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RED BANK - Rumson-Fair Haven junior right-hander Charlie Jones allowed more hits in the first inning of his Saturday start at Count Basie Park than his counterpart, Red Bank Catholic senior ace Shane Panzini, did in his entire seven-inning outing, but his assignment was not to give up fewer hits than Panzini - neither in the first inning nor for the game.

Jones pitched with one thing in mind: give his team a chance.

Jones battled Panzini - a University of Virginia commit and potential early-round pick in the Major League Baseball Draft - to a stalemate over the first seven innings and Rumson won it with a 10th-inning, two-run single by junior Brian Doherty as the Bulldogs stunned the Caseys, 3-1, in 10.

"That was unbelievable," Jones said. "Panzini is an incredible pitcher. I just had to go out there and try to match him. It's hard to be that dominant, but when I get on the mound, my mentality is to go out and dominate and I feel like when I'm on my game, I can compete with any lineup and any pitcher."

After giving up a run on three hits in the first inning Saturday, not only Jones did not give up another one over his remaining six innings, but sophomore reliever John Goodes also held RBC - the No. 2 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - hitless in his three innings of work in picking up the win.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez

Rumson-Fair Haven senior Andrew Schmid reacts to an inning-ending pickoff vs. Red Bank Catholic. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

That set the stage for Doherty to deliver the final blow, but not before Rumson's secret weapon in the No. 9 hole started the winning rally. Junior second baseman Charlie Tallman, who homered and drove in five runs in Friday's 8-2 win over No. 7 Howell, led off the top of the 10th against Caseys sophomore reliever Alex Stanyek with a ringing double off the leftfield fence on the first pitch of the at-bat.

"Charlie has been as locked-in as anyone lately," Doherty said. "He has been barreling everything and he got us going in that last inning. When he hit that ball, I thought it was going out."

Senior Andrew Schmid followed with a well-executed bunt that he beat out for an infield single, setting up runners on the corners with none out.

Stanyek responded by striking out the next batter and inducing a pop-up for the second out. Schmid, meanwhile, stole second base without a throw to put two runners in scoring position with two out.

On a 1-1 pitch to Doherty, Stanyek appeared to slightly restart his delivery, prompting the Rumson dugout to scream for a balk in the middle of the sophomores delivery. While it caught Doherty's attention, it did not distract him from his job. The junior reached out and lined the offering into centerfield, scoring both Tallman and Schmid for a 3-1 Rumson lead.

"At first I thought, they were about to call the balk and after I hit it, I wasn't sure if it was going to count," Doherty said. "Either way, the run from third would have scored, so I wasn't too worried about, but it was a strange play. Definitely glad it counted though."

PHOTO GALLERY: Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez

Rumson-Fair Haven junior Brian Doherty. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Jones got off to a shaky start going up against Panzini, giving up a leadoff single to senior centerfielder Anthony Borriello before junior third baseman Matt Scrivanic ripped an RBI double down the leftfield line to chase him home for RBC's first and only run. Panzini added a single in the inning but Scrivanic held at third base and Jones struck out the last two batters of the inning to keep damage to one run.

Even after escaping the first, Jones had some control issues in issuing three walks over the next two inning, but after walk No. 3 in the third, he found his rhythm. The 6-foot-6 junior set down 12 out of the next 13 batters he faced, with the lone runner making it to first on an errant throw by catcher Hank Hyduke after a swinging strike three in the dirt.

"It wasn't the way I wanted to start the game, but I knew I had to keep battling to keep us in it," Jones said. "Once I got through that second inning, I felt like I was into the game and ready to keep putting up zeroes, which you have to be able to do pitching against a pitcher like (Panzini)."

That streak finally ended when Jones walked RBC catcher Shane Andrus with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but that was during a downpour that forced the game into a delay right after the walk. In that at-bat vs. Andrus, Jones lost the grip on his curveball three times.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez

Rumson-Fair Haven junior Charlie Jones. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

When the 25-minute delay ended, Jones went back to the mound with 103 pitches and got the final out of the inning in four to end his day with 107. He walked four and struck out seven while allowing just the three hits.

"When I pitch, the way I think about it is 'This is my game,'" Jones said. "I don't ever want to come out and when we were in delay, I told coach (Owen Stewart) I have seven pitches left, so let me go back out and use them. He said depending on the length of the delay, we would see and fortunately, it wasn't that long and I could go back out."

Goodes walked three and did not strike out a batter in his three innings, but he made key pitches to get out of trouble with the help of his defense. He walked back-to-back hitters with one out in the eighth before getting Panzini to fly out to center and sophomore Alex Stanyek on a lineout to Tallman at second.

"Goodes is going to be a stud for this program in the future and he has been huge for us this year," Jones said. "He is a sophomore and he has come into some big games in big spots and done the job for us and none bigger than today."

Rumson's stellar pitching put the pressure on Panzini and Red Bank Catholic's defense to be near-flawless and the Caseys nearly delivered. Panzini allowed just one hit over his seven innings of work and while he allowed a season-high three walks, he also struck out 14.

Panzini mad it to the fourth inning with two out before surrendering the first and only Rumson hit of the first seven innings - a hard-hit double by sophomore Owen Kenney on the first pitch of the at-bat.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez

Red Bank Catholic senior Shane Panzini. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

"He is tough," Doherty said. "I was looking forward to facing a guy who could be drafted pretty high in July and I think that's how most of the guys were feeling. It was definitely a challenge but I feel like I got some good swings in there. We didn't get many hits but we made him work and had some good at-bats when we needed them."

His third walk, however, proved to be costly when combined with some ill-timed defensive miscues. Schmid took a four-pitch walk to start the top of the sixth and sophomore Reece Moroney followed by dropping a bunt in front of the plate. Panzini fielded it and fired to second base ahead of Schmid, but shortstop Sean Ettore came off the base a beat early trying to turn to the double play and Schmid was ruled safe.

Panzini got a pop-out for out No. 1 and induced a potential double-play ground ball to second base one batter later. The Caseys got the first out, but the return throw to first was wide, got past first baseman Frank Scrivanic, and allowed Schmid to scamper home with the tying run.

While that run took the fourth win of the season away from Panzini, it fired him up enough to strike out the final four batters he faced in the game, capping his seven-inning, 108-pitch outing on a high not. In front of another healthy gathering of MLB scouts, Panzini topped out a 94 miles-per-hour on a damp day and sat with a fastball in the lower 90's for most of the start.

Rumson (8-2 overall, 4-2 in Class A Central) has now won five in a row after dropping two straight Shore Conference Class A Central games to Holmdel - a team that entered Saturday with no other wins other than those two over the Bulldogs. Right after losing those two to Holmdel, Rumson needed an extra inning to turn back St. Rose, which also has just two wins on the season.

That shaky week aside, the Bulldogs have played like a team ready to contend for a division championship and more. Two years ago, the Bulldogs boasted one of the youngest rosters in the Shore Conference and after missing out on a 2020 season, they have come back a fully-grown threat in Monmouth County.

"Our biggest focus was actually off the field," Jones said. "We wanted to become a really tight-knit group so whatever it was we were doing - golf, bowling, having dinner - we wanted to do it as a group to build that chemistry. We knew we had a lot of talent so we wanted to form that bond that really good teams have."

While the two two-win teams gave the Bulldogs fits, Rumson has beaten three teams that are currently ranked in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 (Red Bank Catholic, Wall and Howell) and also topped a 7-2 Central Regional squad that is currently second place in the Class A South standings.

Red Bank Catholic (9-2, 5-1) still holds a half-game lead on Ocean in the Class A Central standings but Rumson is now within one game of RBC with one left to play against the Caseys and two more against Ocean. Saturday's win should also give the Bulldogs a boost in Wednesday's Shore Conference Tournament seeding proceedings.

"I think we can be dangerous," Doherty said. "We have a deep lineup, our defense has been pretty solid, and our pitchers have been lights-out, especially our top guys. We have a lot of guys that can beat you, so we feel like we can play with anybody."

PHOTO GALLERY: Rumson-Fair Haven at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez

Red Bank Catholic junior Matt Scrivanic. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Rumson-Fair Haven junior Charlie Tallman. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Rumson-Fair Haven sophomore Owen Kenney. (Photo by Paula Lopez)