NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Finals

Central Jersey Group IV

(2) Howell 8, (9) East Brunswick 2

Junior Russell Halvorsen led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and sophomore Joe Zito added a two-run shot to break the game open in the third as the Rebels rolled past the Bears to capture their first sectional championship since 1994.

Halvorsen's solo blast tied the game after East Brunswick scratched a run across in the top of the first and the Rebels scored three runs in the bottom of the second -- all with two out -- to take the lead. Howell took the lead on a strike-three wild pitch with two out and senior Thomas Strauch followed by drawing a bases-loaded walk. A two-out error allowed the third run of the inning to score, giving Howell a 4-1 lead.

Zito went yard for a two-run home in the bottom of the third to extend Howell's lead to 6-1. The Rebels later tacked on a run each in the fifth and sixth innings, with Strauch drawing another bases-loaded walk to make it 7-2 and senior Jeremiah Wojenski singling home Howell's eighth and final run.

Senior right-hander Jason Pace pitched the last three innings in relief of senior left-hander Nick Gomes, who injured his left pitching wrist diving into second base while running the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Pace gave up a run on two hits with six strikeouts after Gomes gave up one run over the first four.

Howell will head to Monday's Group IV semifinal game at Cherokee, where the Chiefs will host the Rebels with spot in the Group IV final on June 18 in Hamilton on the line.

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East Brunswick (17-13)1000100264
Howell (23-6)132011X882

Pitching

East BrunswickIPHRERBBSOPC
Joe Ditzel (L, 4-3)24623359
Aaron Warner44214066
HowellIPHRERBBSOPC
Nick Gomes (W, 5-1)44101480
Jason Place32110649

Top Hitters

East BrunswickGame Stats
Ryan Basham2-4, RBI
Dustin McGuinness1-3, 2B, RBI
Dylan Lugo1-4, R
Vinny LaRocca2-3
HowellGame Stats
Russell Halvorsen1-3, HR, 2 BB, 3 R, RBI, SB
Joe Zito1-3, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI
Jeremiah Wojenski2-4, RBI
Braden Walsh1-3, R
Devon Smith1-4, R

 

 

Central Jersey Group III

(10) Middletown North 14, (5) Colts Neck 11

Senior Andrew Lombardi capped a seven-run second inning with a tiebreaking three-run home run and senior Matt Adamson recorded an extra-base hit at the plate in each of the first three innings before earning the win on the mound in relief as the Lions outslugged the Cougars to win their first sectional championship since 1989.

Adamson led off the game with a double inside the third-base bag and scored on an RBI single by junior shortstop Ryan Frontera on the next batter. After Colts Neck posted a five-spot in the bottom of the inning, Adamson got Middletown North going again with a nearly identical double -- this time driving in a run to cut the deficit to 5-2.

A wild pitch, an infield single by Frontera and an errant pickoff attempt at first base allowed three runs to score and even up the game at 5-5 before Lombardi launched a three-run bomb to left, which gave Middletown North the lead for good.

Lombardi added a bases-loaded walk during a three-run Lions fourth, junior Colby McMahon came through with a two-run single up the middle in the sixth and Frontera capped the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the seventh.

Senior Dave Cohen led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run for Colts Neck, but the Cougars could not bring the tying run to the plate. With one out and a runner on first, Adamson induced a groundball to shortstop, where Frontera fielded it, tagged the bag and fired to first, where freshman Zach Hampton dug out the low throw to secure the win.

Cohen also blasted an RBI double that tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the first and scored one batter later on a two-run double to the left-center gap by sophomore Casey Gardiner. In the top of the first, Gardiner saved his team and starter Tyler Spencer two runs with a diving catch in deep right-center to take away a potential two-run double from Lombardi.

Colts Neck cut its deficit to 8-7 in the bottom of the second with an RBI triple by junior Ryan Tan and an RBI single by Cohen.

Middletown North has now won 10 straight games and will take its winning streak to Delsea Monday for the Group III semifinal against the Crusaders -- the champions of the South Jersey section.

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Midd North (19-10)170302114114
Colts Neck (17-8-1)520111111124

Pitching

Middletown NorthIPHRERBBSOPC
Mike Weinbel3.17854595
Matt Adamson (W, 2-2)3.25333182
Colts NeckIPHRERBBSOPC
Tyler Spencer (L, 5-4)371153492
Vinny Zaffarese44333477

Top Hitters

Middletown NorthGame Stats
Matt Adamson3-5, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI
Ryan Frontera3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Andrew Lombardi1-2, HR, 3 BB, 2 R, 4 RBI
Colby McMahon1-3, 3 RBI
Jason Quardt1-4, BB, 2 R, RBI
Zach Hampton1-4, 2B, BB, 2 R
Colts NeckGame Stats
Dave Cohen3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB
Casey Gardiner1-3, 2B, 2 HBP, R, 2 RBI
Ryan Tan3-4, 3B, BB, 2 R, RBI
Brad Salamone2-3, BB, HBP, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB
Tom Diffley1-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 R
Christian Rice1-3, BB, RBI, SB
Chris Scully1-4, BB, R, RBI

 

 

Central Jersey Group II

(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 4, (2) Wall 3

Senior shortstop Charlie Tallman lined a game-winning, two-out, two-run single to centerfield in the bottom of the seventh and the Bulldogs plated three runs while down to their last strike to shock the Crimson Knights and win the program's first sectional championship since 2004.

With his team trailing, 3-1, heading into its last turn up, senior Johnny Bruno drew a leadoff walk to start the seventh, but Wall senior closer Andrew Fischer responded by getting a flyout and a strikeout to move within one out of a championship for the Crimson Knights.

Liam Murphy's flyout ended a nine-pitch at-bat, which set the tone for sophomore Aidan Del Tin two batters later. Del Tin fouled off seven two-strike pitches from Fischer on on the 13th pitch of the at-bat, Rumson's No. 9 hitter took ball four to extend the inning for leadoff hitter Reece Moroney.

Playing in his first game since May 17 due to a left-hand injury, Moroney also fought off two two-strike pitches on a 3-2 count, crushed a double to the left-center gap to score Bruno from second, cutting the deficit to 3-2 and setting up runners at second and third for Tallman.

Tallman swung through a fastball on 2-2, but managed to foul off a 2-2 offering from Fischer to stay alive. On the next pitch, Tallman caught up to a high fastball and hit a screaming line drive into centerfield, easily scoring Del Tin from third and giving Moroney a chance to race home and slide in with the championship-winning run.

Rumson-Fair Have jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by junior catcher Owen Kenney, who extended his streak to four straight games with a home run.

Wall took the lead in the top of the sixth when senior centerfielder Nick Lovarco lofted a deep fly ball to right that cleared the fence for a two-run home run and a 2-1 Crimson Knights lead.

Lovarco then singled with one out in the seventh and scored on an RBI double to left-center by junior shortstop Gabe Cavazzoni for what appeared to be a crucial insurance run for Wall.

Rumson-Fair Haven will travel to play Haddon Heights in the Group II semifinal on Monday, with the winner going to the Group II championship game on June 18 at Veterans Park in Hamilton.

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Wall (23-7)0000201360
RFH (22-4)0010003460

Pitching

WallIPHRERBBSOPC
Matt Johnson43110365
Andrew Fischer (L, 3-1)2.23333270
Rumson-Fair HavenIPHRERBBSOPC
Charlie Jones64224492
John Goodes (W, 9-0)12111018

Top Hitters

WallGame Stats
Nick Lovarco2-3, HR, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI
Jackson Coan2-3, 2 R
Gabe Cavazzoni1-4, 2B, RBI
Rumson-Fair HavenGame Stats
Charlie Tallman2-3, HBP, 2 RBI
Owen Kenney2-3, HR, RBI
Reece Moroney2-4, 2B, RBI

 

 

Central Jersey Group I

(2) Point Beach 6, (1) Middlesex 4

Junior Colin Reinhard hit a two-out, tiebreaking RBI double in the top of the seventh inning and junior Kyle Kolans retired three straight batters after a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh as the Garnet Gulls finally conquered the four-time-defending-champion Blue Jays to win their first ever sectional championship.

Senior Colin Matuschat drew a walk with one out and went to second with two out on a long fly out by senior Andrew Banick. Sophomore Nate Clayton then took a four-pitch walk with two out to bring Reinhard to the plate. With a 2-2 count, Reinhard lined a shot to right to score Matuschat with the go-ahead run. Clayton later scored the sixth Point Beach run on a passed ball.

Clayton and Reinhard gave Point Beach its first lead in the top of the fifth, with Clayton hitting a game-tying RBI single and Reinhard following with a go-ahead RBI single to put Point Beach ahead, 4-3.

Middlesex jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Point Beach got on the board with back-to-back sacrifice flies by Matuschat and Banick. The Blue Jays tied the game on an RBI single by Aidan Kozak in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Point Beach moves on to Monday's Group I semifinal and will travel south to play South Jersey Group I champion Woodstown, which will be the host team.

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Pt Beach (20-9)0020202660
Middlesex (22-6)0300010462

Pitching

Point BeachIPHRERBBSOPC
James Larsen33334153
Kyle Kolans (W, 7-1)43110374
MiddlesexIPHRERBBSOPC
Stephen Young4.25446198
Aidan Kozak (L, 4-2)2.11213038

Top Hitters

Point BeachGame Stats
Colin Reinhard2-3, 2B, 2 RBI
Nate Clayton1-2, 2 BB, R, RBI
Colin Matuschat1-1, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI
Phil Trebour2-4, R
MiddlesexGame Stats
Avery West2-2, 2B, R, RBI
Tomas Lavornia1-3, 2B, R, RBI
Aidan Kozak1-3, RBI
Stephen Young2-3

 

 

South Jersey Non-Public A

(1) St. Augustine 5, (6) CBA 2

CBA made noise in the top of the seventh with RBI doubles by seniors George Kruse and Gavin Kus, but it was not enough to overcome the Hermits, who held on to win their sixth consecutive sectional championship.

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CBA (18-10)0000002271
St. Augustine (27-1)002030X570

Pitching

CBAIPHRERBBSOPC
Luke Roccesano (L, 2-3)46542679
Mike Kelly21000118
St. AugustineIPHRERBBSOPC
Marco Levari (W)6.272229110
Andrew Gaines0.1000003

Top Hitters

CBAGame Stats
Gavin Kus2-3, 2B, RBI
George Kruse1-3, 2B, R, RBI
Joe Figliolino1-2, BB, R
Wyatt Hunt1-2
Jack Frankovic1-4
Zaine Toneske1-3
St. AugustineGame Stats
Ryan Weingartner2-2, 2 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI
Jordan Serrano1-3, 2 RBI
Kyle Neri1-2, RBI
Austin Sofran1-3, R
Josiah Ragsdale1-4, 2 R
Ryan Taylor1-4, R

 

 

South Jersey Non-Public B

(1) Ranney 8, (2) Gloucester Catholic 7

Senior Charlie Chropuvka blasted a game-winning, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Panthers beat the 29-time sectional champion Rams in walk-off fashion to win their first ever sectional championship.

Ranney had leads of 3-0 and 5-3, but Gloucester Catholic responded each time -- first to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth, then with four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-5 lead.

Junior shortstop Brett Wehringer gave Ranney a 3-0 lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth and after the Rams came back to tie it on a three-run home run by Matt Leahy, junior catcher Lou Spadafora blasted a tiebreaking two-run home run to left to give Ranney the 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Junior A.J. Gracia and Wehringer both reached to lead off the bottom of the seventh, which brought Chropuvka to the plate as the tying run. The fifth-year senior, who is the lone player on the team who was at Ranney prior to head coach Pat Geroni taking the job, then connected on a 2-1 pitch, sending it over the left-centerfield fence for the biggest home run in the history of Ranney Baseball.

Gracia took a shutout into the sixth inning on the mound before issuing a pair of walks and surrendering the three-run blast with one out. Junior Nick Coniglio came on to get out of the inning and junior left-hander Marcello Mastroianni took over with two runners aboard in the top of the seventh and the score still 5-3.

Ranney will play in its first ever Non-Public B championship game Wednesday at Veterans Park in Hamilton, where the Panthers will opposes North Jersey champion Immaculata.