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RUMSON -- The tension grows with each inning of each game from mid-May through the end of a high-school baseball season in New Jersey and you won't find many teams in New Jersey more conditioned for that kind of pressure than Rumson-Fair Haven.

The Bulldogs have now played 20 games this season and 11 of them have either been decided by one run, ended in extra innings or both -- the latest of which was another nail-biter against a 16-win team in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

Once again, the Bulldogs thrived in the tightest of situations and got a breakout performance by its senior ace on Monday, when Rumson -- the fourth seed in the SCT -- edged No. 5 Jackson Memorial, 2-1, to advance to the tournament semifinals for the third straight year.

For the first time this season, Rutgers-bound right-hander and 2022 All-Shore pitcher John Goodes fired a complete game and it came in a two-hitter Monday against the high-scoring Jaguars. Prior to Monday, the last time Goodes pitched into fifth inning was in an April 19 win over Wall, when he allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

PHOTO GALLERY: Jackson Memorial at Rumson-Fair Haven SCT

Rumson-Fair Haven senior John Goodes. (Photo: Tom Smith |
Rumson-Fair Haven senior John Goodes. (Photo: Tom Smith |

Since then, and before Monday, Goodes had only pitched eight innings and surrendered eight earned runs over three appearance -- none of which lasted more than 70 pitches. On Monday, though, Goodes completed the game on 94 pitches, struck out four batters and walked only two while pitching through minimal traffic in the game.

The lone blemish on Goodes's line was an opposite-field solo home run by Jackson Memorial senior rightfielder Mike Arent that tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the fourth inning. Rumson had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a double by senior Brayden Dill, followed by an RBI single by senior Spencer Hobson.

Rumson's lineup was quick to respond on behalf of its senior ace, and it was again Dill who delivered a big swing. Jack Riva started the rally with a single and raced home when Dill slugged his second double of the game, this one to deep left-centerfield.

With a one-run lead, Goodes did not let Jackson Memorial mount a serious threat the rest of the way. One Jaguar reached base in each of the three remaining innings -- on two walks and a hit-by-pitch -- but none made it to second base, with Goodes also picking one off in the sixth inning.

Jackson Memorial senior left-hander Anthony Mehmet pitched 5 1/3 innings before running out of pitches and passing the ball off to senior Tommy Mazzella to record the final two outs of the bottom of the sixth. Reece Moroney singled off Mehmet and reached third on an errant pickoff throw, but Mazzella pitched his way out of the jam without allowing Rumson a third run.

Moroney also checked in with a double earlier in the game and made one of several key defensive plays when he ranged up the middle at shortstop to get the last out of the second inning with a pair of runners in scoring position.

Rumson's next SCT game will be Thursday vs. top-seeded Ranney at Count Basie Park in Red Bank. That game will be a rematch of the Bulldog's extra-inning loss to Ranney in the semifinals of the Monmouth County Tournament -- a game started by Goodes.

Rumson-Fair Haven senior Brayden Dill. (Photo: Tom Smith |
Rumson-Fair Haven senior Brayden Dill. (Photo: Tom Smith |

Box Score

Rumson-Fair Haven 2, Jackson Memorial 1

Jackson Mem (16-6)0001000121
RFH (16-4)010100x262


Jackson MemorialIPHRERBBSOPC
Anthony Mehmet (L, 5-2)5.26220983
Tommy Mazzella0.1000006
John Goodes (W, 3-0)72112491

Top Hitters

Jackson MemorialGame Stats
Mike Arent1-3, HR, R, RBI
Rumson-Fair HavenGame Stats
Brayden Dill2-3, 2 2B, R, RBI
Spencer Hobson1-2, RBI
Jack Riva1-3, R
Reece Moroney2-3, 2B


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