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NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Championship

Central Jersey Group III

(3) Middletown North 10, (4) Lawrence 7

Sophomore right-hander Zach Hampton hung tough on the mound for 5 1/3 innings and went 3-for-4 at the plate for the second straight game to lead the Lions over the Cardinals to capture their second consecutive Central Jersey Group II championship.

Middletown North exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third inning to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Junior leftfielder Jason Quardt opened the scoring with a two-run single, followed by RBI singles from senior second baseman Colby McMahon and senior shortstop Ryan Frontera to extend the lead to 4-0. Senior first baseman R.J. Kernan stretched it to 5-0 with an sacrifice fly.

The Lions blew the game open with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Hampton giving himself some cushion with an RBI single for a 6-0 lead. Junior centerfielder Dylan Briggs then delivered a two-run single to put the Lions ahead, 8-0.

Lawrence fought back with four runs in the top of the fifth to cut it deficit in half. Junior Kellen Moore highlighted the rally with a two-run double and classmate Riley Rivera singled home a run to make it 8-4.

Giovanni Brogle cut the Middletown North lead to 8-5 in the sixth with a solo home run, giving the Cardinals five unanswered runs and some momentum on their side. After the home run and with Hampton over 100 pitches, Middletown North turned to sophomore Alipio Figueroa to navigate out of the sixth with the lead still 8-5.

McMahon took his day at the plate from good to great in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run single, upping his RBI total for the game to three and extending the Lions lead to 10-5.

Lawrence made some noise in the top of the seventh, but Figueroa close it out and Middletown North earned a spot in the Group III semifinals, which the Lions will host Monday against South Jersey champion Mainland.

Lawrence (21-7)000041279
Midd North (17-8)005302X1012


Middletown NorthIPHRERBBSOPC
Zach Hampton (W, 5-3)5.175124103
Alipio Figueroa1.22221125

Top Hitters

Middletown NorthGame Stats
Colby McMahon3-4, R, 3 RBI
Zach Hampton3-4, 2 R, RBI
Dylan Briggs2-3, BB, R, 2 RBI
Ryan Frontera2-3, BB, 2 R, RBI
Jason Quardt1-2, BB, RBI
Mike Hallard1-4, 2B, R



Central Jersey Group II

(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 8, (3) Spotswood 3

Sophomore centerfielder Parker Shenman sparked an offensive breakout with a 4-for-4 game at the plate and senior right-hander Jackson Hinchcliffe stabilized the game out of the bullpen as the Bulldogs rolled through the Chargers for their second straight Central Group II title.

Shenman singled and stole second to start the game and scored the first run on the first of two RBI singles by junior leftfielder Jack Riva. Senior Brayden Dill made it 2-0 with an RBI single through the left side and fielder's choice RBI by senior first baseman Spencer Hobson capped the first-inning rally.

From there, Rumson scored a single run in each of the next five innings to continue to add to its lead. Riva's infield single off the end of his bat gave Shenman a chance to score from third after he tripled to start the inning.

Shenman then picked up his lone RBI of the game with a two-out RBI single through the right side to score Hobson, who led off the bottom of the third with a jam-shot single into centerfield.

Senior catcher Owen Kenney made it 6-1 in the fourth with an RBI single to shallow left-center to score Riva. Rumson capped its scoring with sacrifice flies by senior shortstop Reece Moroney and Dill in the fifth and sixth, respectively.

Spotswood scored only one run in the first six innings, but made Rumson senior starter John Goodes work during his 3 1/3 innings of work. Goodes stranded five runners over the first three innings, recording the final two outs of the third on a 6-4-3 double play. The double play came after Goodes got the first out of the third by picking off senior shortstop Casey Cuminskey at second base after Cuminskey led off the inning with a ground-rule double.

In the top of the fourth, Goodes surrendered infield singles to Chris Bottiglieri and Sebby Saracino around a groundout, with Saracino's single plating Spotswood's first run. A four-pitch walk to No. 9 hitter Shawn Lennan prompted Bulldogs coach Owen Stewart to call upon Hinchcliffe to work out of the first-and-second jam with one out and the top of the order coming up.

Hinchliffe immediately notched a strikeout for the first out and induced Cuminskey into an inning-ending groundout. The Richmond-bound right-hander came back out for the fifth inning and carved through the middle of the Spotswood order on 12 pitches, picking up two more strikeouts.

In all, Hinchcliffe needed just 20 pitches to retire five consecutive batters between the fourth and fifth innings. The senior threw 68 pitches in five innings in Tuesday's win over Ocean and will be the starter on Monday, when Rumson hosts South Jersey champion Seneca in the Group II final.

Sophomore right-hander Owen O'Toole fired a dominant sixth inning, needing 10 pitches to record two strikeouts. Senior right-hander Matt Bruno surrendered a two-run homer to Cuminskey, but still managed to strikeout the side in closing out Rumson's second straight sectional title.

Spotswood (21-8)0001002361
Rumson-FH (21-5)311111X8121


Jackson Walsh (L, 8-2)37552479
John Goodes3.14116375
Jackson Hinchcliffe (W, 5-1)1.20000320
Owen O’Toole10000210
Matt Bruno12221330

Top Hitters

SpotswoodGame Stats
Casey Cuminskey3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI
Sebby Saracino1-3, RBI
Chris Bottiglieri1-2, BB, R
Shawn Lennan1-2, BB, R
Rumson-Fair HavenGame Stats
Parker Shenman4-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, SB
Jack Riva2-3, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
Owen Kenney2-4, 2B, R, RBI, 2 SB
Brayden Dill1-3, 2 RBI
Spencer Hobson1-4, R, RBI
Cade LaGrassa1-2, BB, R
Reece Moroney0-1, BB, HBP, R, RBI, SB
Roman Sakele1-1, 2B



Central Jersey Group I

(1) Point Beach 4, (3) Middlesex 1

Junior Bryan Matuschat highlighted a four-run second inning with a two-run double and senior right-handers Kyle Kolans and James Larsen combined on another pristine pitching effort as the Garnet Gulls completed their second consecutive run to a Central Jersey Group I championship at the expense of the Blue Jays.

Kolans stranded a runner on third in his first inning of work, then got some help from freshman rightfielder Danny Lubach in the form of a sliding catch during a one-two-three second inning.

At that point, the Point Beach offense went to work on its only scoring rally of the game, but the Garnet Gulls made sure to make it a significant one. Larsen worked a leadoff walk and moved up to second when junior John Coakley's sacrifice led to an error and two men on with none out.

Lubach dropped in a bloop single to load the bases and sophomore Noah Banick worked a walk to force in the game's first run. Freshman leadoff hitter Tommy Conroy then beat out an infield single to push the Garnet Gulls lead to 2-0.

Matuschat then delivered the game's lone extra-base hit -- a double that scored Coakley and Banick, with Banick making it to the plate by leaping over Blue Jays catcher Justin Gordon to get his hand in for the fourth Point Beach run.

Kolans navigated through the next three innings without cracking, striking out the last batter of the top of the fourth to strand the bases loaded and using a 5-3 double play turned by Larsen to end the top of the fifth.

Aidan Kozak, Tomas Lavornia and Alfonso Esposito started the top of the sixth with consecutive singles, which resulted in coach Angelo Fiore going to Larsen in relief. Larsen picked up a critical strikeout for the first out, but Dom Parenti came through with a single to centerfield to score the runner from third. Point Beach took advantage of a base-runner gaffe and caught the runner between second and third to record the second out of the inning on the play.

After a walk to load the bases, Larsen ended the inning with a strikeout with Point Beach still ahead, 4-1.

With a clean start to the seventh inning, Larsen fired a one-two-three frame to close out the victory and send Point Beach back to the Group I semifinals. The Garnet Gulls will host South Jersey champion on Monday, with Point Beach looking to earn its first ever trip to the state final.

Middlesex (17-9)0000010172
Pt Beach (23-5)040000X460


Alfonso Esposito (L, 2-4)66403579
Kyle Kolans (W, 9-1)56113283
James Larsen (SV, 1)21001326

Top Hitters

MiddlesexGame Stats
Tomas Lavornia2-3
Alfonso Esposito2-3
Dom Parenti1-3, RBI
Aidan Kozak1-3, BB, R



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