Baseball Friday Sectional Final Scoreboard, 6/1/18
Central Jersey Group IV Final
No. 1 Hunterdon Central 4, No. 2 Manalapan 0
University of Kentucky commit Alex Degen six shutout innings with two hits allowed and seven strikeouts and the Red Devils (26-2) beat the Braves (22-7) to win their third straight Central Jersey Group IV championship.
Hunterdon Central will play Jackson Memorial Tuesday in the Group IV semifinal at Rider University at 4 p.m.
Central Jersey Group III
No. 3 Allentown 6, No. 1 Wall 5
Chris Reeder got a four-run first going with a two-run single and the Redbirds held off a comeback effort by the Crimson Knights to win their second straight Central Jersey Group III championship.
Justin Marcario added an RBI double in the first and Austin Ferrier capped it with an RBI single, a play that ended with Wall right fielder Doug Wetzel cutting down a potential fifth run at the plate.
Grant Shulman picked up a key two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to slice the deficit to 6-4 and Teddy Sharkey put a ball in play to shortstop with two out that Marcario threw just wide of first, allowing a fifth Wall run to score.
Shulman and Sharkey again made noise in the seventh inning, with Shulman roping a one-out single to center and advancing to second on a wild pitch during Sharkey's at-bat. Sharkey hit a line drive to left field with two out, but it hung up for left fielder Mike Zupko to end the game.
Freshman Dan Merkel pitched the final two innings for Allentown striking out the side in the sixth and adding one more punchout in the seventh.
|Jack Nitti (W, 7-2)||4.1||8||5||2||0||2||75|
|Dan Merkel (S)||2||1||0||0||0||4||32|
|Ryan Napolitano (L, 7-1)||1||5||4||4||2||0||37|
|Brandon Gaul||3-4, 2B, R|
|Justin Marcario||2-4, 2B, RBI|
|Austin Ferrier||2-3, 2B, R, RBI|
|Dan Merkel||2-4, 2B, RBI, SB|
|Chris Reeder||1-4, R, 2 RBI|
|Teddy Sharkey||2-4, R|
|Grant Shulman||2-4, 2 RBI|
|John Volpe||2-4, R|
|Tanner Powers||1-2, R|
|Doug Wetzel||1-3, 2B, R|
Central Jersey Group II
No. 7 Raritan 1, No. 4 Metuchen 0
Dan VanMeerbeke pitched a four-hit shutout and Zack Johnston scored on a wild pitch after drawing his third walk of the game in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Rockets (20-5) over the Bulldogs (18-8) for their first sectional championship since 2012 and fifth overall.
After Johnston walked with one out, Tyler Bruno singled and both runners moved up on a fielder's choice ground out and with two out and a 1-2 count, Matt Volpe's pitched got away to the backstop and allowed Johnston to race home with the lone run of the game.
VanMeerbeke struck out six and walked to in winning his second game of the tournament and improving to 6-1 for the season.
Raritan will take on South Jersey Group II champion Haddonfield Tuesday, 4 p.m. at East Brunswick Tech High School in the Group II semifinal.
South Jersey Group IV
No. 3 Jackson Memorial 1, No. 9 Shawnee 0
Pinch-runner Kyle Thaiss scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh after an errant throw to third base and the Jaguars (25-6) walked off with a wild, one-run win over the Renegades (17-9) to win their first sectional title since winning all of Group IV in 2014.
Nick Beetel struck out eight with no walks over five scoreless, one-hit innings for Jackson Memorial and Mike Dimino followed with two perfect innings, including four strikeouts.
Jackson also managed just one hit and two walks against Shawnee starter Jackson Balzan, but authored a championship-winning rally in its final at-bat. Carmine Petosa was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and with one out, Dimino reached on an error, with he and Thaiss - pinch-runner for Petosa - both advancing an extra base on an errant throw.
Ryan Lasko then hit a line drive to right field and the throw to third in an attempt to double off Thaiss got away, allowing the senior to dash home with the winning run.
Jackson Memorial will play two-time defending Group IV champion Hunterdon Central in Tuesday's Group IV semifinal at Rider University,
South Jersey Group II
No. 2 Haddonfield 2, No. 5 Point Pleasant Boro 1
John Cristino hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth and the Bulldogs (17-5) rallied to end a memorable postseason run by the Panthers (18-9) and win the South Jersey Group II championship.
Steve DiTomaso led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple and scored on the Cristino single. One inning earlier, Sam Heine delivered a two-out, RBI single to pull Haddonfield even at 1-1.
Point Boro jumped in front on a sacrifice fly by Paul Franceschini in the top of the first inning.
Jacob Small pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts for Haddonfield. Sophomore Nick Guzzi pitched all six innings for Point Boro, taking a shutout into the fifth inning. He allowed six hits, two walks and struck out seven in defeat.
South Jersey Non-Public A
No. 9 Notre Dame 4, No. 5 Red Bank Catholic 2
The Irish scored three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to stun the Caseys and rally their way into the sectional final on Tuesday. Notre Dame went on the road to defeat both Christian Brothers Academy and RBC in consecutive rounds to reach Tuesday's final.
Jon Michael Rotondo slammed a two-run home in the bottom of the fourth inning to put Red Bank Catholic on top, 2-0.
South Jersey Non-Public B
No. 2 Gloucester Catholic 12, No. 3 St. Rose 1 (5 Innings)