JACKSON TWP. - The No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Baseball Top 10 was put to the test right out of the gate in 2019 with three games against opponents from elsewhere in the Top 10 and if those first three games are any indication, the No. 1 spot might as well be an impenetrable fortress.

Jackson Memorial continued its early-season dominance Saturday in the seventh annual Strike Out Autism Challenge by hammering crosstown-rival and No. 4 ranked Jackson Liberty, 10-0, in five innings to run its record to 3-0 after one week.

In two wins over preseason No. 8 Toms River South and another over Jackson Liberty, the No. 1 Jaguars have rung up 33 runs on 38 hits while allowing four runs on 16 hits and committing no errors in 17 innings.

Of Jackson Memorial's 11 hits Saturday, seven went for extra bases, giving Jackson 20 extra-base hits in three games. The Jaguars sport a three-game team triple-slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of .463/.548/.878, which is comparable to Jackson Liberty catcher David Melfi during his First Team All-Shore junior season in 2018 (.457/.542/.889).

Jackson Memorial senior Alex Iadisernia picked up his 100th career hit on Saturday. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Jackson Memorial senior Alex Iadisernia picked up his 100th career hit on Saturday. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Junior Carmine Petosa and seniors Alex Iadisernia and Ahmier Cournier each ripped two doubles and junior Ryan Lasko added a seventh Jaguars double. Junior second baseman Christian Pellone belted his second home run in as many games, matching Petosa for the early Shore Conference lead with two long balls.

Iadisernia reached the 100-career-hit milestone with one of his doubles and his third-inning fly out was the first time he was retired all season. After a 2-for-3 game Saturday, the Elon commit is 7-for-8 with three doubles and a home run to start his senior year scorching hot.

Iadisernia opened the scoring with a two-run double in the top of the first, the first strike in a five-run inning that got Jackson Memorial off and running. He later scored on the back end of a double-steal and Lasko capped the inning with a two-run double of his own.

Jackson Memorial scored a run each in the second, third and fourth innings and ended the game with two in the fifth. Petosa doubled home a run in the second, Pellone made it 7-0 with his solo homer in the third and senior Troy Bathmann plated Jackson Memorial's eighth run with a sacrifice fly.

The ninth run came home when junior catcher Nick Sefick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and the game ended when Lasko worked a bases-loaded walk to force in the 10th run.

Senior Joe Princiotta pitched all five innings Saturday to earn the win. The left-hander allowed four hits and a walk while striking out three.

Jackson Memorial will try to continue its dominant start next week with two games against two-time defending Shore Conference Tournament champion Toms River North, one against Brick and a Saturday showdown with defending Group III champion Somerville in the Autism Awareness Challenge in North Brunswick.


Box Score

No. 1 Jackson Memorial 10, No. 4 Jackson Liberty 0 (5 Innings)

Jackson Liberty (2-1)00000XX041
Jackson Memorial (3-0)51112XX10110


Kevin Ritz (L, 0-1)16551135
Daniel Keenan23223151
Nick DeCarlo1.12323244
Jackson MemorialIPHRERBBSOPC
Joe Princiotta (W, 1-0)54001360

Top Hitters

Jackson LibertyStats
Dave Melfi1-2, 2B
Brandon Kinsman1-2, 2B
Jackson MemorialStats
Christian Pellone2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI
Ahmir Cournier2-3, 2 2B, R
Alex Iadisernia2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Carmine Petosa2-3, 2 2B, R
Ryan Lasko1-3, 2B, 3 RBI




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