The Shore Daily, 4/3/15
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A big season-opening win for Shore Regional baseball behind Monmouth University recruit James Kelly, a tremendous performance by Jackson Memorial goalie Dylan Furnback and the resignation of Brick football coach Rob Dahl are the headlines from Thursday.
I'll start with Dahl before I get to the top performers from Thursday's games. After four seasons, he has hung it up for the Green Dragons following a tenure in which he helped put Brick football back on the Shore Conference map. Brick won its first NJSIAA title since 1994 in 2013 under Dahl, beating Colts Neck to capture the Central Jersey Group IV crown. This past fall, they again produced a nine-win season, won their first division title since 2008 in the competitive Class A South, and reached the CJ Group IV semifinals.
Dahl had actually briefly quit in the summer before the 2013 season due to family issues but was convinced to stick with it by administrators, players and parents, and he guided the Green Dragons to a state championship.
He is again leaving to spend more time with his family, and it legitimately is to spend more time with his family, not the usual lip service cliche to cover up something else. He has a situation that he said really needs his attention that he prefers not be made public, which is completely understandable. He leaves with Brick on solid footing, as there is still talent on the Green Dragons despite the graduation of a tremendous senior class. You also only need to see the tweets and comments from his players in the story to know how much he meant to them off the field as well as on it.
As far as potential candidates, Lakewood offensive coordinator Len Zdanowicz, who was a finalist with Dahl the last time the job opened and played for legendary coach Warren Wolf at Brick, is certainly one that jumps out. Donovan Brown, who also played for Wolf, could be another candidate. I would think it will be a Brick graduate given the uproar that happened over the hiring of Pat Dowling from out of the district to succeed the legendary Wolf for two seasons before he was not re-hired in controversial fashion and Dahl got the job.
Now, on to the baseball and lacrosse news from Thursday.
Top 10 Performers
1. James Kelly, Sr., P, Shore Regional
The Monmouth University recruit struck out nine in a 5-4 complete-game win over No. 8 Manasquan in which he did not allow an earned run. Manasquan entered as the slight favorite in Class A Central given the talent it returns, but the defending Group I champions sent a message that they aim to be a factor in the race as well. Kelly also belted a game-tying solo home run off Notre Dame recruit Tommy Sheehan in the win.
2. Dylan Furnback, So., G, Jackson Memorial
The Jaguars' sophomore goalie stood on his head with 19 saves, several of them on point-blank attempts, to help unranked Jackson send No. 9 Red Bank to its second straight loss with a 13-11 nondivisional win.
3. Pete Nielsen, Jr., P, Freehold Township
In his first start of the season, Nielsen shut down No. 10 Middletown South and outdueled Eagles' standout Austin Markmann with a complete-game three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win for the Patriots. After graduating almost their entire lineup from last season's team, Freehold Township is off to a 2-0 start.
4. Ryan Orender, Sr., P, Wall
Orender not only threw a five-hit shutout with two walks and eight strikeouts, he also hit an RBI single in the first inning for the game's lone run in a 1-0 win over Red Bank in Wall's season opener.
5. John Van Schoick, Jr., P, Point Beach
Van Schoick showed some great stamina in his first start of the season by throwing all eight innings of a 2-1 win over Keyport in Class B Central, striking out 13, walking one and allowing four hits in the win, which came on a walk-off infield single by Joe DelGrippo.
6. Donald Zellman, So., P, Lacey
Zellman got a win in his first varsity start and helped the Lions get over the hump in close games as he allowed one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight, to key a 3-1 victory over Brick Memorial in Class A South for his first varsity win. Also, after homering in a season-opening loss to Brick, sophomore Anthony Elefante followed it up with two RBI in the win over the Mustangs.
7. Dylan Jinks, Sr., A, Southern
One of the most prolific scorers in New Jersey, Jinks piled up six goals and four assists in a 14-1 nondivisional win over Holmdel for the No. 1 Rams.
8. Nick Moglia, Sr., 1B, Brick
Moglia, who is headed to Concord University, mashed with a 4-for-4, six-RBI day in a 16-3 win over Southern.
9. Mike Ianelli, Sr., 1B, Red Bank Catholic
The Wagner recruit started the Caseys' season in style with a game-winning two-run double on the road in the eighth inning to give RBC a 4-3 win over Matawan in Class B North.
10. Tyler Ras, Fr., INF/OF, P
In his first high school game, Ras went 2-for-3 with three RBI and also threw two scoreless innings of relief to get the save in a 4-2 win over Freehold Boro to give new Lions coach Justin Nathanson his first career victory.
Other quick baseball notes: Rumson star Morgan Maguire picked up where he left off last season by striking out seven and not allowing an earned run in a complete-game win over Holmdel, and sophomore Josh Jackson had a career day in his first varsity start with three hits, a double and three RBI for Monmouth Regional in a win over Raritan.
Manchester has come out of the gate strong as a darkhorse in Class B South with a 2-0 start following a 9-5 win over defending division champion Jackson Liberty. Sophomore Steve Rodriguez, who was one single shy of the cycle in the season opener, added a two-run double on Thursday. Barnegat bounced back from a season-opening loss thanks to senior John Corbett, who allowed one run in six innings and drove in the go-ahead run in a win over Point Boro.
Finally, Christian Brothers Academy ace Luca Dalatri started his season with 13 K's and improved to 17-2 in his career with a 3-2 win over New Rochelle (N.Y.) down in Florida.
Also in Brick football news, senior linebacker James Juliano, who led the Shore in tackles in earned SSN second-team All-Shore honors, announced Thursday that he is headed to the University of Pennsylvania.
Wall senior linebacker Tim McGevna will continue his career at The College of New Jersey, according to coach Dan Curcione. Neptune senior quarterback Ralph McLean also announced that he will continue his career at Post University.
More on Friday:
- Buena beat Pleasantville 52-3 in a five-inning baseball game yesterday. That is not a typo. That has to be a state record for runs in a game, although it's one Buena probably would rather not have.
- An offensive lineman from Hobart has a shot to be the first Division III player picked in the top 100 of the NFL Draft in 25 years.
- Good story on the last man to beat Floyd Mayweather, way back in the Olympics.
- The first NBA player from India has arrived, and he is approximately the size of the entire country.
- Longtime NBA player Earl Watson is starting his coaching career hoping to make his late brother, who died in a shooting, proud of him.
- Baseball's greatest challenge - convincing people it's cool.
- Gotta educate these young kids on the greatness of Bo Jackson.
On tap for this weekend: Only two baseball games today because of Good Friday/Passover, with action picking up again tomorrow depending on the general sogginess of the fields from this impending weather.
There is a huge game in boys lacrosse on Saturday as No. 1 Southern travels to No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven at 11:30 a.m. for a nondivisional showdown.
I'll end with this Little League kid scoring a run in style with a leap right over the catcher. He has to get free ice cream after the game at a minimum for that one.