The Shore Daily, 6/5/15
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Christian Brothers Academy is now one win from immortality and arguably the greatest season of any Shore Conference baseball team in history.
The Colts put their fourth title of the season on their resume last night by shutting out rival Red Bank Catholic, 4-0, to repeat as Shore Conference Tournament champions. Their pitching depth continues to be outstanding, as junior righties Kenny Campbell and Joe Gargana combined on a three-hit shutout, one game after CBA shut out Bishop Eustace in the sectional final. At the biggest juncture of the season, their pitching staff has stepped up across the board to put them on the doorstep of history.
They now have won Class A North, Monmouth County Tournament, SCT, and Non-Public South A titles, so there's only one more to go for the Quintuple Crown, and it's their biggest test of the season by far.
CBA will go from being a favorite all season to being the underdog when it faces undefeated Don Bosco Prep (29-0), ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 9 in the country, in the Non-Public A final at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Toms River East.
It's a loaded Ironmen team against a CBA squad that will have Gatorade N.J. Player of the Year Luca Dalatri on the mound. So the state's best lineup will face a pitcher who is a combined 19-0 the past two seasons on a team that has won 13 in a row. If that isn't must-see baseball, I don't know what is. It's an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Either Seton Hall recruit Cullen Dana or Monmouth University recruit Alex Mastando will be on the mound for Don Bosco. CBA has been in this spot before and nearly slayed Goliath as it faced Bosco in the Non-Public final in 2008 and battled the Ironmen in a 5-4 loss in a season in which Don Bosco finished 33-0. Don Bosco also includes shortstop Josh Shaw (St. John's), designated hitter Tristan Dacey (Salve Regina), third baseman Tyler Panno (Bryant University), outfielder Sean Buckhout (Stony Brook), and catcher Frank Nigro (UNC-Wilmington).
CBA's lineup, led by Dalatri, junior catcher Brandon Martorano and senior outfielder Will Morgan, has been productive throughout this postseason run and has seen some quality pitching, so it is very capable of putting up runs no matter who is on the opposing mound. Leadoff man Cid Porter has been a constant threat as well.
CBA coach Marty Kenney is second in state history with 754 wins in his 42nd season, yet this may be the best and most accomplished team he's ever had, which is really saying something given the outstanding CBA teams of the past. If they pull off the upset on Saturday, they will be the only Shore Conference team besides the 2004 Wall squad to win the Quintuple Crown. Given the caliber of this Don Bosco team, I would argue that's the greatest season any Shore team has ever had because of the strength of the opponents CBA had to beat, particularly in the state tournament.
If CBA wins, it will be the first time in history that Shore Conference teams have won Non-Public A in back-to-back years, as St. John Vianney won it last year and finished No. 1 in the state.
Defensive coordinator Shannon Hoadley has been named the new head coach at Mater Dei Prep. Read the full story here.
More on Friday:
- Seton Hall pitcher Shane McCarthy (Rumson-FH) was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
- Reliever Jimmy Yacabonis (CBA) has pitched great in the last month as a reliever for the Baltimore Orioles' high Class A team.
- A Virginia team that includes catcher Matt Thaiss (Jackson Memorial) faces a Maryland team that includes pitcher Mike Rescigno (RBC) on Friday in the NCAA regionals after an awkward flight in which both teams were on the same plane.
- Great story on how Seneca girls lacrosse star Madison Schulte took a year off from the sport, coached a youth team, and regained her love of the game.
- The proposed superconference in North Jersey that would help address the public/non-public issue in football has hit a snag.
- A Cubs prospect survived a fiery car crash to be able to pursue his baseball dream.
Coming up: The 2014-15 scholastic sports season wraps up tomorrow with the CBA-Don Bosco Prep game at 11 a.m. at Toms River East. Coming up on Tuesday of next week is the Shore Baseball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game at 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park, and Wednesday is the Shore Conference Lacrosse Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game at 7 p.m. at Ocean Township.
I'll end with a fun interview that Toms River South/Rutgers grad Todd Frazier, the star third baseman for the Reds, did with MLB Network.