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As a two-time defending champion of the Shore Conference Class B South division coming into the 2023 season, Donovan Catholic had already established itself as a premier baseball program in Ocean County and there is a banner with two recent years on it to prove as much.

Last week, however, the Griffins collected a series of wins that take the program's standing to the next level.

Donovan Catholic began the week by beating a quality Allentown squad, wrapped up its first outright Class B South championship of the current era and closed out the week with a resounding victory over South Jersey power Gloucester Catholic. Now on a Ocean-County-best 12-game winning streak, the Griffins at the Week 5 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week.

Photo: Steve Meyer
Photo: Steve Meyer

The past two division championships that Donovan Catholic won were both shared with another B South team -- Barnegat a year ago and both Barnegat and Jackson Liberty in 2021. This time, however, the Griffins have one all to themselves after sweeping Barnegat last week. The Bengals have had a down year, but were up for the challenge of playing the Griffins on May 4, with Donovan Catholic holding on for a 3-2 to clinch the outright division title.

Donovan Catholic played Barnegat again two days later in the first round of the Ocean County Tournament and handed the Bengals a 10-0 loss.

One day after advancing in the OCT, Donovan Catholic gave the ball to fifth-year senior and George Mason commit Shaun O'Keefe, who kept Gloucester Catholic's bats in check while the Griffins offense battered the Rams for nine runs in a 9-3 victory. Dave Yorke had the big swing with a towering three-run home run that cleared a house beyond the leftfield fence.

With two wins this week against Manchester and another OCT victory -- this one a thrilling, 5-3 win over Central that ended on a walk-off home run by Gavin Degnan -- Donovan Catholic finished off an unbeaten division schedule and will try to make its first trip to the Ocean County Tournament final under coach Corey Hamman.


Jersey Mike's 2023 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Southern

Week 2: Shore

Week 3: Jackson Memorial

Week 4: Ranney


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