The Shore Daily, 4/23/15
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A strong win in the rain for an up-and-coming Manasquan team during a full slate of lacrosse in the Shore and an eye-opening baseball game between No. 1 Toms River North and Lacey highlighted Wednesday's action.
Lacey has had some hard-luck losses between this season and last year, but the Lions took the toughest one of them all on Tuesday. Sophomore Anthony Elefante threw a no-hitter, striking out six, walking five and hitting a batter, against the best team in the Shore, yet it was Toms River North that came away with a 2-0 win thanks to its own standout, senior Brett Hyers. He pitched a four-hit shutout of his own, striking out five and walking four, to keep the Mariners unbeaten against Shore Conference competition.
Besides showing that Toms River North is capable of pulling out any type of game from a slugfest to being no-hit, it also showed that the sophomore class at Lacey is really one to watch in coming years. Elefante is one of numerous sophomores who have already made an impact, so the Lions could be on the cusp of something special in the next two years.
Now, on to the Top 10 performers from Wednesday's action, in no particular order.
Erik Rant, Jr., Midfielder, Ocean
Rant helped the Spartans bounce back from a loss to Rumson and also hit a milestone as he had a game-high six goals, including the 100th of his career, in a 16-6 win over Red Bank.
Anthony Elefante, So., P, Lacey
Even though it was a tough 2-0 loss, Elefante still put his name in the Lacey record books with a seven-inning no-hitter against No. 1 Toms River North.
Nolan Pereless, Sr., OF, Middletown South
Also a football standout, Pereless has been a steady performer for the Eagles, and he added a three-run homer on Wednesday in an 8-1 win over Freehold Township to back up a strong pitching performance by Ian Scheuer.
Brett Hyers, Sr., P, Toms River North
The Mariners got no-hit by Lacey's Anthony Elefante, yet Hyers made sure that still wasn't enough for the Lions as he pitched a four-hit shutout of his own in a 2-0 victory.
Tom Pollock, So., G, Manasquan
The Warriors' goalie registered 14 saves to help Manasquan slow down a potent Barnegat team with a big 7-4 win in a Top 10 showdown that put the Warriors one step closer to the Class B South title.
Troy Wolf, Sr., A, Jackson Memorial
Wolf exploded for four goals and seven assists to help the Jaguars roll over a 7-win Brick team with a 14-5 win in Class A South.
Michael McIntyre, Fr., A, Wall
McIntyre had a game-high four goals in a 10-7 win over St. Rose to help set up a big showdown with rival Manasquan on Saturday that has Class B South title implications.
Nick Casner, So., A, CBA
The Colts' star had a game-high four goals along with two assists to power an 11-3 win over Colts Neck in Class A North.
Justin Russo, Sr., A, Middletown North
Russo helped the Lions win the Battle of Middletown with a hat trick that helped keep them in the game until senior midfielder Jordan Robinson scored the game-winner in overtime in a 9-8 thriller over cross-town rival Middletown South.
Matt Frost, Sr., A, St. Rose
Frost became St. Rose's all-time leading scorer in a 10-7 loss to Wall. He had two goals and two assists to give him 176 career points.
A Manasquan team featuring a group of sophomores who make up almost the entire starting lineup is one that looks like it will be a force in the Shore in the coming years. The No. 5 Warriors picked up a 7-4 win over No. 9 Barnegat on Wednesday to set up a showdown with rival Wall on Saturday that looks to go a long way toward deciding the Class B South title.
Manasquan, which also pushed in a one-goal loss earlier this season, has young players making an impact all over the field. Sophomore goalie Tom Pollock had 14 saves in Wednesday's win, sophomores Pat Felstedt, John Moran and Jarrett Birch combined for three goals and three assists, attackman Joe Tonkovich had two goals, and Chip Sarnasi, Kyle LeBlanc and Edmund Mallett are all sophomores who were crucial in the defensive effort. The way things look right now, Manasquan could potentially see CBA again in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals in the 4-5 game if the seeding shakes out that way.
Also, congrats to Howell senior attackman Mark Buannic, who scored his 100th career goal in a rout of Neptune on Wednesday.
Two more football commitments to report.
More on Thursday:
- Quenton Nelson (Red Bank Catholic) is making a strong push to be a starter on Notre Dame's offensive line. Best anecdote is that last year in their bowl game, Notre Dame sent him to be its representative in a wing-eating contest against LSU players, and he won.
- Sizing up how former Southern star Mike Gesicki fits into Penn State's offense at tight end heading into his second season.
- From a player soliciting a prostitute to accusations of not enough food to a joke of an academic program, Coastal Academy in Belmar, which has produced several Division I basketball talents, doesn't come off too well in this story.
- The goalie for Seneca's lacrosse team in South Jersey was still recovering from Hodgkin's lymphoma when the season started but played through it.
- A five-year-old kid with a prosthetic hand made by a 3-D printer threw out the first pitch at a minor-league baseball game in a heartwarming moment.
- Great story on Baltimore's Mitch Harris, who is believed to be only the second player from Navy to reach the major leagues and the first since 1921.
- An Oklahoma State pitcher has been sidelined for several weeks after suffering a ruptured esophagus while eating a piece of steak.
- Stephen Vogt on the A's didn't make the majors until he was 29 but has already become a fan favorite in Oakland.
- NFL Draft prospect Danny Shelton from Washington has been through witnessing the violent death of his brother and more to become a likely first-rounder.
- The man who broke the music business.
On tap for today: After only three games being played because of the rain yesterday, it's back to a full baseball schedule today, including a pair of Monmouth County Tournament games. Another game to watch is Jackson Memorial at No. 1 Toms River North in Class A South. If the Mariners can beat the Jaguars again, that's a huge step toward the division title.
I'll end with former Toms River South star Kyle Perry going full extension in right field for a great catch for Monmouth University, and the terrifying Subway sandwich that looks like Marcus Mariota and will kill you and everyone you care about.