The Shore Daily, 5/5/15
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Two division races got much more interesting heading into the final days of the regular season, while a big win by Wall clinched no worse than a tie for a division title for Colts Neck to highlight Monday's baseball action.
First, let's get to Monday's Top 10 performers
Johnny Zega, Jr., P, Middletown South
Zega continued his outstanding season by going 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI as well as allowing two runs on three hits in five innings to power a 9-5 win over CBA that pulled the Eagles even with the Colts for first place in Class A North with two divisional games to go while also giving them their 12th straight win.
Seamus Brazill, Sr., P, Barnegat
The Hofstra recruit kept the Bengals' Class B South title hopes alive with a complete-game five-hitter in a 6-1 win over Jackson Liberty that put Barnegat one game behind the Lions for first place. He struck out six and walked three while also hitting a double at the plate. The win sets up a huge game between the Lions and Bengals on Thursday.
Morgan Maguire, Sr., P, Rumson-FH
The Old Dominion recruit shut down Monmouth with a complete-game four-hitter in a 7-1 win, striking out 11. Maguire also had a double and two RBI in the win.
Brendan Barcas, Sr., OF, Wall
Barcas went 2-for-4 with a key RBI single in a four-run fifth inning that helped the Crimson Knights rally to upset Red Bank Catholic, 8-5, in Class B North for Wall's 10th straight win.
Jake Sadowitz, Jr., 1B/P, Manalapan
The University of Pennsylvania recruit helped the Braves stay hot as he had a home run and two RBI and also came on in relief for a two-out save in a 5-3 win over Freehold Boro that marked Manalapan's sixth straight victory and its 10th in 11 games.
Anthony Bartolomei, Sr., P, Ocean
Bartolomei went 4-for-4 with three doubles, four runs scored and three RBI to lead a 16-5 win over Matawan in Class B North. He also struck out five and allowed one earned run in five innings to get the win on the mound.
Mickey Holland, So., M, Brick
Holland finished with a hat trick in a 12-7 win over Middletown North in a play-in game for the Shore Conference Tournament. Brick will travel to top-seeded Southern on Tuesday in the SCT.
Connor Boyle, Sr., 2B, Howell
Boyle had himself a day at the plate in a 9-5 win over Marlboro, finishing 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI for a big Class A North win that kept the Rebels in striking distance of a division title.
Mike Pirrotta, So., P, Freehold Township
Yet another talented sophomore arm for the Patriots along with Ralph Gambino, Pirrotta threw a two-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over Middletown North, getting some help from another big game by standout catcher Joe Silvestrone, who had three hits and his Shore Conference-leading seventh home run of the season.
James Kelly, Sr., 3B, Shore Regional
The Monmouth University recruit went 4-for-4 with a double, triple, a run scored and an RBI in a 5-4 win over Holmdel in Class A Central.
With Middletown South's offense ratcheting up a notch to go with its deep starting pitching, the Eagles are playing as well as any team in the Shore Conference. They knocked off Christian Brothers Academy 9-5 to pull into a tie with the Colts for first place in Class A North, rattling off their 12th straight victory. Nolan Pereless, Johnny Zega, Austin Markmann and Zac deRocco have led a team that is already in the semifinals of the Monmouth County Tournament and looks like a serious threat in the upcoming Shore Conference and state tournaments.
Middletown South's last two division games are tomorrow against Freehold Boro and Friday against Howell. If they win them both, they are guaranteed no worse than a tie for the title. CBA, meanwhile, has Howell tomorrow and then has to face a Manalapan team that has won 10 of its last 11 games after beating Freehold Boro on Monday. The Colts also earn no worse than a tie for the overall title by winning both games and could claim it outright if Middletown South falters, and the same goes the other way for the Eagles.
Also, Manalapan and Howell have something to play for because they are only a game behind CBA and Middletown South in the race, so upset wins could allow them to claim a share of the title or potentially an outright crown depending on how things shake out.
In Class B North, Wall's 8-5 win over Red Bank Catholic yesterday was certainly met with some cheers in Colts Neck, as it clinched no worse than a tie for the division title by the Cougars. Colts Neck now has to face that same streaking Wall squad, which has won 10 straight, on Wednesday, and a win there would give the Cougars the outright title. RBC still has a chance to tie Colts Neck for the overall title if the Cougars lose to Wall and then RBC beats Colts Neck on Friday.
In Class B South, Barnegat's 6-1 win over Jackson Liberty behind Seamus Brazill yesterday means another meeting between the two teams on Thursday becomes huge. Jackson Liberty can either clinch no worse than a tie for the title with a win, or Barnegat can tie the Lions with one division game remaining. So either way, that game on Thursday will influence who wins the crown. It also could potentially be a great pitching match-up between Barnegat's John Corbett and Liberty's Howard Taylor.
The Shore Conference Tournament gets in full swing today with the first-round games. Bob Badders has you covered with a full preview of the tournament, where Rumson-Fair Haven will try to win an unprecedented fifth straight title, while top-seeded Southern is gunning to become the first Ocean County team to ever win the SCT.
The offers keep rolling in for the St. John Vianney tandem of sophomore offensive lineman Micah Clark and junior quarterback Anthony Brown. Clark, who could wind up being the No. 1 overall recruit in the state for the Class of 2017 regardless of position, reeled in offers from Miami and Michigan State. Brown added an offer from Virginia Tech.
Lakewood linebacker Amir Tyler, another top prospect from the junior class, recently added an offer from North Carolina to ones from Pittsburgh, Army and Temple, the last of which is the destination of Piners senior star Chapelle Cook.
More on Tuesday:
- Felician College freshman infielder Bruce Strickland (Raritan) has been named the Central Atlantic College Conference Rookie of the Year.
- Alvernia's Ben Sawyer (CBA) has been named the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year.
- A high school tennis player in Colorado has made a remarkable recovery from multiple brain tumors that affected her mobility.
- Big thanks to the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for the award for a story I did last year for SSN.
- A girl who plays linebacker for her high school team in Colorado became the first female to participate in a Rivals combine.
- Ramsey's Ashton Bardzell leads the state with 11 homers.
- A father and his 7-year-old son have made more than $1 million from YouTube videos about toys.
On tap for today: The headliner in baseball today is St. Rose at Mater Dei Prep in Class B Central. Both teams are tied for first in the division, so this will settle the championship. St. Rose is the defending champ, while the Seraphs look to pull the upset. Toms River North also heads to Southern in a bid to clinch no worse than a tie for the Class A South title with a win. The Mariners will be looking for some payback after the Rams stunned them in the Ocean County Tournament on Saturday.
In lacrosse, it's a full slate of first-round SCT action, with the winners advancing to Thursday's quarterfinals.