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The Southern Regional baseball team finished last in the 2021 Shore Conference Class A South standings and this season started off with a 9-0 loss to the consensus favorite to win the division in 2022 -- Jackson Memorial.

Heading into the second week of May, Jackson Memorial's magic number to clinch the outright Class A South title it was expected to win is down to one. There is just one team that can potentially spoil the celebration and it's the team that came in dead last a year ago.

Southern is in the midst of a turnaround season and the Rams may have hit their peak in the last week, which earned them the fifth Jersey Mike's Team of the Week award of 2022.

With a Class A South sweep of defending Ocean County Tournament champion Central -- the team that figured to be Jackson Memorial's primary competition for the division -- the Rams moved into position to steal a share of the division championship with two more division wins and some help from Jackson Memorial's final opponent.

If Southern can win two scheduled games vs. Toms River South next week and Brick Memorial defeats Jackson Memorial in a game scheduled for Friday, Southern will win a share of the division title.

The Rams put themselves in this position with 8-4 and 3-2 victories over Central on May 5 and 9, then reached the Ocean County Tournament quarterfinals with a walk-off, 8-7 win over Lacey.

Junior Dom Miranda (3-for-3, two RBI) starred in the first win over Central, junior Steven Miller and Brady Lesiak came through on the mound in the 3-2 win and senior Stephen Stafford and junior Brian Harper each had strong showings at the plate in the second win over Central and the OCT win over Lacey. Stafford went 1-for-2 in the win over Central and 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI vs. Lacey, while Harper was 2-for-4 vs. Central and 2-for-3 with three RBI vs. Lacey.

Senior right-hander Mike Nascimento, meanwhile, has been the stopper on the mound for Southern, picking up a win over Central and another in relief against Lacey to improve to 5-0. Nascimento came back and started Wednesday's game at Jackson Memorial and suffered his first loss.

The Rams are the No. 14 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament and will host No. 19 Barnegat in the first round on Saturday.

 

Past 2022 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Shore

Week 2: Point Pleasant Beach

Week 3: Christian Brothers Academy

Week 4: Wall