COLTS NECK - Colts Neck coach Mike Yorke has seen his team - with all of three starters from last year's team back - develop a personality over the last two weeks and the guy setting the tone for the rest of the team is junior Anthony Galason.

Saturday against St. John Vianney in the Monmouth County Tournament first round, Colts Neck needed Galason to squash a fifth-inning threat and without warming up, the junior right-hander escaped with the lead and finished off a 5-4 Colts Neck win over the Lancers.

The 14th-seeded Cougars will play No. 3 Red Bank Catholic next Saturday in the MCT round of 16.

Colts Neck junior Anthony Galason. (Photo by Matt Manley)
Colts Neck junior Anthony Galason. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"We have a hard-working, hard-nosed group and Anthony is definitely the emotional leader," Yorke said. "He's very high-energy and I think the guys feed off of the edge he plays with."

Galason ignited Colts Neck's first run-scoring inning with a triple, made a sliding catch in foul territory along the left-field line in the third and pitched three innings without an earned run to pick up a save.

"I was just trying to relax and just let the game come," Galason said. "I haven't been getting many hits lately, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't pressing too much at the plate, but I also didn't want to let it affect the way I played defense."

After Galason tripled with one out in the bottom of the second, right fielder Dan Schulte hit a ground ball to third to score Galason and reached first base thanks to a fielding error on the play.

Third baseman Hunter Boag followed with a double and a walk and pop out set up leadoff hitter Nick Straub with the bases load and two out. He was hit by a Ryan DeMille pitch to force in the second run of the inning.

St. John Vianney grabbed the lead with a three-run fourth inning, capped by a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Even Perrette with the bases loaded to give the Lancers a 3-2 lead. The first run scored on a bunt by center fielder Logan Marter, with courtesy-runner Michael DiPede scoring from second on the play. DiPede was running for catch Sebi Bellone, who led off the inning with a single.

Colts Neck scored the tying run on a dropped pop up that allowed shortstop Jack Tirrell to score from second after he walked and stole a base. Brendan Clarke scored from second on a ground ball to shortstop to give the Cougars the lead, sprinting around third base after SJV shortstop Robert Skinner lost his footing after fielding a ground ball by starting pitcher Jon Weitzman.

Designated hitter Joe Kohm capped the scoring by crushing a double off the left-field fence to plate Weitzman from first and Galason picked up his second hit in the inning.

After winning pitcher Matt Hawkins hit two batters to start the fifth, Galason ran in from left field and took over on the mound, striking out the first batter he faced. After a wild pitch allowed a runner to advance to third base, Clarke made a diving catch in shallow center to Rob Marter of an RBI single, but DiPede still scored after tagging up at third base.

"I'm always ready to go in and battle," Galason said. "We have so many guys who are out there fighting, giving 100 percent and if coach needs me to come in and get outs, I'm always ready. We have a bunch of guys who do a great job catching the ball, so I have every reason to be confident when I'm out there."

Galason retired the final man of the inning on a fly out, pitched around a pair of walks in the sixth and a hit in the seventh to finish off a scoreless outing and earn the save.

"It can be tough sometimes to get (Galason) in the game because he's in the game in left field, but he stepped up," Yorke said. "I like giving him the ball in that spot because he's got that attitude and that swagger you need to be successful in the late innings. I know when I put him in there, he's going to blow his neck and go right after guys."

Saturday's win was the third straight for Colts Neck and comes right after the Cougars knocked off Christian Brothers Academy, 1-0, on Thursday.

"We lost a game to Freehold Township and didn't play very well, and I thought the way we played against Marlboro (on Wednesday) was the start of this stretch," Yorke said. "It carried into CBA and today, we just battled. That's what these guys do."


Box Score

(14) Colts Neck 5, (19) St. John Vianney 4

SJ Vianney (3-6)0003100472
Colts Neck (6-4)020300x581



Ryan DeMille (L, 0-1)685122100
Jon Weitzman3.26330559
Matt Hawkins (W)0.10111015
Anthony Galason (S)32002143

Top Hitters

SJ VianneyGame Stats
Evan Perrette2-2, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Logan Marter1-3, R, 2 RBI
Seamus Coyle2-4
Colts NeckGame Stats
Joe Kohm2-3, 2B, RBI
Dan Schulte1-3, R, RBI
Anthony Galason2-3, 3B, R
Nick Straub1-3, HBP, RBI, SB


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