WEST LONG BRANCH - Senior right-hander Mike Garvey thought he had pitched his final high school game when the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team beat Immaculata last Friday to get into the NJSIAA Non-Public South A championship game against South Jersey power Bishop Eustace.

Then, the rains came on Monday and again on Tuesday, which meant that CBA would need Garvey for one more start in his already stellar senior season.

Garvey threw five scoreless, one-hit innings and junior Luca Dalatri recorded a six-out save as the two pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout that lifted CBA to a 2-0 win over Bishop Eustace in the Non-Public South A final on Wednesday at Monmouth University. CBA will play unbeaten Don Bosco Prep (29-0), the No. 1 team in the state and the No. 9 team in the nation, in Saturday's Non-Public A championship game at one of the three Toms River public high schools to be announced. The Ironmen dispatched of defending North Jersey Non-Public A champion St. Joseph's-Montvale 13-1 on Wednesday in the Non-Public North A final.

Garvey - now 7-1 on the mound this season - allowed just one single to Crusaders leadoff hitter and shortstop Chris Jones to start the top of the third and limited the No. 2 team in the Star-Ledger Top 20 to just two baserunners throughout the rest of his five innings - one on a walk and the other on a hit batter. The senior right-hander also struck out five, including the final two batters he faced in the top of the fifth.

"My team needed me," Garvey said. "So I felt that I needed to come out today and I had to be at my best. I made sure I threw my offspeed a lot (on Tuesday) to make sure everything was working, and it felt great today. Everything was working so I did pretty good today, I guess."

(Photo by Matt Manley)

Garvey needed only 69 pitches to get through the Bishop Eustace order two full times, but CBA coach Marty Kenney still elected to go to Dalatri - the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year and a University of North Carolina recruit - to record the final six outs.

"We felt (Garvey) could keep us in the game," Kenney said. "What he did was phenomenal. I wasn't expecting five scoreless innings, but I was hoping he could get us late into the game where we then could close with Luca. I couldn't have written a better script. It's exactly what we wanted."

Pitching on seven days of rest after his Tuesday start in the Shore Conference Tournament final was postponed due to rain, Dalatri entered the game to start the sixth and surrendered two singles in the frame. However, the junior ace quickly recovered and struck out the side, stranding the tying runs on second and third to end the threat.

"Whether you are starting or relieving, you have to come in and do the same thing, and that's execute your pitches," Dalatri said. "I took a little more time in the bullpen than I usually do to make sure I was ready, so I feel like by the time I got out there I was pretty good."

"The only difficulty with the decision (to bring Dalatri in) was at the end of four," Kenney said. "We knew we didn't want to bring Luca in in the middle of an inning with a couple of guys on. So we were hoping (Garvey) could get through that fifth inning because it was the seven, eight and nine (hitters), and we thought that he could handle them, and fortunately he did."

Dalatri came back out for the seventh, induced a pop-up that he handled for the first out and struck out the final two batters to seal the victory for the Colts for their first South Jersey Non-Public A championship since winning the Non-Public A title in 2009 and the eighth sectional title in their history.

CBA scored both of its runs in the bottom of the second, which began when junior catcher Brandon Martorano blasted the first pitch of the inning from Crusaders starter and Penn State University recruit Justin Hagenman over the fence in left-center field for a 1-0 lead. The home run by Martorano was his 10th of the season and the seventh during CBA's current 12-game winning streak.

"I saw (Hagenman) had a good fastball with a lot of life, and he went to it a lot in the first inning," Martorano said. "I also saw he had that big, looping hook and that's what he tried to start me off with. I saw it out of his hand and I just did what I've been doing for the last few weeks when I get a pitch to hit."

The Colts tacked on one more in the inning when Dalatri drew a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single to right-center by left fielder Shane Turk with no one out.

"We just battled each at-bat," said Turk of CBA's offensive second inning, which saw the Colts collect all three of their hits off Hagenman. "That's a key part of how we string together big innings. We got a couple mistakes on the fastball and were just able to get the bat to it."

The Colts will now be in the rare position as the underdog on Saturday against their most formidable opponent of the season in unbeaten Don Bosco Prep.

"We obviously have a great deal of respect for their program and any team that gets far without losing a game deserves every bit of credit they get," Kenney said. "I don't know how you do that in this game, but obviously, they are a quality team and they are going to be a challenge. We faced them the last time they went undefeated (in 2008) and we lost a tough game, 6-5. So we'll have a pretty good idea of what we're up against."

Dalatri is in line to start Saturday's game after throwing 36 pitches in just two innings of work Wednesday as he attempts to finish the season 9-0 while improving to 20-0 over the last two seasons.

"This is going to be the hardest game of my career," said Dalatri, who was originally slated to start against both Bishop Eustace when the game was originally scheduled for Tuesday."Fortunately, I didn't have to throw too many pitches today and I should be able to get some work in on the weights and be prepared to pitch by the weekend."

Prior to facing the No. 1 team in the state on the weekend, CBA will attempt to win its second consecutive SCT championship on Thursday against local rival Red Bank Catholic when the two square off in the final at 7:30 p.m. at Toms River North.

With a win over the Caseys on Thursday night, the Caseys will be one win away from completing the Shore Conference Quadruple Crown - which includes division, county, conference and state group championships in one season. The 2004 Wall team was the only other Shore Conference team to accomplish the feat.

"It's an honor and incredibly humbling to be two wins away from doing something like that," Turk said. "Now, it's just going to be about going out and leaving it on the field for two more games."

 

Box Score

CBA 2, Bishop Eustace 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

E

Bishop Eustace (24-6)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

CBA (25-5)

0

2

0

0

0

0

x

2

3

0

 

Bishop Eustace

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Chris Jones, SS

3

0

2

0

0

0

Nick Browne, RF

3

0

0

0

0

2

Justin Hagenman, P

2

0

0

0

1

1

--Alec Fante, CR

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ryan DiMeo, 1B

3

0

1

0

0

1

Steve DeBellis, 3B

2

0

0

0

0

1

Nate Steele, C

3

0

0

0

0

0

Sky Duff, 2B

3

0

0

0

0

2

Tyler Phillips, LF

3

0

0

0

0

2

Kevin Lammers, CF

2

0

0

0

0

1

Totals

24

0

3

0

1

10

 

CBA

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Cid Porter, CF

3

0

0

0

0

0

Andrew Buccellato, 2B

1

0

0

0

2

0

Will Morgan, RF

3

0

0

0

0

1

Brandon Martorano, C

1

1

1

1

1

0

--Brendan Shaw, CR

0

0

0

0

0

0

Luca Dalatri, DH-P

2

1

0

0

1

1

--Mike Garvey, P

0

0

0

0

0

0

Shane Turk, LF

3

0

1

1

0

0

Matt D'Angelo, SS

3

0

1

0

0

1

Kenny Campbell, 1B

3

0

0

0

0

2

James Miller, 3B

2

0

0

0

0

1

Totals

21

2

3

2

4

6

HR: Martorano (2nd inning, none on, none out)
IBB: Martorano

 

Bishop Eustace

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Justin Hagenman (L, 7-3)

6

3

2

2

4

6

1

 

CBA

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Mike Garvey (W, 7-1)

5

1

0

0

1

5

0

Luca Dalatri (S, 1)

2

2

0

0

0

5

0

 

HBP: DeBellis (by Garvey), Martorano (by Hagenman)
Pitches-Strikes: Hagenman 95-56, Garvey 69-47, Dalatri 36-26
Groundouts-Flyouts: Hagenman 10-0, Garvey 2-6, Dalatri 0-0