WALL TOWNSHIP - Close games have been Wall's forte this season, and more times than not, the Crimson Knights have come out on the winning end.

Two days after a rare loss in a close game, Wall got back in the win column against one of the Shore's hottest teams.

Sophomore Trey Dombroski allowed one earned run over five innings and freshman Teddy Sharkey fired two dominant innings of relief to lead the Crimson Knights - the No. 6 seed in the Monmouth County Tournament - to a 5-3 win over No. 11 Manalapan to advance to the quarterfinals of the county bracket.

Manalapan entered the game on an 11-game winning streak, which is tied for the longest at the Shore this season.

Wall sophomore Trey Dombroski. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Wall sophomore Trey Dombroski. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Dombroski overcame three errors by the Wall defense, which led to two unearned runs on his final line. The sophomore southpaw, however, did not walk a batter and finished strong with a one-two-three fifth inning, including back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and his outing.

Sharkey came on in the top of the sixth and retired the side in order with a strikeout in between two ground outs. Against the top of the Manalapan order in the seventh, Sharkey struck out the side in order to secure the save.

Wall's offense made the most of six hits on offense and also benefited from five walks by Manalapan starter Rob Gargano and three errors by the Braves defense. The Knights scored their first run in the second on a defensive miscue that was not an official error. With runners on the corners, Manalapan third baseman Mike Perlamuter could not hold onto a line drive off the bat of designated hitter Joe Shimko and threw the ball to second base hoping to start a double play.

Courtesy runner Andy Lenneper broke for home and Manalapan second baseman Vin Lanza hesitated before eventually throwing home, but too late to cut down Lenneper.

Wall took its first lead with two unearned runs in the third inning - one of which scored on an error and the other on a wild pitch. Manalapan pulled even in the top of the fourth on an RBI single an RBI single by center fielder Giovanni Ciaccio and on an infield error that still nearly ended up an out at home plate, but catcher David Howarth was called for illegally obstructing the runner at the plate and Lanza was ruled safe at home with the tying run.

Gargano looked poised for a quick fourth inning when he retired the first two batters on two pitchers, but Wall went to work with two out. Shortstop Dylan Richey worked an eight-pitch walk, stole second base and scored on an RBI single by fellow sophomore John Volpe.

In the fifth, John Perrino and Howarth started the inning with consecutive singles and Perrino scored on a sacrifice fly by senior left fielder Kevin Lenneper. Lenneper finished 1-for-1 with a walk at the plate and also took a hit away from Shore Conference home run leader Steven Bullen with a diving catch in the first.

Saturday marked Wall's 10th win of the season and nine of those wins have been by margins of three runs or fewer, with eight by two runs or fewer. Wall's three losses were also close, with all three decided by two runs or fewer.

The Crimson Knights will play Red Bank Catholic at County Basie Park in the MCT quarterfinals on Sunday - the first of two games in two days against the Caseys. The two Shore Conference Class B North foes will also square off in Red Bank on Monday in divisional play. Wall defeated Red Bank Catholic, 6-3, in Wall on April 11.


Box Score

(6) Wall 5, (11) Manalapan 3

Manalapan (12-3)0102000363
Wall (10-3)012110x563



Rob Gargano (L, 1-2)55535292
Justin Korman1100019
Trey Dombrowski (W, 3-0)56310596
Teddy Sharkey (S)20000424


Top Hitters

ManalapanGame Stats
Vin Lanza2-2, R
Joe Pellecchia1-3, RBI
Giovanni Ciaccio1-4, RBI
Anthony Naylor1-3, 2B, R
WallGame Stats
John Volpe1-4, RBI, SB
Kevin Lenneper1-1, BB, RBI
Shane Richey2-3, BB


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