Baseball – South NPA Final Pushed to Wednesday, SCT Final On for Tuesday Night in Lakewood
The NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A championship game between Christian Brothers Academy and Bishop Eustace scheduled for Tuesday at Monmouth University has been postponed until Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the same location. With the NJSIAA game off Tuesday's schedule, the Shore Conference Tournament final between Red Bank Catholic and CBA will be played Tuesday, 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.
Tuesday's rainout means that CBA junior ace Luca Dalatri will not be eligble to start and finish both the South Jersey final and the overall Non-Public A Group Final, should CBA defeat Bishop Eustace on Wednesday, unless that game - scheduled for Saturday - were also postponed. NJSIAA rules state that a pitcher must not appear for three calendar days after appearing in a game in which he pitches six or more innings. In the event of a Wednesday start, Dalatri could pitch five innings and come back on Saturday, but he would be limited to five innings in the second game as well.
Monday's SCT rainout does not affect Red Bank Catholic heading into Tuesday night with respect to its starting pitcher, who will be John Poccia . CBA, meanwhile, could stay with projected starter Kenny Campbell, but could now also pitch right-hander Mike Garvey, who threw 105 pitches in 5 1/3 innings in a 14-4 win over Immaculata on Friday and would be on three days of rest. Garvey dealt with elbow problems last year and was shut down for a period of around a week earlier this season due to elbow fatigue, so the CBA might prefer to hold him for a potential state tournament match-up.
The Colts, of course, could also opt to stay with Dalatri on Tuesday and use Garvey for the South Jersey Non-Public A final on Wednesday. That last option would keep open the possiblility of Dalatri making two more seven-inning starts. According to the National Weather Service, there is also a 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday in Toms River, where the NJSIAA Finals are to be held on that morning and in the late afternoon.
One last possibility would be to use Dalatri in relief on Wednesday and give him the ball on Saturday in the event of a CBA win. By rule, a pitcher can throw no more than 10 innings during a four-day period, so a three-inning relief stint would still allow a pitcher to throw a seven inning game three days later.
The postponement Tuesday also opens up the option for Bishop Eustace to start 6-foot-5 senior right-hander Tyler Phillips, who fired a three-hitter against Gloucester Catholic Friday in the sectional semifinals. Bishop Eustace, however, already has senior right-hander and Penn State commit Justin Hagenman ready to pitch and could keep the rotation intact, with Phillips available for relief work or in a potential state final on the weekend.
CBA is three wins away from becoming just the second Shore Conference team to win a regular season division, county tournament, conference tournament and overall state titles in the same season. The 2004 Wall team is the only other Shore team to ever accomplish the feat.