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NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Quarterfinals

South Jersey Non-Public A

(1) Red Bank Catholic 4, (8) Pingry 2

The Caseys scored four runs without a run-scoring hit and leaned on a solid start from Declan Leary, followed by a dominant relief outing by Steve Svenson to top the Big Blue.

Red Bank Catholic scored three times in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead thanks to five walks issued by Pingry starter Jake Francis in that inning alone. Second baseman Christian Condon plated the tying run with an RBI groundout with the bases loaded, followed by four straight walks issued by Francis.

The last two walks resulted in RBI for both Sean Griggs and Frank Scrivanic -- the latter of whom had one of RBC's two hits in the form of a first-inning double that one-hopped the fence in rightfield.

Centerfield Matt Brunner had the other Red Bank Catholic hit, which was a sharp, groundball single into leftfield to set the Caseys up with runners on first and second and none out in the second after Dylan Passo led off the inning with a walk.

Leary allowed an RBI infield single to No. 9 hitter Neil Srikanth with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the second, giving Pingry a 1-0 lead. The junior right-hander also stranded runners in scoring position in both the third and fifth innings and got some help from catcher Shane Andrus, who threw out two runners on the basepaths.

Pingry pulled to within 4-2 in the top of the sixth, starting the inning with a walk by Alex Payne and a single from Kailar Ahn before Svenson entered to pitch with two on and none out. Svenson struck out the first two batters he faced and induced a shallow pop fly down the rightfield line, but Condon could not make the over-the-shoulder catch, allowing a run to score.

With the tying runs in scoring position, Svenson reached back and struck out his third batter of the inning to end the threat. In the seventh, Svenson mowed down the side in order to seal the victory and earn RBC a chance at revenge on Wednesday in the sectional semifinal.

Regardless of the outcome at St. Augustine Friday, RBC was going to have a chance to avenge one of its last two NJSIAA Tournament losses. As it happens, it will be the loss from two years ago, when St. Augustine -- down to its last out in the seventh inning of the sectional championship game -- rallied to beat the Caseys, 6-5, in eight innings for its fifth straight South Jersey Non-Public A title.

Griggs, Srivanic, Andrus and Alex Stanyek were all starters on that 2021 team and Stanyek was on the mound in both the seventh and eighth innings during the improbable St. Augustine comeback.

With four days between Friday's sectional quarterfinals and Wednesday's semifinal round, both teams will have their entire pitching staffs eligible to pitch, with the sectional final scheduled for the following Saturday, June 3.

Pingry (12-11)0100010271
RBC (22-5)030010X421


Jake Francis (L)4.12436197
Alex Payne1.20000115
Declan Leary (W)57213281
Steve Svenson (SV)20000428

Top Hitters

PingryGame Stats
Alex Payne2-2, 2 2B, BB, 2 R
Neil Srikanth1-2, BB, RBI
Red Bank CatholicGame Stats
Frank Scrivanic1-1, 2B, 2 BB, RBI
Matt Brunner1-3, R
Sean Griggs0-2, BB, R, RBI


(4) St. Augustine 5, (5) CBA 4 (8 Innings)

The Hermits (17-7) scored the tying runs with two out in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch and an error, then won it with an RBI single by Joe Erace in the bottom of the eighth to deal the Colts (19-6-1) a crushing, season-ending loss for the second straight year.

St. Augustine beat CBA, 5-2, in 2022 to clinch its sixth straight South Jersey Non-Public A championship and kept its hopes of a seventh consecutive sectional title alive by breaking CBA's collective heart again on Friday.

Erace started the rally in the seventh with a one-out walk and C.J. Fuery was hit by a pitch to put the tying runs aboard. Zaine Toneske then collected a huge strikeout for the second out of the inning, but a passed ball moved the tying runs into scoring position.

CBA opted to walk Marco Levari and put the winning run on first base and it nearly backfired when a wild pitch cut the lead to 4-3 and moved the winning run into scoring position, with the tying run moving to third base.

Gabe Gillespie stepped in and hit a groundball to shortstop that Harrison Campi could not secure, allowing the tying run to cross home plate. Campi recovered and made a smooth play up the middle one batter later to keep the winning run from scoring and sending the game to the eighth inning.

After CBA went in order in the top of the eighth, St. Augustine started the bottom of the inning with a walk and a perfectly-placed bunt that went for a base hit. CBA nearly worked its way out of trouble when Hunter Del Guercio fielded a bunt at first base and threw out the lead runner at third for the first out.

Next up was Erace and the Hermits leadoff hitter punched a single over second baseman James Nitti, scoring the winning run from second base.

After falling behind, 1-0, in the bottom of the first, CBA rallied with a run on a wild pitch in the top of the second and a three-run third that third baseman Wyatt Hunt highlighted with a two-out, two-run triple that broke a 1-1 tie.

Chris Levonas limited St. Augustine to two runs in 5 1/3 of work in taking the no-decision. He left the game with one out, a runner on third and a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth and struck out nine before turning the ball over to Nick Harnisch, who got the final two outs of the inning after the runner on third scored on a wild pitch to make the score, 4-2.


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