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Rumson-Fair Haven boys lacrosse kept the torch burning for the Shore Conference by advancing to a sectional final, while five baseball teams stayed alive in the state tournament on a rain-soaked day that wiped out most of the schedule on Thursday.

In lacrosse, it was a goal by sophomore midfielder Bryan Hess with only 30 seconds left in regulation that kept the Bulldogs alive with a 6-5 comeback win over Madison that put them in the South Jersey Group I championship game. Hess and junior attackman Griffin Schultz each had a pair of goals, while junior goalie Kyle Knapp made seven saves.

Rumson sophomore midfielder Bryan Hess, pictured earlier this season, scored the game-winning goal with 30 seconds left in regulation to give the Bulldogs a 6-5 win over Madison in the NJSIAA South Group I semifinals. (Photo by Ray Richardson).

Rumson, which is the only Shore Conference team still alive in the postseason, will make the trip up north to face top-seeded New Providence in the championship game on Saturday.


On the baseball side of things, Middletown South and Shore Regional each advanced to the sectional semifinals on Tuesday, while Christian Brothers Academy, Red Bank Catholic and Mater Dei Prep won first-round games in their respective non-public brackets.

Never bet against seniors who don't want their seasons to end like Middletown South's Zac deRocco, who threw six shutout innings and had a pair of hits and a run scored to help the Eagles roll over Hightstown, 9-3, in Central Jersey Group III. Senior Nolan Pereless also had two hits and a pair of runs scored in the win. The Eagles will face the winner of Friday's game between bracket favorite Northern Burlington, the No. 1 seed, and underdog Ocean. The semifinal game will be at Northern Burlington if the Greyhounds win, and the Eagles will host the game on Tuesday if Ocean wins.

Middletown South senior Zac deRocco helped lead the Eagles into the Central Jersey Group III semifinals. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Defending Group I champion Shore Regional has now mercy-ruled two teams in a row to start its title defense, with the latest victim being Bound Brook in a 12-2 win in five innings by the Blue Devils. Junior Devin McLaughlin has been terrific down the stretch, and he belted a three-run homer as part of a career-high five-RBI day to lead the way. Matt McCarthy, Justin Halper and Michael O'Halloran each had two hits to help lead the assault. Next up is a home game on Tuesday against seventh-seeded Florence in the Central Jersey Group I semifinals.

Marlboro nearly pulled the biggest upset of the day with state-ranked Hunterdon Central on the ropes in Central Jersey Group IV, but the Red Devils pulled out a 4-3 win in nine innings. Marlboro has established a strong foundation of winning and producing talent, so the next step is getting over the hump to being a championship team.

In Non-Public South A, CBA rattled off its seventh straight win behind Mike Garvey, who fired a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over Camden Catholic. Junior Luca Dalatri is not only having another huge season on the mound, he also is now a major force at the plate. He had a homer and five RBIs to lead the offense in the win.

I think Garvey is the key if CBA is going to make a serious run at the rare five-title season, after he missed time early in the season with some arm issues. He is talented, and if he can be a strong No. 2 after Dalatri, the Colts have a shot to pull off a feat that's only been done once in the history of the Shore. If they do it, they will undoubtedly finish as the No. 1 team in the state. The Colts will play the winner of Friday's game between state-ranked St. Augustine and Donovan Catholic in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Sophomore Anthony DeRosa continued his hot hitting in RBC's 6-3 win over Union Catholic with a double, triple, run scored and an RBI. The Caseys now have a chance to make a serious statement on Tuesday when they welcome Bishop Eustace for a quarterfinal game in Non-Public South A. Bishop Eustace knocked off defending Non-Public A champion St. John Vianney 6-2 on Thursday and is a Top 15 team in the state. A victory by RBC would show the Caseys are a serious contender to win the bracket.

Mater Dei Prep continued its best season in more than a decade with a 5-4 first-round win over Rutgers Prep in Non-Public South B. Vinny Stanziale got them out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and Nick Roditis pitched two scoreless innings to get the save and lock down the win. Next up is a tough Marist team on the road in the quarterfinals that looks to be the Seraphs' biggest road block to making the final and potentially having a grudge match with Class B Central rival St. Rose.

More on Friday: 

  • St. John Vianney sophomore offensive lineman Micah Clark added yet another offer on Thursday, this one from Kentucky, according to coach Mark Ciccotelli.
  • Jackson Memorial grad Matt Thaiss is leading Virginia in multiple offensive categories as part of a big season, yet got snubbed for All-ACC honors.
  • Ramsey outfielder Ashton Bardzell now has 17 home runs this season, one shy of the single-season state record set by Millville grad Mike Trout, who I haven't heard much about since he graduated.
  • Fifty questions parents should ask any coaches recruiting their child.
  • Why children are abandoning baseball at the youth level.
  • The softball hazing situation at St. Joseph's University gets worse and worse.

On tap for today: Ten Shore Conference baseball teams will be in action today in state playoff games that were postponed from yesterday due to the rain.

The two all-Shore match-ups are Freehold Boro at Manalapan in Central Jersey Group IV, and Manasquan hosting Matawan in Central Jersey Group II. Also, Jackson Memorial coach Frank Malta will be going for his 300th career win when the defending champion Jaguars welcome Hillsborough in Central Jersey Group IV. Toms River North and Toms River South both have home games in their respective South Jersey brackets, while hopefully Barnegat left at 7 this morning to beat the traffic going south for its game against Glassboro in South Jersey Group II.

I'll end with a great video about Batkid, the San Francisco boy battling leukemia who had the city rally around him, and a college football player making a one-handed catch while doing a backflip. Enjoy your holiday weekend.