Baseball – Jersey Shore Slugs Its Way to Carpenter Cup Final
PHILADELPHIA - The first Carpenter Cup semifinal Friday at Citizens Bank Park looked early on like it would be another low-scoring, pitcher-friendly game involving the Jersey Shore.
Once the second wave of players entered the game in the fifth inning, however, an full-on slugfest erupted and the Shore squad had enough firepower to advance to the championship game with a 12-7 win over Olympic-Colonial.
The Carpenter Cup final is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday morning back at Citizens Bank Park - the home of the Philadephia Phillies.
Acting Jersey Shore manager Mike Yorke sent his second unit in the game in the top of the fifth inning with the score tied 1-1 and the new blood immediately made an impact. Of the nine players in the lineup, five were from either Toms River North or Toms River South, while two more were from Monmouth Regional.
Toms River North teammates Jared Bellissimo and Craig Larsen drove in four runs apiece, with Bellissimo going 4-for-4 with four runs scored in his five innings in the game. Larsen was 1-for-2 with a bases-loaded walk, a two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
Monmouth Regional teammates Josh Jackson and Justin Scotto combined to go 5-for-6 in innings five through nine, with Jackson going 3-for-3 with two RBI and Scotto finishing 1-for-2 with a run scored, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
In his first at-bat, Jackson clocked a ground-rule double out to dead center field, with the ball hopping up over the fence just to the right of the 401-foot sign. He later plated a run with a sacrifice fly, lined an RBI single into right field, and ripped a single back through the middle for his third hit.
"I like hitting home runs, but seeing the ball bounce over the fence at a Major League park is a good feeling," Jackson said. "I knew I hit it well, but in a Major League stadium, I'm not really expecting it to go out to center field. But I saw the center fielder throw his hands up, so I knew it ended up getting out there pretty deep."
Scotto's lone hit of the game was a double into the right-center gap that set up runners on second and third for Larsen, who came through with a two-run single to cap the scoring in a five-run sixth inning.
Bellissimo and Larsen each drove in one run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth. The Shore took the lead for good on Bellissimo's RBI single in the fifth and Toms River North shortstop Mike Nyisztor was thrown out at home plate trying to score a second run on the play. Larsen later worked a six-pitch walk with the bases loaded to make it 3-1.
After Olympic-Colonial made it 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the fifth, Bellissimo again delivered in the sixth, this time with a two-run single St. John Vianney's Sebi Bellone and Nyisztor. Jackson followed with a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-2 and after Scotto doubled, Larsen hit his two-run single to make it 8-2.
Olympic-Colonial responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth off Red Bank Catholic right-hander Austin Nappi, highlighted by an RBI double by Lenape infielder Jake Topolski and an RBI single by Cherry Hill West infielder Jack Owens.
Toms River South second baseman Matt Shiffer and Nyisztor started the seventh-inning rally with back-to-back one-out singled and both scored on a single to center by Bellissimo, with Nyisztor scoring from first on an error in center field. Jackson then knocked in Bellissimo, who moved to second on the error, with a line-drive single to right to make it 11-6.
Bellissimo and Larsen capped the scoring in the ninth when Bellissimo singled with one out for his fourth hit and came around on Larsen's sacrifice fly.
The Shore broke open the scoring in the top of the first on an RBI single by Jackson Liberty catcher David Melfi that scored Christian Brothers Academy outfielder Nick Hohenstein. Hohenstein reached on a two-out error and moved to second base on a single by Holmdel first baseman Sal Monticciolo.
Toms River South left-hander Justin Fall allowed one run on four hits over the first three innings and Freehold Borough left-hander Dan Chiusano followed with two innings to earn the win. Wall left-hander Trey Dombroski breezed through the seventh inning on eight pitches, Jackson Liberty right-hander Matt Pickus worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless eighth, and Manasquan right-hander Connor Muly allowed an unearned run and struck out two in the ninth.
"It's exciting to get to play one more game here," Jackson said. "I know I'm excited, being a senior. This is a great way to end my high school career."
Jersey Shore 12, Olympic-Colonial 7
|Dan Chiusano (W, 1-0)||2||2||1||1||0||2||28|
|Matt Kennedy (L)||2.1||5||6||6||2||1||44|
|Jersey Shore||Game Stats|
|Jared Bellissimo||4-4, 4 R, 4 RBI|
|Josh Jackson||3-3, 2B, 2 RBI|
|Craig Larsen||1-2, BB, 4 RBI|
|Justin Scotto||1-1, 2B, 2 BB, HBP, R|
|David Melfi||1-1, HBP, RBI, SB|
|Nick Hohenstein||1-2, 2B, R|
|Mike Nyisztor||2-4, 2 R, 2 SB|
|Sebi Bellone||2-3, R|
|Matt Shiffer||1-3, HBP, 2 R, 2 SB|
|Jack Herman||2-3, 2B, RBI|
|Jack Owens||2-2, RBI|
|Jack Topolski||1-2, 2B, R, RBI|
|Teddy Sparks||1-1, HBP, 2 R|
|Lou Priolo||1-2, 2B, RBI|
|Alex Gattinelli||1-2, R, SB|