Ocean County Sports Medicine Player of the Week: NJSIAA Tournament Edition

Jackson Hinchcliffe, Rumson-Fair Haven

On Saturday at Veterans Park in Hamilton, Jackson Hinchliffe will have take the ball as Rumson-Fair Haven's starting pitcher in the program's first ever NJSIAA Group II championship game.

It will mark the fifth time in sixth games that Hinchcliffe will appear on the mound during the NJSIAA Tournament and, to this point, no one on Rumson's well-rounded roster is more responsible for getting the Bulldogs within one win of their first ever state championship in baseball.

Rumson-Fair Haven senior Jackson Hinchcliffe. (Photo: Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)
Rumson-Fair Haven senior Jackson Hinchcliffe. (Photo: Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com)

With a run of appearances on the mound that included a no-hitter, a dominant relief outing and a 4-0 record, Hinchliffe showed enough to earn the final Ocean County Sports Medicine Player of the Week Award of the 2023 season.

Hinchcliffe started his state tournament in grand fashion, spinning a no-hitter with one walk and 10 strikeouts in Rumson's 1-0, opening-round win over 16th-seeded Spotswood in the Central Jersey Group II section.

Rumson then beat Bordentown, 7-2, in the only game in which Hinchcliffe did not pitch, setting the University of Richmond commit to start the sectional semifinal against No. 12 Ocean. After Rumson gave Hinchcliffe a pair of runs with which to work in the bottom of the first inning, Hinchcliffe pitched the Bulldogs through five complete innings with a 2-1 lead before passing the ball over to Rumson's dependable bullpen.

In the sectional final against No. 3 Spotswood, Hinchcliffe became a temporary member of that dependable bullpen and was both a stabilizing presence and an electric force in a short appearance. Hinchcliffe took over with one out, two runners on and Rumson leading, 5-1, in the top of the fourth inning and proceeded to mow down five straight batters with three strikeouts to get the game to the regular bullpen cast in the sixth inning.

In Monday's Group II semifinal vs. South Jersey champion Seneca, Hinchcliffe got the ball again as a starter and fired another five sparking innings in which he allowed no runs on four hits and one walk while striking out seven. Cal Champeau came out of the bullpen for the final two innings and closed out a 9-0 win that leaves Hinchcliffe fresh and feeling good for Saturday's state final against Pascack Hills.

Hinchcliffe beat out Matawan junior Andrew Gendi for the final Player of the Week award, with Hinchcliffe pulling in 41 percent of the votes cast to beat out Gendi at 35 percent

For winning the last Player of the Week of the 2023 season, Hinchcliffe will receive a Player of the Week shirt courtesy of Ocean County Sports Medicine.


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