Monmouth County Tournament Bracket

RUMSON – Freehold Township catcher Joe Silvestrone admitted to struggling at the plate over the last week prior to his team’s Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinal game at fifth-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven, but his team has managed to get by without his best at-bats during the latter part of its 10-1 stretch.

Friday against Bulldogs, the Patriots did need their junior backstop to come through, and with the Patriots running out of chances, Silvestrone delivered.

Silvestrone broke a scoreless tie with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the fifth inning and capped the scoring with a two-run home run in the seventh to finish off a four-RBI game in the Patriots' 7-0 win over Rumson.

Freehold Township junior catcher Joe Silvestrone homered and drove in four runs Friday against Rumson-Fair Haven in the Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinals.

The No. 13 Patriots will play No. 8 Christian Brothers Academy in Monday’s semifinal at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.

“The good thing about our team is we’ve had a lot of different guys step up and be the hero every game,” Silvestrone said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit at the plate lately, but everyone else has been hitting for the most part, so it hasn’t hurt us. Today the team needed me to come through, and I’m glad I was able to.”

Silverstrone’s breakout at the plate backed up six shutout innings by senior right-hander Joe Ellerman, who allowed only two hits and four walks while striking out eight. Ellerman also helped his cause by starting Freehold Township’s fifth-inning rally with a two-out single to right field.

“I’ve been taking a right-field approach lately and in that situation, I really just wanted to try to serve the ball into right and hopefully get a hit out of it,” Ellerman said. “The guys at the top of our lineup have really been swinging the bats well, and I just wanted to give them a chance to get something going.”

On the mound, Ellerman allowed just two unintentional walks and two singles, one of which was aided by a tricky hop around the first-base bag.

“Ellerman is a very good high school pitcher,” Freehold Township coach Todd Smith said. “If you just see him once, the stuff won’t blow you away, but when you see him a few times, you realize that he’s a guy who hits spots, controls the zone and changes speeds, and those are the elements you need to get people out at this level.”

“Our whole staff has been really good lately,” Ellerman said. “Joe Decelie has been throwing the ball really well, and Chris Talbott has been unreal lately. Those guys probably deserve more credit for the run we’re on, and I’ve just been trying to follow them up with quality starts to give our team a chance.”

Senior Joe Ellerman pitched six innings of shutout ball in Freehold Township's 7-0 win over Rumson-Fair Haven Friday in the Monmouth County Tournament.

After Ellerman singled to end a run by Rumson starter Shane McCarthy in which the senior right-hander allowed just one baserunner to reach – on an error – over a stretch of 11 batters, center fielder Steve Derby roped a single into left field to set up runners at first and second with two out for third baseman Chris Talbott, who drew a walk to load the bases.

Silvestrone entered his bases-loaded at-bat in the fifth 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against McCarthy, the first of which came with runners on second and third with none out in the first inning. McCarthy got ahead of Silvestrone in the count, 1-2, and on a 2-2 offering, he left a curveball up in the zone that Silvestrone hammered into left-centerfield for a single.

“My main problem is I sometimes have trouble identifying the pitches I want to hit and that’s what happened the first two times up,” Silvestrone said. “I swung at some bad pitched early in the count and got behind. I was able to lay off those pitches later and when I got one to hit, I finally hit it.”

A passed ball and three wild pitches later, Talbott and Silvestrone had both scored to make it 4-0. Derby added an RBI single in the seventh and scored on Silvestrone’s home run, a rocket well over the 352-foot sign on the left-center field fence on a 2-1 fastball from McCarthy.

Freehold Township’s top three hitters in the order – Derby, Talbott and Silvestrone – combined to go 6-for-11 with a double, a home run, five runs scored and five RBI. Derby finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, Talbott was 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, and Silvestrone went 2-for-4 with the homer and four RBI.

Silvestrone’s first strikeout of the game in the top of the first was the beginning of a squandered run-scoring opportunity for the Patriots. Derby singled to lead off the game and Talbott doubled off the right-field fence to place runners on second and third with none out. After Silvestrone’s strikeout, Rumson intentionally walked Patriots first baseman Nick Cardace. Left fielder Kenny Carrier ripped a line drive back through the box, only to have McCarthy stop it with his glove and throw to the plate for a force out. McCarthy struck out Mike Alexander to end the threat.

McCarthy struck out 10 in a complete-game loss, punching out six over the first three innings after allowing the first two batters of the game to reach.

Freehold Township now turns its attention to CBA on Monday night, when the Patriots will likely face Colts sophomore ace Luca Dalatri, who is 6-0 with a 0.52 earned-run average and 56 strikeouts against just five walks in 40 innings this season. The two Shore Conference Class A North rivals split the regular-season series, with CBA winning the game started by Dalatri, 4-1, on April 28.

“We didn’t have an answer for him the last time, so we’re going to have to figure something out,” Smith said. “The bottom line is, we’re going to have to beat a very good pitcher and we’re going to do our best to figure out a plan to do it.”

Independent of Monday’s result, Freehold Township also figures to be a favorite for the No. 1 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament, which will also be seeded on Monday night with Sunday being the cutoff.

“Those are just numbers and they’re really not important in the big picture,” Ellerman said. “We’re just focused on playing good baseball and winning as many games as we can. If we get the recognition, that’s great, but we’re just worried about winning the next game.”

 

Box Score

Freehold Twp. 7, Rumson-Fair Haven 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

E

Freehold Twp. (14-4)

0

0

0

0

4

0

3

7

7

0

Rumson-Fair Haven (10-7)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

 

Freehold Twp.

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Steve Derby, CF

4

2

3

1

0

0

Chris Talbott, 3B

3

1

1

0

1

2

Joe Silvestrone, C

4

2

2

4

0

2

Nick Cardace, 1B

2

0

0

0

2

0

Kenny Carrier, LF

2

0

0

0

0

1

-- Kyle Fenton, PH

1

0

1

0

0

0

Mike Alexander, SS

4

0

0

0

0

3

Chris Rose, DH

3

0

0

0

0

1

-- Rob Eriksen, 2B

0

0

0

0

0

0

Julius Saporito, RF

3

0

0

0

0

1

Joe Ellerman, P

2

1

1

0

0

0

-- Sam Goldsmith, PH

1

1

0

0

0

0

-- Jose Diaz, P

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

29

7

8

5

3

10

2B: Talbott
HR: Silvestrone (7th inning, 1 on, 1 out)
IBB: Cardace

Rumson-Fair Haven

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Billy Lyons, CF

3

0

1

0

0

0

Chase Caruso, 2B

2

0

0

0

1

1

Morgan Maguire, 1B

2

0

0

0

1

1

-- Alex Riguardi, 1B

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thomas Culligan, 2B

3

0

0

0

0

1

Max Goione, SS

2

0

0

0

1

1

Kenny Farrari, RF

2

0

0

0

0

2

-- Colin Heath, PH

1

0

0

0

0

1

Chris Jewitt, DH

2

0

1

0

1

1

Jake D'Amelio, C

3

0

0

0

0

2

Shane McCabe, LF

3

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

23

0

2

0

4

10

IBB: Maguire, Jewitt
SB: Goione

Freehold Twp

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Joe Ellerman, W (4-1)

6.0

2

0

0

4

8

0

Jose Diaz

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

 

Rumson-Fair Haven

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Shane McCarthy, L (2-3)

7.0

8

7

6

3

10

1

 

Pitches-Strikes: Ellerman 86-64, Diaz 15-9, McCarthy 127-85
Groundouts-Flyouts: Ellerman 5-3, Diaz 0-0, McCarthy 4-4