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A great day for Freehold Township in boys lacrosse and baseball plus the release of the Ocean County Baseball Tournament bracket highlighted yesterday's action.

Leading the way was the Patriots' lacrosse team with a huge 9-2 win over No. 3 Howell in Class A North. That clapping sound you heard was from Christian Brothers Academy, which will now most likely share the division title with the Patriots and Rebels in a tri-championship. CBA beat Freehold Township, which just beat Howell, which beat CBA for the first time in history earlier in the season.

Freehold Township and Matt Schroepfer picked up a big 9-2 win over Howell with a stellar defensive effort (Photo by Ray Richardson).

Freehold Township rattled off nine unanswered goals after being down 2-0, led by a hat trick by senior Brandon Nunez. Senior Mike O'Brien and goalie Matt Schroepfer led a stellar defensive effort. The win now gives the Shore Conference Tournament seeding committee a solid headache because you have the triangle between the three A North teams, plus CBA has a win over Manasquan, and Freehold Township has a loss to St. John Vianney from the season opener. Good luck figuring things out after Southern at No. 1 and four-time defending champion Rumson-Fair Haven at No. 2.

Speaking of Rumson, the Bulldogs looked impressive in rolling over No. 7 Red Bank Catholic, 9-1, to all but officially wrap up the Class B North title. SSN student correspondent Eric Black has the story on that.

Now, on to the Top 10 performers from a busy day of action on Wednesday.

Kyle Fenton, Sr., P, Freehold Township

(Photo by Ray Richardson)

The senior right-hander has been a regular on this list lately, which is why it makes sense that his scoreless streak is now up to 20 straight innings after a 6-0 win in the Monmouth County Tournament over Ocean. Fenton tossed his second straight complete-game shutout in the tournament, striking out seven, walking none, and only allowing two singles to one hitter.

Conor Deverin, So., G, Rumson-FH

Deverin had nine saves as part of an outstanding defensive effort by the Bulldogs, who shut down a potent RBC offense in a 9-1 win that put them one step closer to the Class B North title.

Mike O'Brien, Sr., D, Freehold Township

O'Brien was instrumental in the Patriots' impressive 9-2 win over Howell, holding Rebels leading scorer Mark Buannic to one goal. After allowing two goals in the first five minutes, Freehold Township held Howell scoreless the rest of the way.

Corey Cathey, Sr., OF, Brick Memorial

Cathey hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give Brick Memorial a 5-4 win over Toms River East in Class A South. He finished 2-for-3 in the win.

Sal Swain, Sr., UT, Asbury Park

The Blue Bishops exploded offensively to get their first win of the season, 17-6 over Henry Hudson, as Swain finished 2-for-4 with a home run, four runs scored and two RBI to help lead the way.

Bryan Flannigan, Jr., A, Middletown North

In their first year of existence as a varsity program, the Lions have already qualified for their first Shore Conference Tournament thanks to an 11-4 win over Marlboro in which Flannigan scored a game-high four goals.

Ryan Fanner, Sr., OF, Mater Dei Prep

Fanner went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI to give the Seraphs a 7-0 lead on their way to an important 7-3 win over Point Beach in Class B Central that kept them in a tie for first with St. Rose.

Joey Appio, Jr., A, Ocean

Appio stuffed the stat sheet with five goals and four assists to lead the way in a 14-2 win over Shore Regional that improved the Spartans to 8-1.

Brandon Janofsky, Sr., INF, Jackson Memorial

(Photo by Bill Normile).

Janofsky slugged two home runs and finished with three runs scored and three RBI in a 15-0 rout of Lacey by the red-hot Jaguars.

Mike McIntyre, Fr., A, Wall

McIntyre erupted for a career-high eight goals to go with one assist in a 22-10 nondivisional win over Donovan Catholic.

Howard Taylor, Sr., P, Jackson Liberty

The senior standout helped the Lions strengthen their grip on first place in Class B South with their second win in two days over second-place Donovan Catholic. Taylor threw a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 win, striking out eight and walking two.

BASEBALL

The Ocean County Tournament was seeded on Wednesday night, and it's no surprise that Toms River North and Jackson Memorial are the top two seeds. The real question to me is whether anyone can break up the top four group of the Mariners, Jaguars, Toms River South and Jackson Liberty to reach the semifinals. Much of it depends on the team with the deepest pitching given that there are tournament games on back-to-back days.

The tournament gets in full swing this weekend, with the Round of 16 on Saturday and then the quarterfinals on Sunday. Central, the No. 11 seed, is the defending champion after beating Class B South rival Barnegat, 6-0, in last year's final to win its first OCT in 28 years.

Most of the intrigue from Wednesday's action was in Class B Central, where Mater Dei Prep had a good news-bad news kind of day. The Seraphs picked up a big 7-3 win over Point Beach to stay on course for a showdown with St. Rose for the division title, but they also lost one of their best players for the rest of the season. Junior Joe Ruth, a standout on the mound and at the plate, is out for the season with a torn tendon in his thumb, Mater Dei coach Pat Riddell told SSN's Matt Manley.

Also in the division, Ranney has won two straight after surprising Keyport, 4-3, behind a complete game from John Mejia, who also had a hit and a run scored. Asbury Park also broke into the win column for the first time this season with one of its biggest offensive explosions in recent memory, beating Henry Hudson 17-6 in six innings behind Sal Swain and Keshaun Samuels. A mercy rule win by Asbury Park over a Shore Conference opponent has been a rare occurrence, so it was a day to savor for the Blue Bishops.

FOOTBALL 

The annual Shore Legends Football Clinic is coming up. Here's all the information for coaches who are interested, courtesy of clinic director Steve Antonucci, the head coach at Middletown South, where the clinic will be held.

 

 

More on Thursday: 

  • Miami football coach Al Golden, a Red Bank Catholic grad, offered scholarships to three eighth-graders this week.
  • Middletown South softball coach Tom Erbig is going for career win No. 700 against Middletown North this afternoon.
  • Spoke with Giants punter Steve Weatherford about the great thing he's doing for high school seniors who are promoting the anti-bullying cause.
  • After serving 17 years in the Navy, a military vet made his Division I pitching debut for Jacksonville University at 34 years old.
  • Buena and Pleasantville baseball play for the second time this season after the infamous 52-3 win by Buena in their first game.
  • Interesting look back at the 1990 NFL Draft, which included Jets Mt. Bustmore face Blair Thomas being picked No. 2 overall.
  • The baseball coaches at Columbia up in Essex County have been accused of bullying and homophobic slurs, but the district administrators say they have found no wrongdoing.
  • Empirical evidence that NFL mock drafts are an utter waste of time.
  • The guy behind the questionable Houston Rockets tweet from the team account got fired.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham will either be a steal in the NFL Draft, Randy Moss-style, or the "you drafted that knucklehead, what did you think was going to happen?" bust.
  • A funny and interesting look at MMA for kids.

On tap for today: There's only one lacrosse game today, so baseball dominates the action, with St. Rose taking on Raritan in the Monmouth County Tournament, No. 5 Marlboro at red-hot Manalapan, and Monmouth at Shore Regional in a key Class A Central game as the headliners.

I'll end with Freehold Township's Joe Silvestrone slugging a triple against Ocean in the MCT, one of the great YouTube videos of all time in honor of tonight's NFL Draft and the Jets', uh, checkered drafting history in it, and an Orioles player pretending to sign fake autographs at the game with no fans against the White Sox yesterday. My only quibble with the Jets video is that it needs to be updated. We need Dewayne Robertson, Vernon Gholston, Mark Sanchez and Kyle Wilson all added to the montage. Just the memory of Robertson makes me not want any part of Bud Dupree from Kentucky tonight.