Baseball – Kwincinski, Fall Lead TR South to Rout of TR East
TOMS RIVER - Senior Jared Kwicinski is not one of the five returning starters in the field that made the Toms River South baseball team the No. 3 ranked team in the Shore Sports Network Preseason Top 10 but he has been a key ingredient in making sure the Indians have lived up to the lofty expectations in the early part of the season.
Kwincinski continued a hot start to the season Wednesday by leading an Toms River South offensive assault that overwhelmed Toms River East, 13-2 in six innings. The senior left fielder finished the game 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four RBI.
While Kwincinski is not a returning starter, there is a chance he might have been had he been healthy last season. A shoulder injury sidelined him from late March until June, costing him his entire high school season. Now healthy, he is off to a 7-for-10 start with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored and five RBI in Toms River South's first three games.
"I just did my best to keep working on what I could and tried to get better once I came back," Kwicinski said. "I was able to play in the summer so I came in ready to play this year."
During Tuesday's scoring outburst that included 16 hits, Kwicinski was the only Indians player with three hits but was one of seven with at least two. Seniors Matt Shiffer, Ben Montenegro, Justin Fall, Mark Fitzpatrick, Connor Leatherman and Dylan Danelson all checked in with two hits apiece.
Fall went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored and also opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the first. The 6-foot-5 left-hander breezed through the first two innings on the mound before surrendering two unearned runs in the third caused by two of his own errors.
The Indians responded with four runs in the top of the fourth to regain the lead, 5-2. Fall started the inning with a double to the wall in right-center and courtesy runner Sam Conover scored on a single through the right side by Kwincinski.
"They got a couple guys on (in the third) and I just bobbled a couple of plays," said Fall, who was not a regular in last year's batting order but is hitting fourth this season. "It happens, but I need to do a better job. Fortunately, I came back with the double and we got a few runs back."
Senior Matt Fitzpatrick gave Toms River South the lead for good with a booming double to left-center to chase home Kwicinski from first and after Danelson bunted runners to second and third with one out, Shiffer delivered a two-out double down the left-field line to extend the lead to 5-2.
"In a situation like that, I know I have to execute so coach (Ken Frank) knows he did the right thing by putting his trust in me to come through with two outs," Shiffer said.
Kwincinski hit a screaming liner up the alley in right-center field to drive in a run and make it 6-2 in the fifth and the Indians hung a seven spot in the top of the sixth to make it 13-2. Kwincinski capped his big day with a two-run double off the right-field wall, which came after junior T.J. Scuderi hammered a two-run double to the left-field fence three batters earlier. Montenegro and Fitzpatrick also added RBI singles in the inning.
Fall settled in after the two-run third and turned in a six-inning complete game. He allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out seven and tossing 93 pitches.
The win is his second in as many starts this year for the St. John's recruit, the first of which was a four-hit shutout against Jackson Memorial on opening day.
Toms River South is No. 2 in the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10 and is one of just two unbeaten teams left in the Shore Conference, along with No. 8 St. Rose.
No. 2 Toms River South 13, Toms River East 2 (6 Innings)
|TR South (3-0, 2-0)||1||0||0||4||1||7||x||13||16||2|
|TR East (0-4, 0-3)||0||0||2||0||0||0||x||2||2||1|
|Justin Fall (W, 2-0)||6||2||2||0||1||7||93|
|Nick DeGennaro (L, 0-2)||5||9||6||6||1||4||85|
|TR South||Game Stats|
|Jared Kwicinski||3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI|
|Matt Shiffer||2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|Ben Montenegro||2-4, R, RBI|
|T.J. Scuderi||1-4, 2B, 2 RBI|
|Justin Fall||2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI|
|Matt Fitzpatrick||2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI|
|Dylan Danelson||2-2, R|
|TR East||Game Stats|
|Sean Sullivan||1-2, R|
|Jay Longo||0-1, HBP, RBI|