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Adrenaline Week 8 Player of the Week: Postseason Edition

For this week's installment of the Adrenaline Baseball Players of the Week, we will be recognizing two players from each of the Shore Conference teams that won NJSIAA sectional championships last week. It takes a widespread team effort to accomplish that, but these six players were especially instrumental in their respective teams bringing home a trophy.

On top of winning a championship, each program ended a long drought to do it, with Middletown South ending a 10-year wait, Manchester capturing its first title in 18 years and Colts Neck winning the first sectional championship in the 22-year history of the program.

Read about this weeks honorees and vote in the two polls at the bottom of the post once per hour until they close on Wednesday at 10 p.m. The single player with the most votes between the two polls will receive a $25 gift card to Burger 25 in Toms River.

Dave Cohen, Colts Neck

One of two Shore Conference players to hit a seventh inning home run to win a sectional championship on Friday, Cohen’s blast did not actually count as a home run but it was one, for all intents and purposes. With the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the seventh of a 2-2 game against Northern Burlington, Cohen connected on an offering that carried over the right-field fence for a would-be grand slam to win Colts Neck’s its first ever NJSIAA sectional championship. Cohen’s teammates and a mob of students swarmed him before he could make it to third base, which prevented him from completing his home run trot and turning his walk-off grand slam into a walk-of single that went over the fence. Either way, Cohen was the man with the big hit in Colts Neck’s biggest ever win.

Logan Duffy, Manchester

Manchester’s memorable championship victory at Delran was preceded by a an equally huge win over top-seeded West Deptford two days earlier. It started on Tuesday with the first four innings of the game, with Duffy blasting a home run to extend Manchester’s lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning, just before the game was suspended at the end of the bottom of the inning. The next day, Duffy didn’t let up, crushing his second home run of the game to stretch the Hawks lead to 8-2 in the top of the seventh. In the championship game, Duffy jumpstarted the day by leading off the game with a single and scoring on an RBI double by junior classmate Blake Warren.

Collin Kratzer, Colts Neck

Cohen’s game-winning grand-slam-single will be the lasting image of Colts Neck’s first ever sectional championship victory, but the Cougars rolled through the Central Jersey Group III section thanks to Kratzer’s work as a shut-down reliever in the last three games of the sectional tournament. He closed out a comfortable 8-1 win over Middletown North, then gave up an unearned run in finishing off a 5-2 win over Allentown to send the Cougars to the sectional final. Kratzer saved his best work for the championship game, pitching two perfect innings in the sixth and seventh with the game still tied at 2-2, allowing Colts Neck to win it in the bottom of the seventh with Cohen’s long-ball.

Sean McAllister, Manchester

With his team down to its last strike and the tying and winning runs standing at second base and first base against Delran on Friday, McAllister and Manchester were teetering on the fence between extending the South Jersey Group II title game and watching its Cinderalla run come to an end. On a 2-2 pitch, McAllister not only extended the game, but he won it with a rocket over the left-field fence for a dramatic, three-run home run. Sophomore Frank Kern closed out the game in the bottom of the seventh to secure a 7-5 win for the Hawks over Delran.

Matt Pontari, Middletown South

Earlier in the year, Pontari pitched a no-hitter against Central Jersey Group III champion Colts Neck during the Shore Conference Tournament and yet, that probably won’t go down as his most memorable performance in 2021. On Friday, Pontari took the ball for Middletown South in the Central Jersey Group IV final and pitched a five-hit shutout with nine strikeouts and one walk to deliver the Eagles a 2-0 win and their first sectional championship since 2011.

Ben Schild, Middletown South

A suspended game on Tuesday and a rain delay the following day limited the amount of pitching Schild could do for Middletown South, but it did not keep him from making a profound impact during the Eagles’ run to a Central Group IV championship last week. He completed four innings shutout innings against a tough Hunterdon Central lineup and struck out six without issuing a walk in earning the win. Schild also crushed a solo home run in that game to jumpstart a five-run seventh inning for the Eagles. In the championship game against Marlboro, Schild led off the second inning with a sharp single and scored from second on an RBI single by Tom DeMarco, which accounted for two of Middletown South’s three hits in its 2-0, championship victory over the Mustangs.