Baseball – Photo Gallery: Jackson Wraps Up B South Title vs. Point Boro
JACKSON TWP. - After beating its primary competition for the Class B South championship in dramatic fashion on Monday, the Jackson Liberty baseball team could have taken a breath on Wednesday knowing it had a two-game lead with three games to play.
That attitude, however, would not fit the profile of this Lions team. Jackson Liberty had a chance the win another division title by beating Point Pleasant Boro again on Wednesday and took full advantage.
Senior Kevin Ritz had a perfect 3-for-3 game with a double and two home runs, senior David Melfi hit his Shore-Conference-leading fifth home run and the Lions topped the Panthers, 5-2, to win their 12th straight game while clinching their second straight Class B South championship and fifth in the 12-year history of the program.
PHOTO GALLERY: Point Boro at Jackson Liberty by Paula Lopez
Jackson Liberty had to overcome 10 walks by its three pitchers on Wednesday and also faced a pitcher who almost never gives out a free pass. Point Boro senior Sam Collins has walked one batter in 23 innings this season, including zero in four innings on Wednesday while also striking out six.
Point Boro gave Collins a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by junior Nick Zbikowski in the top of the third inning but the Lions came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by sophomore Dan Keenan.
Jackson Liberty took control of the game in the bottom of the fourth with a four-run rally against Collins. Melfi led off the inning with his fifth home run of the season and after a single by junior starting pitcher Shane Hickey, senior Scott Wierciszewski drove him in with an RBI double to make it 3-1. Ritz capped the inning by launching a two-run blast - his third home run of the season.
Point Boro got a run back in the top of the fifth when senior Nick DeCarlo walked four batters to force in a run. DeCarlo also struck out the side in the inning and finished with seven strikeouts and six walks over three innings to pick up his third win of the season.
Jackson Liberty will try to do two things it has not done in its short program history over the next two weeks. The Lions will look to wrap up their first ever undefeated divisional season by beating Lacey twice - once to close this week and again to open the next.
They will also try to win the program's first ever tournament championship when they open up the Ocean Country Tournament Saturday against Central Regional as the No. 2 seed.
Jackson Liberty 5, Point Boro 2
|Pt Boro (11-3, 9-3)||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||2||5||2|
|Jackson Lib (14-1, 12-0)||0||0||1||4||0||0||X||5||7||1|
|Sam Collins (L, 2-2)||4||6||5||5||0||6||53|
|Nick DeCarlo (W, 3-0)||3||1||1||1||6||7||76|
|Cole Young||2-3, 2B, R, RBI|
|Kevin Ritz||3-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|David Melfi||1-3, HR, R, RBI|
|Scott Wierciszewski||1-3, 2B, R, RBI|
|Daniel Keenan||1-3, RBI|
|Shane Hickey||1-2, R|