Baseball: St. John Vianney Pulls Out Extra-Inning Win over Middletown North in MCT
By Corey Romanetz - Shore Sports Network contributor
MIDDLETOWN - The combined pitching of junior Joey Raia and senior John Michael Broderick helped St. John Vianney outlast Middletown North in a pitchers' duel with a 2-1 win in eight innings on Saturday to reach the Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinals.
Raia and Broderick combined to allow seven hits, striking out six, and only allowing one walk for the ninth-seeded Lancers (8-2), who will now face 16th-seeded Middletown South in the quarterfinals at home on May 2. Raia went five innings while Broderick closed the door in the final three innings to get the win.
In his second start of the season, Raia kept the Lancers right in it until they got on the scoreboard in the sixth.
“I live for the pressure,'' Raia said. "I do what I can for my team.”
“I wanted to see them against a good quality team,'' Lancer coach Mike Morgan said about going deeper into his pitching rotation. “Down the road we are going to be playing teams as good as this team, and we are going need all of our pitchers ready.”
St. John Vianney broke a scoreless tie in the sixth when junior catcher Ciaran Devenney scored on a wild pitch by Hunter Rinn to give the Lancers a 1-0 lead. Devenney led off the inning with a double down the right field line and then stole third prior to the wild pitch.
In the bottom of the seventh, eighth-seeded Middletown North (4-7) rallied back and tied the game on a two-out single to left center by No. 9 hitter Phil Pecherski. The Lions had struggled to get runners into scoring position through the first six innings, not having a runner reach any farther than second base. Freshman Tyler Ras led off the seventh by lining a single to left field, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Walter Schopf. A hit-by-pitch and a strikeout brought up Pecherski, who came through with the game-tying hit.
The Lions had a chance to win the game with the top of the order coming up and a runner on second, but Broderick came out with a strikeout to send the game into extra innings.
In top of the eighth, senior outfielder Nick Gugliara led off with a single to left and advanced to second on defensive obstruction. Gugliara then moved to third on a passed ball, setting up junior Victor Jamandron, who brought home what proved to be the winning run with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field for a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Middletown North threatened with a runner on second, but Broderick induced a grounder to third to seal the win for the Lancers.
Middletown North starting pitcher TJ Vivian had a quality outing in a no-decision with five strong innings, allowing one run on five hits, striking out five, and walking three.