WALL TWP. – Just 24 hours after beating Shore Conference Class B North division rival Freehold in its last turn-at bat, the Wall baseball team had to do it again on Wednesday, this time in the Monmouth County Tournament first round and without one of its best offensive players.

Junior Ryan Orender capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning with a bases-loaded, two-out single to right field and the top-seeded Crimson Knights survived a seventh-inning rally by No. 16 Freehold and an injury to junior left fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Martinez to beat the Colonials, 6-5.

Ryan Orender (right) and Branden Biegert celebrate after Orender ended Wall's 6-5 win over Freehold with a game-winning single in the seventh.

Wall also beat Freehold on Tuesday, 2-1, by scoring unearned two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning off Wednesday’s losing pitcher, sophomore right-hander Steve Rullo.

“This is an old B North rivalry and they’ve been pretty tough against us over these last few years,” Wall coach Todd Schmitt said. “Coach (Jon) Block runs a real good program over there and every time we play them, we know it will be tough. They’ve got a young team and they had us on the ropes a couple of times, but our guys have been through the battles and they found a way to get it done.”

Junior catcher Dan Wondrack drove in a run with a single during the seventh inning – his third hit and third RBI in the game – and Chris Barcas scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5. After an intentional walk to Jack Gifford loaded the bases, Rullo struck out designated hitter Brendan McGregor on a 3-2 pitch to bring up Orender with two out.

The junior third baseman and No. 8 hitter, who went 2-for-4 Wednesday to raise his season average to .483, roped a 1-0 fastball through the right side on two hops to end the game.

Ryan Orender walk-off single from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

“I had seen him two times before that, and he pitched yesterday so I went up there knowing what to expect,” Orender said. “I went up looking for a fastball and when I got one, I just wanted to put a good swing on it, maybe shoot it to the right side and fortunately, that’s what I was able to do.”

Prior to Orender’s heroics, Martinez suffered a wrist injury that required attention from emergency medical technicians, which delayed the game for 25 minutes in the top of the seventh inning while Martinez awaited the ambulance.

The junior right fielder jammed his left wrist into the ground while diving for a single by Nick LaMorte to lead off the seventh. After missing the diving attempt, Martinez immediately clutched his arm, which had a visible protrusion just below the wrist.

“When Nick took that fall, I never felt so low,” Orender said. “But we got together and decided to channel that emotion toward finishing the game, not giving up on ourselves and finding a way to win it for Nick.”

Once the game resumed, Freehold plated four runs to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead. Starter Bobby Patterson walked designated hitter John Bostic on five pitches after the delay and was pulled in favor of Barcas. The senior starting shortstop pitched seven shutout innings on Saturday in a 15-inning loss to Freehold Township and gave up consecutive run-scoring hits to Alex Mulhern, Chris Cassandra and Zach Mulhern, the latter of whom doubled in a run to make the score 5-3.

Chris Cassandra go-ahead RBI single from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Zach Mulhern RBI 2B from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Barcas helped ignite the rally after giving up the lead after younger brother Brendan Barcas led off the inning with a single. Brendan Barcas replaced Martinez in the batting order and moved to second base when Chris Barcas came in to pitch.

“(Chris Barcas) just has that winning attitude where he thinks, ‘Okay, let’s go get this done,’” Schmitt said. “He just pitched seven innings on Saturday and maybe he wasn’t quite as sharp as he could have been, but he put it behind him and was actually one of the guys that sparked that rally in the last inning.”

Chris Barcas single in the 7th from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Wondrack gave Wall a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth with his second home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left-field fence. Rullo – who took over for freshman left-hander Dan Chiusano to begin the fifth – got the first two outs of the inning and faced Wondrack with a runner on third base. With a 2-1 count on Wall’s best power hitter, Rullo left a curveball up and Wondrak hammered it for a go-ahead home run.

“To be honest, I thought they were going to walk him,” Schmitt said. “There were two outs and I’m sure they didn’t want to put the go-ahead run on, but I know they are pretty familiar with him from travel ball so they know what he’s capable of. He’s been hitting some balls hard right at people and they finally turned into hits today.”

“We were hoping to get him to pop up there,” Block said. “We had some success getting him out in yesterday’s game and when we executed earlier today. Unfortunately he got something to hit and he didn’t miss it.”

Dan Wondrack 2-run HR from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Senior second baseman Branden Biegert followed with a double to the left-center gap and senior center fielder Tim Willey knocked him in with an RBI single to put Wall ahead, 3-1.

Prior to Wall’s three-run fifth, the Crimson Knights had no answer for Chiusano. The freshman southpaw allowed no runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four in his four innings of work. Wall loaded the bases against Chiusano with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth, but the Colonials rookie notched a strikeout, induced a pop-up and coaxed Orender into an inning-ending ground out to Cassandra – another freshman starter – at shortstop.

“That’s been our approach all year with these pitchers,” Block said of the short outing for Chiusano. “These are very young pitchers, and we aren’t ready to ask much more out of them just yet. Today, we threw a freshman and a sophomore and they both battled.”

“We felt like no matter who they put in the game, we were going to get something going,” Orender said. “We just loaded the bases against (Chiusano) in his last inning, so we felt like we were starting to figure him out after two looks at him. And we saw (Rullo) yesterday, so we knew what to expect from him as well.”

Patterson also escaped a difficult situation in the top of the first. Freehold loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Cassandra, Mulhern, and junior Dante Cuzzolino with one out before Patterson got a strikeout and a fielder’s choice ground out to end the threat.

The last two outs of the first began a run of 11 straight batters retired by the senior right-hander. Bostic ended the streak at 11 with a single to lead off the fifth and scored on an RBI triple to deep right-center by senior right fielder Luke Tiefenthaler.

Luke Tiefenthaler RBI 3B in the 5th from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Wall will host the winner of Saturday’s round-of-16 game between No. 8 Christian Brothers Academy and No. 9 St. Rose in the Monmouth County Tournement quarterfinals. The Crimson Knights reached the championship of last year’s tournament before losing to Red Bank Catholic at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.

“After that loss to RBC last year, we said right then and there that we were going to do everything we can to get back next year and win it this time,” Orender said. “Obviously, losing in our first game would have been bad for that goal, so it was good to find a way to get the first one.”

 

Box Score

Wall 6, Freehold 5

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

R

H

E

Freehold (7-6)

0

0

0

0

1

0

4

5

9

0

Wall (10-1)

0

0

0

0

3

0

3

6

12

0

 

Freehold

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Alex Mulhern, 2B

4

1

1

1

0

1

Chris Cassandra, SS

4

0

2

1

0

0

Zach Mulhern, CF

4

0

2

1

0

0

Dante Cuzzolino, 3B

3

0

1

0

0

0

Nick Belka, 1B

4

0

0

0

0

2

Nick LaMorte, C

3

0

1

0

0

0

-- D.Matteo, CR

0

1

0

0

0

0

John Bostic, DH

2

2

1

0

1

0

Tommy Colon, LF

2

0

0

0

0

1

-- Connor Peppard, PH

0

0

0

0

0

0

Luke Tiefenthaler, RF

2

1

1

1

1

1

Totals

28

5

9

4

2

5

2B: Z.Mulhern
3B: Tiefenthaler
SAC: Peppard
GIDP: Belka

Wall

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

Nick Martinez, LF

2

1

0

0

1

0

-- Brendan Barcas, LF-2B

1

1

1

0

0

0

Chris Barcas, SS-P

4

1

1

0

0

1

Dan Wondrack, C

4

2

3

3

0

0

-- Brendan Barcas, CR

0

0

0

0

0

0

Branden Biegert, 2B-SS

3

1

2

0

1

1

Tim Willey, CF

4

0

2

1

0

1

Jack Gifford, 1B

3

0

0

0

1

1

Brendan McGregor, DH

4

0

0

0

0

1

-- Nick Maciejewski, LF

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ryan Orender, 3B

4

0

2

1

0

0

Matt Tancredi, RF

3

0

1

0

0

0

Totals

32

6

12

5

3

5

2B: Biegert
HR: Wondrack (5th inning of Rullo, one on, two out)
IBB: Gifford (by Rullo)

 

Freehold

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Dan Chiusano

4.0

3

0

0

2

4

0

Steve Rullo (L)

2.2

9

6

6

1

1

1

 

Wall

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

Bobby Patterson

6.0

6

3

3

1

4

0

Chris Barcas (W, 2-0)

1.0

3

2

2

1

1

0

 

Patterson pitched to two batters in the sixth
HBP: Cuzzolino (by C. Barcas)
Pitches-Strikes: Chiusano 58-35, Rullo 46-32, Patterson 83-55, C. Barcas 18-11
Groundouts-Flyouts: Chiusano 2-4, Rullo 5-1, Patterson 8-2, C. Barcas 1-0