensively and defensively.”

The UMass Amherst commit batted .430 with a 1.250 OPS, seven home runs, 30 RBIs, 32 runs and 17 stolen bases. He also had a .995 fielding percentage.

Schnupp, who also was named the Suffolk League IV MVP, said he added about 20 pounds of muscle before the season.

“It helped me a tremendous amount, both in my hitting game and behind the plate,” Schnupp said. “It felt great to do more to help my team.”

“It’s like a bonus,” Caltagirone said. “He was always a strong defensive catcher. I think the muscle he added helped him out with that, too, but to get that production from a demanding position like that makes it even more impressive.”

Schnupp helped Comsewogue (15-10) reach the Suffolk Class AA finals as the No. 7 seed. Comsewogue beat No. 2 Smithtown West, No. 3 Centereach and No. 4 West Islip on its way to the final. Schnupp hit a two-run homer in Comsewogue’s 9-3 win over top-seeded Hauppauge (the eventual Long Island Class AA champion), which forced a championship game in the double-elimination tournament.

“He’s always been a good hitter, but he became a more complete hitter this year,” Caltagirone said. “His pitch recognition has always been good. He’s a strong kid and he hits the ball hard every time. He got off to a great start and just rode that confidence throughout the season.”


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