NJSIAA Sectional Finals

Central Jersey Group IV Final

No. 6 Old Bridge (23-6) at No. 4 Manalapan (22-7), 4 p.m.

Road to the Final

Old Bridge

First Round: St.-John’s-bound ace Sonny Fauci struck out 11 and allowed only two hits over six shutout innings to lead the Knights to a 7-0 win over GMC rival and No. 11 seed Sayreville. Second baseman Danny Chiafalo sparked the offense by going 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.

Quarterfinals: Chiafalo doubled in the first of two first-inning runs for Old Bridge before the game was suspended in the top of the third inning due to rain and lighting. Sophomore starter Jake Milman returned to the mound one day later and pitched into the sixth inning before senior Matt Baker closed out a 2-1 road win over No. 3 Middletown South.

Semifinals: Old Bridge jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and rode its three-headed pitching monster of Baker, Gilman and Fauci to a 4-2 win over No. 15 Marlboro. Chiafalo turned in another big day at the plate by going 3-for-4, including a two-run triple in the second to make the score 4-0.

 

Manalapan

First Round: Senior Ben Levine delivered a game-winning, walk-off single to the left-center gap in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Braves survived a first-round scare against No. 14 North Brunswick, 3-2. Senior right-hander Aaron Ayers was sharp over seven innings of work and senior Jake Pellecchia earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

Quarterfinals: Levine starred again, this time pitching a complete-game with nine strikeouts and hitting the tiebreaking RBI double in the fourth inning of Manalapan’s 7-2 win over No. 5 South Brunswick. Junior shortstop Nick DiPietrantonio also hit a two-run double in the Braves’ four-run fourth and senior Billy Watters later added an RBI double in the win.

Semifinals: Ayers turned in the outing of his career, pitching a two-hit shutout to outduel Old Dominion commit Joey DeChiaro and nail down a 1-0 win over top-seeded Hunterdon Central – the three-time defending CJ IV champions and overall Group IV winners in two of the last three years. Manalapan scratched across the winning run in the top of the seventh when sophomore Joe Mazza singled, pinch-runner Kyle Sciallo stole second base and scored on an infield single by center fielder Mike Kuver.

Manalapan senior Ben Levine. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Probable Starting Pitchers

Old Bridge

Sonny Fauci, RHP (8-0, 0.35 ERA, 60 IP, 69 K, 17 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Manalapan

Ben Levine, LHP (5-1, 2.10 ERA, 46 2/3 IP, 57 K, 10 BB – Available for 110 pitches

 

Notable Available Pitchers

Old Bridge

Jason Gilman, LHP (5-1, 1.40 ERA) – Available for 110 pitches

Joe Krause, RHP (2-3, 1.96 ERA) – Available for 110 pitches

Manalapan

Jake Pellecchia, RHP (3-1, 3.20 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 21 K, 3 BB)

Jake Melman, RHP (1-1, 1.66 ERA, 12 2/3 IP, 10 K, 6 BB)

Chris Nicol, LHP (3-1, 0.86 ERA, 16 1/3 IP, 21, 2 BB)

 

Top Hitters

Old Bridge

Danny Chiafalo, 2B (.425, 5 2B, 1 3B, 18 R, 19 RBI)

Elliot Hayward, CF (.344, 1 3B, 19 R, 12 SB)

Sonny Fauci, RHP/RF (.265, 4 2B, 1 3B, 16 R, 8 RBI)

 

Manalapan (Stats from Thursday's SCT semifinal not included)

Nick DiPietrantonio, 3B (.330/.396/.580, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 13 R, 28 RBI)

Tommy Giudice, 1B/OF (.337/.423/.506, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 13 R, 12 RBI)

Ben Levine, LHP/1B (.375/.420/.425, 4 2B, 9 R, 21 RBI)

Mike Kuver, CF (.277/.367/.447, 7 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 22 R, 23 RBI, 9 SB)

Hunter Serrano, 2B/OF (.327/.404/.469, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 R, 10 RBI)

Billy Watters, DH (.320/.414/.440, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 R, 5 RBI)

Jake Pellecchia, SS (.247/.387/.282, 3 2B, 24 R, 6 RBI, 9 SB)

 

Central Jersey Group III Final

No. 11 Northern Burlington (13-7) at No. 4 Wall (24-3), 4 p.m.

Wall junior Teddy Sharkey. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Road to the Final

Northern Burlington

First Round: During their run to the sectional final, the Greyhounds have come up in the clutch at every stop and it started at No. 6 Pennsauken in the opening round. Northern Burlington scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and advance with a 4-2 win. Drew Wyers went 2-for-3 with two huge RBI and Lorenzo Repack began his standout tournament by going 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Quarterfinals: Repack took his biggest swing of the season in the top of the sixth inning of his team’s quarterfinal game, when he cracked a go-ahead two-run home run to give the Greyhounds a won over No. 3 Ocean. Max Winters had given Ocean a 3-1 lead with a three-run blast in the bottom of the fifth before Repack quickly answered with what proved to be the winner in a 4-3 Northern Burlington victory.

Semifinals: Northern Burlington jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, scored two tie-breaking runs in the fifth on wild pitches and quieted one of state’s most dangerous lineups in a 5-3 win at No. 2 Jackson Liberty. Repack again inflicted major damage with an RBI double in a 2-for-3 day at the plate. The Lions brought the tying and go-ahead runs to the plate in the bottom of the seventh but Ryan Dromboski wiggled out of trouble to punch Northern Burlington’s ticket to its first sectional final since reaching the Group III final in 2015.

 

Wall

First Round: Trey Dombroski pitched his first career no-hitter, a five-inning gem in which he struck out seven and allowed one base-runner on a hit-by-pitch. It might have been a seven-inning no-no if not for Wall’s offense, which broke out the big lumber in a 14-0 win over No. 13 Lawrence. Grant Shulman led the way with a 4-for-4 performance with a triple and two RBI.

Quarterfinals: Facing a fifth-seeded Colts Neck team with a menacing lineup that took down Wall during the regular season, Teddy Sharkey handcuffed the Cougars after giving up a first-inning run and Dombroski closed out the final three innings to give the Crimson Knights a 3-1 win over their Class B North rival.

Semifinals: Dombroski made his third appearance in three games and allowed just his second earned run of the season in the bottom of the third inning. Despite the blemish in the run column, it was Dombroski’s best performance of the tournament considering the opponent, the circumstances and the importance of the game. The left-hander settled into a groove over the final four innings and pitched a six-hitter with 12 strikeouts and no walks on 90 pitches as Wall knocked off top-seeded Hamilton West, 4-1 before the heavy rains came later in the evening.

 

Probable Starting Pitchers

Northern Burlington

Jake Babuschak, RHP (4-2, 1.93 ERA, 36 1/3 IP, 32 K, 17 BB) – Available for 100 pitches (50 on Wednesday)

Wall

Teddy Sharkey, RHP (5-0, 38 IP, 0.92 ERA, 61 K, 15 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

 

Notable Available Pitchers

Northern Burlington

Ryan Dromboski, RHP (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 25 IP, 34 K, 16 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Wall

Tanner Powers, LHP (14.1 IP, 1 Save, 0.49 ERA, 14 1/3 IP, 8 K, 4 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Grant Shulman, RHP (2-2, 4 Saves, 1.98 ERA, 17 2/3 IP, 24 K, 8 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

 

Top Hitters

Northern Burlington

Lorenzo Repack, 2B (.389, 3 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 18 R, 12 RBI, 8 SB)

Gio Mannino, CF (.382, 1 2B, 14 R, 6 RBI, 8 SB)

Julian Lopez, SS (.312, 3 2B, 13 R, 10 RBI)

Drew Wyers, C (.306, 4 2B, 6 R, 14 RBI)

Wall

Teddy Sharkey, RHP/CF (.418/.565/.633, 10 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 22 R, 21 RBI)

Grant Shulman, 3B (.382/.457/.517, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 23 R, 20 RBI, 10 SB)

Jay Bant, DH/3B (.346/.404/.487, 5 2B, 2 HR, 16 R, 23 RBI)

Dave Howarth, C (.342/.451/.438, 7 2B, 19 RBI)

Johnny Volpe, SS (.306/.455/.365, 5 2B, 34 R, 7 RBI, 12 SB)

Sean Nocera, LF (.359/.487/.406, 3 2B, 15 R, 14 RBI)

John Iradi, RF (.286/.512/.607, 3 HR, 7 R, 9 RBI)

 

Central Jersey Group II Final

No. 7 Robbinsville (18-8) at No. 5 Point Pleasant Boro (21-6)

Point Boro senior Sam Collins. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Road to the Final

Robbinsville

First Round: Senior ace Tyler Lehman struck out a career-high 14 strikeouts in a three-hit shutout and the Ravens rolled to a 5-0 win over No. 10 Spotswood. Freshman Tyler Provost delivered a big two-run double in the win.

Quarterfinals: Down to their last three outs against a pitching duo that shut them down over the first six innings, the Ravens awoke in the top of the seventh to score four runs and stun No. 3 Manasquan on the road, 4-1. The game began on May 23 with Spencer Bauer striking out seven in three dominant innings before the game was suspended to rain and lightning. The next day, Mike Anthony shut out Robbinsville for innings four through six before the Ravens rallied. Jack Gilmer had the big swing in the inning with a go-ahead two-run triple to make it 2-1

Semifinals: Lehman was not as dominant as he was in the first round, but still outdueled Kyle Kato as Robbinsville beat No. 7 Bordentown, 2-1, to reach the sectional final for the first time since 2015 and one year removed from a 7-16 campaign. The Ravens scored one run in each of the first two innings, with Nick Matt going 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the offense.

 

Point Boro

First Round: Senior Sam Collins lasted 8 2/3 innings on the mound and delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Panthers a nail-biting, 2-1 win over No. 12 Monmouth in extra innings. Point Boro had to deal with Monmouth University commit Dante Ciaramella for seven innings before beating the bullpen.

Quarterfinals: The Panthers hit the road and overwhelmed No. 4 Arthur L. Johnson, 17-3, with junior ace Nick Guzzi improving to 8-0 with his easiest win of the season. The game was suspended with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning and was made official by the NJSIAA the next day after Johnson conceded rather than forcing Point Boro to travel north to record two out. Collins starred in this one as well, going 3-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBI.

Semifinals: After giving up a first-inning home run to Drew Compton, Guzzi did not allow a hit the rest of the way, touching up a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks to pitch the Panthers past No. 1 Governor Livingston, 6-1, and into the sectional final round for the second straight season. Guzzi also added an RBI single that stretched his lead to 4-1, which came after Point Boro took a 3-1 lead with a three-run second inning.

 

Probable Starting Pitchers

Robbinsville

Chris Au, (2-1, 2.38 ERA, 35 1/3 innings, 34 K, 17 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Point Boro

Sam Collins, RHP (4-2, 1.23 ERA, 45 2/3 IP, 50 K, 10 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

 

Notable Available Pitchers

Robbinsville

Dan Frascella, RHP (4-2, 2 Saves, 2.57 ERA, 30 IP, 35 K, 10 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

John Consiglio, (3-2, 1.68 ERA, 25 IP, 6 K, 11 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Blake Grembowitz (1-1, 2.33 ERA, 18 IP, 14 K, 5 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Point Boro

Christian Aurin, RHP (1-1, 1.66 ERA, 25 1/3 IP, 16 K, 12 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Sam Young, RHP (4-2, 1.33 ERA, 31 2/3 IP, 37 K, 16 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

 

Top Hitters

Robbinsville

Jack Gilmer, SS (.378, 9 2B, 2 3B, 34 R, 7 RBI, 7 SB)

Tyler Lehmann, 3B (.275, 6 2B, 1 3B, 12 R, 15 RBI, 7 SB)

Nick Matt, 2B (.321, 1 HR, 9 R, 17 RBI)

Tyler Provost, RF (.343, 3 2B, 8 R, 9 RBI)

Point Boro

Sam Collins, SS/RHP (.404/.486/.511, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 29 R, 20 RBI, 8 SB)

Sam Young, RF (.333/.443/.542, 3 2B, 4 HR, 18 R, 18 RBI)

Ryan Jasaitis, C (.365/.402/.412, 4 2B, 16 RBI)

Christian Aurin, CF (.300/.420/400, 5 2B, 1 3B, 15 R, 15 RBI, 12 SB)

Nick Guzzi, 3B/DH (.329/.402/.392, 3 2B, 1 3B, 9 R, 26 RBI)

Frankie Dominici, 3B (.321/.441/.500, 3 2B, 1 3B, 10 RBI)

Nick Zbikowski, 2B (.289/.396/.342, 4 2B, 21 R, 12 RBI, 6 SB)

Paul Francescini, 1B (.269/.390/.333, 5 2B, 15 R, 15 RBI)

 

Central Jersey Group I Final

No. 3 Point Pleasant Beach (13-10) at No. 1 Middlesex (21-6)

Point Beach sophomore Matt Van Brunt. (Photo by Matt Manley)

 

Road to the Final

Point Beach

First Round: Junior Will Baranello and freshman Phil Trebour combined on a two-hit shutout and freshman Colin Matuschat went 2-for-2 with two doubles and four RBI to lead an 8-0 win over No. 14 Keyport. Baranello also went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI while sophomore Alec Glen was 3-for-3 for Point Beach.

Quarterfinal: Trebour came pitched the seventh inning again and recorded the final two outs with the bases loaded and the tying run on second to seal a 4-2 Point Beach win over No. 6 South Amboy. Freshman Andrew Banick pitched into the seventh to earn the win and Glen drove in a pair of runs at the plate.

Semifinal: Baranello and Trebour turned in their second combined shutout of the state tournament and sophomore Hunter Alia went 4-for-4 with a two-run single in the top of the sixth as the Garnet Gulls knocked off No. 2 New Egypt on the road. Glen stayed hot at the plate with a 3-for-4 game at the plate while Matuschat and Banick turned in key defensive plays to help Trebour escape a sixth-inning, bases-loaded jam unscathed.

Middlesex

First Round: Jared Zimbardo doubled and drove in five, Jarrett May doubled twice and drove in four and Tyrus Chippendale went 4-for-4 to lead a hit parade by the Blue Jays in an 18-0 rout of No. 16 Henry Hudson.

Quarterfinals: Raiden Yost and Zimbardo combined on a five-inning no-hitter with 11 strikeouts – with the lone base-runner reaching on an error – and Middlesex hammered No. 8 Bound Brook, 13-0. Zimbardo also had a huge game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three doubles and six RBI, while Chippendale was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI.

Semifinals: Middlesex trailed No. 4 South Hunterdon 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth before erupting for a combined 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to storm into the sectional final with a 10-2 win. Zimbardo struck out 11 in a complete-game four-hitter while Ryan Vollmer was 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead the comeback.

 

Probable Starting Pitchers

Point Beach

Andrew Banick, RHP (3-1, 1 Save, 3.92 ERA, 25 IP, 15 K, 7 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Middlesex

Raiden Yost, LHP (4-2, 2.86 ERA, 29 1/3 IP, 26 K, 13 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

 

Notable Available Pitchers

Point Beach

Phil Trebour, RHP (0-0, 6 Saves, 2.14 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 18 K, 11 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Jeff Wall, RHP (2-3, 1.93 ERA, 25 1/3 IP, 17 K, 9 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Matt Van Brunt, RHP (3-2, 2.24 ERA, 25 IP, 15 K, 10 BB) – Available for 110 pitches

Middlesex

Matt Holmes (4-2, 0.72 ERA, 29 IP, 10 K, 6 BB)

Will Kozak (3-0, 0.71 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 21 K, 6 BB)

Jared Venutolo (3-1, 1.43 ERA, 14 2/3 IP, 17 K, 6 BB)

 

Top Hitters

Point Beach

Alec Glen, 1B (.465/.512/.563, 5 2B, 1 3B, 12 R, 26 RBI)

David Terra-Nova, C (.317/.427/.492, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 R, 13 RBI)

Phil Trebour, SS (.303/.447/.394, 2 2B, 2 3B, 18 R, 14 RBI)

Hunter Alia, CF (.312/.411/.312, 22 R, 8 RBI)

Middlesex

Jared Zimbardo (.459, 11 2B, 1 3B, 23 R, 35 RBI, 8 SB)

Jared Venutolo (.400, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 36 R, 19 RBI, 13 SB)

Jarrett May (.361, 11 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 18 R, 24 RBI)

Mike Schweyher (.346, 6 2B, 1 HR, 33 R, 18 RBI, 11 SB)

Tyler Chippendale (.321, 2 2B, 25 R, 22 RBI, 19 SB)

Ryan Vollmer (.348, 2 2B, 20 R, 15 RBI, 14 SB)

 

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