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NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Semifinals

South Jersey Non-Public A

(1) Red Bank Catholic 8, (4) St. Augustine 1

Shane Andrus highlighted a four-run first inning with a two-run home run and right-hander Steve Svenson fired a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead the Caseys to a cathartic win over the six-time defending sectional champion Hermits.

Andrus and three of his teammates -- fellow seniors Alex Stanyek and Frank Scrivanic as well as junior Sean Griggs -- were starters as underclassmen in 2021, when St. Augustine rallied to stun RBC, 6-5, in extra innings in the South Jersey Non-Public A championship game.

On Wednesday, the Caseys jumped in front early and did not let the Hermits get back in the game. After he made a slick, charging play on a slow-hit grounder for the last out of the top of the first, Griggs jumpstarted the first Caseys rally with a line-drive, hustle double into right-centerfield.

Scrivanic then opened the scoring with a groundball single into rightfield that plated Griggs from second base. Next up was Andrus, who zeroed in on the first pitch and lined it over the leftfield fence for a 3-0 Caseys lead.

Dylan Passo then walked and Matt Brunner kept the inning going with a single, setting up an RBI single through the middle by Brendan Kopec that extended RBC's lead to 4-0.

A wild pitch made it 5-0 in the second inning, but St. Augustine got that run right back on a two-out RBI single by Jake Meyers in the top of the third.

Griggs led off the fourth by ripping an infield single off pitcher Matt Kouser and on Scrivanic's third single of the game, he held up at second base. Andrus then hit a shallow flyout to right-centerfield and with Meyers drifting to his left, a tagging Griggs took a chance to running to third. Meyers unleashed a strong throw, but it bounced past third baseman Manny Aponte and out of play, allowing Griggs to score the sixth RBC run.

Brunner then came through with the second of his three singles, this one knocking in Scrivanic, who had advanced to third on the throwing error from the outfield.

RBC extended its lead to 8-1 thanks to St. Augustine's second error in as many innings, with Scrivanic knocking the run in on a sacrifice fly.

The run support was plenty for Svenson, who needed 69 pitches to get through the first three innings and only 42 over the final four. After the RBI single by Meyers in the third, Svenson set down 13 out of the final 14 batters he faced to close out the game -- the lone runner coming on a single by C.J. Furey leading off the sixth inning.

Svenson saved the rest of the staff with an efficient final inning. He took the mound in the top of the seventh sitting on 103 pitches and tore through the Nos. 6, 7 and 8 batters in the Hermits lineup on eight pitches.

Red Bank Catholic will host the South Non-Public A championship game Saturday against No. 2 St. Joseph of Metuchen. The Caseys will be seeking their first sectional championship since 1997 and first ever in the Non-Public A group.

St. Augustine (17-8)0010000132
RBC (23-5)410210X8120


Marco Levari (L)15441029
Matt Kouser36331257
C.J. Furey21101237
Steve Svenson (W)7311211111

Top Hitters

St. AugustineGame Stats
Jake Meyers1-3, RBI
C.J. Furey1-2, BB, SB
Joe Erace1-3, R
Red Bank CatholicGame Stats
Frank Scrivanic3-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
Sean Griggs2-3, 2B, HBP, 3 R
Shane Andrus1-2, HR, 2 BB, R, 2 RBI
Matt Brunner3-4, RBI
Brendan Kopec2-4, RBI
Max Dantoni1-2, BB, SB



South Jersey Non-Public B

(2) Ranney 4, (3) Bishop Eustace 3

Third baseman Diego Tavarez belted a go-ahead two-run home run to right-centerfield in the bottom of the fifth inning the the Panthers clawed their way past the Crusaders and into the South Non-Public B sectional final for the second straight season.

Tavarez's game-winning blast was the third Ranney homer of the game, with centerfielder A.J. Gracia connecting on a pair of solo home runs for his ninth and 10th of the season and 26th and 27th of his career.

Gracia's first homer led off the bottom of the first inning and staked Ranney to a 1-0 lead. Bishop Eustace, however, came back with two runs in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Anthony Masculli and bumped the lead up to 3-1 on a solo home run by Vin Panvini leading off the top of the fourth.

Left-hander Marcello Mastroianni took over on the mound for starter Nick Coniglio to start the top of the fifth inning and put up a zero thanks to an outfield assist by rightfielder Glen Cantalupo, who cut down a Bishop Eustace runner attempting to tag up from second to third on a flyout.

Ranney also had a runner thrown out on the bases, with Bishop Eustace centerfielder Christian Ovecka throwing out a runner at home on Glen Cantalupo's single for the last out of the second inning.

Mastroianni's pitching and Cantalupo's laser throw sett the stage for a big Ranney rally in the bottom of the inning. Gracia cut the deficit in half with his second bomb of the day, this one sailing over the right-centerfield fence after his first-inning shot left to dead center. Ryan Costello then worked a walk, setting the stage for Taverez. The Wagner commit pounced on a low fastball from Rutgers-bound right-hander Jack Kirchner and lined it over the right-centerfield wall to catapult Ranney into the lead for the first time since just before Masculli's clutch single in the third.

Mastroianni then pitched a one-two-three sixth, but encountered some pressure in the seventh when Ovecka led off with a single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Mastroianni responded by inducing a flyout for the second out and finished the game off with his second strikeout in three innings.

Ranney moves on to the sectional final Saturday and will face Gloucester Catholic for the third time in three years in this bracket. Saturday's showdown will be at Gloucester Catholic's home field and will be a rubber match, with Gloucester Catholic winning the 2021 sectional semifinal over Ranney with a tying rally in the seventh and a walk-off win in the bottom of the eighth.

Ranney got its revenge last year, with Charlie Chropuvka's three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh delivering Ranney its first sectional title with an 8-7 win.

Bishop Eustace (21-8)0021000350
Ranney (27-2)100030X451


Jack Kirchner (L)55443698
Landon Mack1000019
Nick Coniglio433106 61
Marcello Mastroianni (W)310002 39

Top Hitters

Bishop EustaceGame Stats
Christian Mascuilli1-3, 2 RBI
Vin Panvini1-3, HR, R, RBI
RanneyGame Stats
A.J. Gracia2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Diego Tavarez1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI
Ryan Costello1-2, BB, R



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