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TOMS RIVER – In the first tournament game the Manasquan baseball team played this season, the Warriors surrendered four runs in the bottom of the seventh to squander a three-run lead in a Monmouth County Tournament loss to Middletown South.

In this week’s Shore Conference Tournament, Manasquan has turned the tide by using its whole staff while saving its best for last.

Sophomore left-hander Tommy Sheehan followed older brother Jack and Marc Galvan on the mound, tossing a perfect seventh inning to secure a 6-5 upset win over second-seeded Toms River North after the 15th-seeded Warriors scored the winning run on a Mariners' error in the top of the seventh on Friday.

Manasquan celebrates the final out of its 6-5 win over Toms River North in the Shore Conference Tournament on Friday. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Manasquan moves on to the SCT quarterfinals on Wednesday against the winner of Saturday's game between No. 7 Manalapan and No. 23 Shore – the latter of whom Manasquan split the regular-season series in Shore Conference Class A Central play.

“We used all three guys twice this week and it’s worked out well,” Manasquan coach Dennis Vann Pelt said. “They have all thrown the ball well. We’ve got potentially three tournament games next week if we win our state tournament game Monday, and we’re going to have to figure out how to use those guys. It’s a good problem to have. A bad problem is you lose and your season is over.”

The Warriors lost one-run games to Rumson-Fair Haven and Monmouth Regional to close their divisional season, and a win in either game would have given Manasquan a share of the Class A Central title. Manasquan also lost its MCT first-round game to Middletown South in the bottom of the seventh inning after leading by four at one point.

“We have been playing a lot of good teams and playing them tough, but we just haven’t been able to get over the hump in a lot of cases,” senior center fielder Max Hawkins said. “We know we are a good team, and we always knew that at some point, we were going to find a way to win games like this, and once we got a couple under our belt, we would build off it.”

After failing to close out those games in the weeks leading up to the SCT, the Warriors have been quick to turn to both Sheehans in relief. Galvan and the Sheehan brothers all appeared in the same order in a 6-3 opening-round win over Mater Dei Prep on Wednesday, and the younger Sheehan at the end was too much for Toms River North to overcome on Friday. Tommy Sheehan struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh and also plated the tying run in the top of the sixth inning with an RBI ground out to second with the bases loaded.

“Coach (Van Pelt) told me I was probably going to come in late if we had a lead or the game was close,” said Tommy Sheehan, who – along with his older brother – is committed to the University of Notre Dame. “I started getting loose in the sixth inning before we tied it and after we took the lead, I went back and really started trying to get loose and ready to go in.”

Jack Sheehan earned the win in relief despite serving up the go-ahead solo home run to Mike Tiplady on the first batter he faced in the fifth inning, putting Toms River North ahead 5-4. After Tiplady's home run, Sheehan did not allow a run over the remaining two innings of work, then started the winning rally in the seventh with a single through the left side with two out. Adam Schreck's pop-up was then mishandled down the right field line, and with two out, Sheehan was moving on contact and easily scored from first.

“I saw the ball go up and it looked like it was a tough play for both guys (right fielder David Cordoma and second baseman Brandon Fischer),” Tommy Sheehan said. “We won a game earlier in the year on a missed pop-up so we don’t take anything for granted in that situation. Once it dropped, with two out, Jack was definitely going to score. That’s when I really started to get ready to come in.”

Hawkins finished 2-for-2 with an RBI double, two runs scored and two intentional walks. His run-scoring, line-drive double off the left-field fence in the top of the second not only plated the tying run, but also enabled him to score on the play when the throw from the outfield to third base went out of play.

“I was hoping the ball would carry enough to get out or at least get over the left fielder’s head,” Hawkins said. “I got to second and saw the ball heading toward third and once it got away I took off and they eventually gave me home. I got a Little League home run out of it, so I’ll take it.”

Jack Sheehan and Matt Edwards were each 2-for-3, with Edwards knocking in a run with an RBI single in the first inning. Galvan started the game on the mound and struck out five over the first four innings before giving way to Jack Sheehan, who improved to 6-1 with his two innings of work.

Joe Rose also hit a two-run home run for Toms River North to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead in the first. Toms River North had two leads in the game and both came on go-ahead homers by Rose and Tiplady. Rose finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored and Tiplady was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Ryan Larsen struck out seven and allowed four earned runs over six innings before Brett Hyers surrendered the unearned run in the seventh to take the loss in relief – his first defeat of the season.

The unusual manner in which the winning run scored was just another in a series of bizarre finishes for the Warriors this season. The is the second game Manasquan has won thanks to a misplayed pop fly, and the Warriors also won a game on a fielder’s interference play that allowed the winning run to score,, as well as ending a win with a triple play in a two-run game.

Manasquan entered Friday just one game above the .500 mark, but has played a competitive schedule outside of its Class A Central slate. The Warriors lost to top-seeded Colts Neck on Monday, 13-0, and fifth-seeded Wall, 5-3, on Thursday in regular-season games before beating the Mariners on Friday.

“When we were struggling early in the year, I told our guys to think of Shore last year, think of Jackson Memorial last year and think of St. John Vianney last year,” Van Pelt said. “Those teams weren’t on the radar going into the state tournament, but they got hot at the right time and they all won state titles. You want to play your best baseball at this time of the year, and I think our guys see that vision and are going after it.”

 

Box Score

Manasquan 6, Toms River North 5

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

E

Manasquan (11-9)

1

2

0

1

0

1

1

6

8

1

Toms River North (15-5)

2

0

1

1

1

0

0

5

8

3

 

Manasquan

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Max Hawkins, CF-1B

2

2

2

1

2

0

Tommy Sheehan, 1B-P

4

0

0

1

0

1

Matt Edwards, SS

3

0

2

1

1

1

Tyler Bradley, C

4

0

1

0

0

1

Tanner Cowley, RF

4

0

0

0

0

1

Ty Hawkins, DH

3

1

0

0

1

1

--Marc Galvan, P

0

0

0

0

0

0

--John Driscoll, LF-CF

0

0

0

0

0

0

Jack Sheehan, 3B-P

3

2

2

0

0

1

Adam Schreck, LF-3B

3

1

0

0

0

0

--Jamie Damaso, PR

0

0

0

0

0

0

Matt Paturzo, 2B

3

0

1

0

0

1

Totals

29

6

8

3

4

7

2B: M. Hawkins
IBB: M. Hawkins (by Larsen), M. Hawkins (by Larsen), Edwards (by Larsen)
SAC: J. Sheehan, Paturzo
SB: M. Hawkins

 

Toms River North

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Joe Venditto, LF

3

1

0

0

1

1

Brandon Fischer, 2B

4

1

1

0

0

0

Joe Rose, SS

3

2

2

2

1

0

Ryan Larsen, P

2

0

0

0

1

2

--Eric Schlessinger, CR

0

0

0

0

0

0

--Brett Hyers, P

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mike Tiplady, 1B

4

1

2

2

0

0

Jeff Ciervo, DH

4

0

0

0

0

3

--Craig Larsen, 3B

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kevin Blum, CF

4

0

1

0

0

1

Owen Sulfrain, C

4

0

1

0

0

1

--Alex Klalo, CR

0

0

0

0

0

0

David Cordoma, RF

2

0

1

0

1

1

Totals

30

5

8

4

4

9

HR: Rose (1st inning, one on, one out), Tiplady (5th inning, none on, none out)
IBB: Rose (by Galvan)

Manasquan

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Marc Galvan

4

5

4

3

3

5

1

Jack Sheehan (W, 6-1)

2

3

1

1

1

2

1

Tommy Sheehan (S)

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

 

Toms River North

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Ryan Larsen

6

7

5

4

4

7

0

Brett Hyers (L, 4-1)

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

 

HBP: Schreck (by Larsen), Larsen (by Galvan)
Pitches-Strikes: Galvan 88-56, J. Sheehan 35-19, T. Sheehan 13-9, Larsen 95-60, Hyers 15-12
Groundouts-Flyouts: Galvan 4-3, J. Sheehan 2-0, T. Sheehan 1-0, Larsen 6-5, Hyers 1-1