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Rebuilding projects don't take shape overnight for sports programs and organizations at any level, but the Shore Regional baseball team seemed to transform from a surefire last-place team in the Class A Central division to a competitive, young team with legitimate postseason aspirations in a matter of hours.

That transformation happened at the start of 2022, when the Blue Devils lost their season-opener to Red Bank Catholic, 23-0, before coming back to stun those same Caseys, 10-6, three days later.

Since that eye-opening upset, Shore has done enough to verify that that win was no fluke and with a similar-looking roster back this season, the Blue Devils look poised to build off it -- particularly after earning the Week 2 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week Award.

Photo: Steve Meyer
Photo: Steve Meyer

Last week, Shore beat another Shore Conference blueblood to announce itself as a candidate for Team of the Week. Facing Wall, the Blue Devils entered the bottom of the sixth locked up in a 3-3 tie and stormed into the seventh with a 12-3 lead thanks to a nine-run outburst.

That offense carried over to the weekend, when the Blue Devils hammered Red Bank, 18-4, to improve to 4-1. Even in dropping two games this week, Shore's bats have continued to work, scoring four runs against Wall senior Zach Szatkowski in a 6-4 loss and putting seven on the board in a back-and-forth loss to Holmdel on Wednesday.

Shore is still unlikely to challenge Red Bank Catholic for the Class A Central title and just getting a piece of the public division title is a tall order, but the Blue Devils are a legitimate contender for the Central Jersey Group I championship after getting to the sectional semifinals a year ago.



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