TOMS RIVER - Jackson Memorial senior Chris Hawryuk and Toms River South senior Trevor Wagner will be roommates this coming fall at Monmouth University but Friday, in the season opener for their respective teams, the two opposed each other on the mound and at the plate as part of a Shore Conference Class A South baseball rivalry that has become an opening-day tradition.

Both right-handers and future Hawks waited out a 45-minute rain delay and Hawryluk outlasted his future dorm-mate, tossing a complete-game six-hitter to lead Jackson Memorial - the No. 7 team in the Shore Sports Network Preseason Top 10 - over No. 10 Toms River South, 4-3.

"I didn't even know (Wagner) was pitching until last night," said Hawryluk, who struck out Wagner once and allowed him a seventh-inning single. "I talk to him a decent amount but he was pretty quiet about it. I wasn't thinking about it too much, either. I was more locked in on what I had to do, but when he came up, I definitely wanted to strike him out."

Jackson Memorial senior Chris Hawryluk pitched a six-hit complete game t beat Toms River South Friday. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Senior shortstop Kyle Johnson and junior second baseman Ryan Boyle each went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI out of the top two spots in the batting order to ignite the Jaguars offense.

Hawryluk walked one and struck out seven on 98 pitches, 63 of which he pumped in for strikes. With a rain delay that halted the game with one out in the bottom of the first and Hawryluk needing 43 pitches to get through two innings and 58 through three, it seemed that Jackson Memorial would need to go to its bullpen to get an opening-day win.

"There were a couple things at play, I think, mainly that it's his senior year and I think he just came out a little juiced up for his first start," Jackson Memorial coach Frank Malta said. "The second thing, he and (pitching coach) J.M. (Gold) were talking about some adjustments that helped him be a little more consistent and I think once he started to feel those adjustments - and a lot of it was stuff he had already been working on - I think he was able to just pound the zone a little more.

"He was also able to throw his breaking stuff over for a strike. Early on, he wasn't throwing that breaking stuff and he wasn't hitting the plate with it and he really wasn't fooling anybody. They were sitting fastball and I think that was the adjustment he made and as the game went on, his pitch count just dwindled."

Hawryluk got through the fourth on 11 pitches, the fifth in eight and the sixth in seven. He became progressively more economical throughout the game, with pitch sequential pitch counts of 24, 19, 15, 11, eight and seven of the first six innings before wrapping up the game with a 14-pitch seventh inning.

"Once I saw I had 77 (pitches) through five, I knew this was my game," Hawryluk said. "At that point, I had kind of found where I needed to be with all my pitches and it was just a matter of staying with it and staying consistent."

Hawryluk fought off shoulder discomfort early during his junior year and began to find his stuff down the stretch after being limited early. He featured a pitch mix Friday that included a fastball from his three-quarter arm-slot, along with a slider and a changeup that he said considered his out-pitch against the Indians.

"I definitely wanted to establish my fastball today because that's what we work on in practice," Hawryluk said. "My changeup, I thought, was definitely my go-to pitch today. I got a lot of guys out in front and was able to catch some of their guys cheating to the fastball."

Toms River South struck for a run in the bottom of the first inning with the benefit of a bloop double by Matt Shiffer that fell in shallow left when Johnson collided with left fielder Alex Iadisernia. After Shiffer advanced to third on a wild pitch, Indians catcher Tyler Wisnewski knocked him in with an RBI single to right field.

After the rain delay, Indians junior shortstop Tom Campo lined a single to right, but Jackson Memorial senior Kyle Lona cut down the potential run at the plate with a throw to catcher Peruggia in the air.

"Kyle is just an athlete and I think he showed that on a couple of plays today," said Malta of Lona, who was the starting catcher last year and will continue to play center field for this year's team. "That turns out to be a huge play in the game because if he doesn't get that guy, it's a different game."

Hawryluk did not allow another run until sophomore T.J. Scuderi touched him up for a two-run home run to left. Scuderi's first career varsity home run pulled Toms River South within 4-3 with none out before Hawryluk retired the next three Indians to seal the win.

Junior Dave DeJesus gave Jackson Memorial a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single to right in the top of the first and the Jaguars took the lead for on a two-out passed ball in the second.

Boyle singled home Johnson in the top of the fifth to extend Jackson Memorial's lead to 3-1 and Johnson laced and RBI double off the wall on a bounce with two out in the top of the sixth.

The Jaguars also had a runner gunned down at home, with Indians junior center fielder Dylan Danelson throwing out Iadisernia after the Jackson left fielder tried to score on an errant throw to second base following a wild pitch.

Wagner lasted 4 1/3 before being lifted for junior left-hander Justin Fall with his team trailing 3-1. Wagner allowed two earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five.

Jackson Memorial's opening-day win is a first for most of its lineup, which featured six players who were not starters a year ago. Boyle, DeJesus, third baseman Jake Fox designated hitter Tim Halasnik, Perrugia and Iadisernia all earned first-time starts on Friday.

"It's exciting to see what guys are going to do and how they are going to react in their first varsity action," Malta said. "It's fun to see as a coach because you get an idea about the personality of some of these guys. Like Ryan Boyle and Dave DeJesus are the ones who came up with the big hits and that was great to see, but I also liked seeing Jake Fox boot a ball at third and then come back and make a diving play later in the inning to get an out. Those are the kinds of things you like to see where you really learn about who these guys are."

Box Score

Jackson Memorial 4, Toms River South 3

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Jackson Memorial (1-0, 1-0) 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 4 8 1
TR South (0-1, 0-1) 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 6 2

 

Jackson Memorial AB R H RBI BB SO
Kyle Johnson, SS 4 1 2 1 0 0
Ryan Boyle, 2B 4 1 2 1 0 1
Chris Hawryluk, P 3 0 0 0 0 0
--Shawn Kelich , CR 0 1 0 0 0 0
Dylan Kanner, 1B 4 0 2 0 0 0
Dave DeJesus, RF 4 0 1 1 0 1
Jake Fox, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 2
Kyle Lona, CF 3 0 0 0 0 1
Tim Halasnik, DH 2 0 0 0 0 2
--Chris Peruggia, C 0 0 0 0 0 0
--Krystian Potok, PH 1 0 1 0 0 0
--Aaron McCulligh, PR 0 1 0 0 0 0
Alex Iadisernia, LF 2 0 0 0 1 0
Totals 30 4 8 3 1 7

2B: Johnson
Outfield Assist: Lona
SB: Kelich

Toms River South AB R H RBI BB SO
Matt Shiffer, 2B 4 1 1 0 0 0
Ben Montenegro, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1
Tyler Wisnewski, C 3 0 1 1 0 0
--Joe Lodato, CR 0 0 0 0 0 0
--Jared Kwicinski, CR 0 0 0 0 0 0
Matt Fitzpatrick, DH 3 0 1 0 0 1
--Dylan Danelson, CF 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tom Campo, SS 3 0 1 0 0 1
Trevor Wagner, P-CF 3 1 1 0 0 1
T.J. Scuderi, RF 3 1 1 2 0 1
Connor Feeney, 1B-P 2 0 0 0 1 2
--Justin Fall, P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Conover, LF 3 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 27 3 6 3 1 7

2B: Shiffer
HR: Scuderi (7th inning, one on, none out)
Outfield Assist: Danelson

Jackson Memorial IP H R ER BB SO HR
Chris Hawryluk (W, 1-0) 7 6 3 3 1 7 1

 

Toms River South IP H R ER BB SO HR
Trevor Wagner (L, 0-1) 4.1 6 3 2 1 5 0
Justin Fall 1.1 2 1 1 0 2 0
Connor Feeney 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

HBP: Hawryluk (by Wagner)
Pitches-Strikes: Hawryluk 98-63, Wagner 77-52, Fall 21-14, Feeney 11-8
Groundouts-Flyouts: Hawryluk 6-4, Wagner 2-4, Fall 1-1, Feeney 1-1