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NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Semifinals

Central Jersey Group III

(4) Lawrence 3, (9) Matawan 2

A sacrifice fly by Teak Toto and an RBI groundout by winning pitcher Kellen Moore scored the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Redbirds closed out the Huskies to advance to the sectional final Friday at Middletown North.

Matawan grabbed a 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Jack Sassa, followed by an RBI single by Joey Bodin -- both in the top of the third inning.

Lawrence got a run back in the bottom of the fifth when a two-base throwing error set up an RBI single by Drew Dobkin.

Brandon Falco had not given up much to Lawrence heading into the sixth inning and the winning rally started when the Huskies ace issued a four-pitch walk. Robert Kelly then laced a ground-rule double that set runners up at second and third for Toto and Moore to knock them in.

Matawan (15-12)0020000251
Lawrence (21-6)000012X340


Brandon Falco (L)64321690
Kellen Moore (W)75221495

Top Hitters

MatawanGame Stats
Jack Sassa1-3, 2B, R, RBI, SB
Joey Bodin1-3, RBI
Sal Cassano1-3, 2B
Bryan McCartin1-3
Mark Kovach1-3
LawrenceGame Stats
Robert Kelly2-3, 2B, R
Teak Toto1-2, RBI
Drew Dobkin1-2, RBI


(3) Middletown North 5, (7) Middletown South 3

Sophomore left-hander Gabe Ahlemeyer pitched into the seventh inning and classmate Zach Hampton closed out the game with major defensive assists from Ahlemeyer and sophomore Aldo Casale as the Lions leaned on its sophomores in key moments to take out the crosstown rival Eagles and reach the sectional final for a second straight year.

Ahlemeyer allowed a single to Matt Sliva and a walk to Danny Corcoran to open up the top of the seventh inning, with Middletown North holding onto a 5-2 lead. Hampton then came on to pitch and walked Brevin Bezick on eight pitches to load the bases with no one out.

Ben Schild then hit a fly ball toward the alley in right-centerfield, but Ahlemeyer -- who moved to rightfield after his day on the mound was done -- made a sliding grab for the first out, with Sliva tagging up and scoring to make it 5-3 and the other two runners holding.

Will Christopher then hit a chopper up the third-base line that took Casale well behind the bag and beat it out for an infield single, putting the go-ahead run on base for the Eagles.

On the next batter, Brendan Sliva worked the count to 2-2 against Hampton and hit a hard ground ball toward the hole between shortstop and third base. Casale, however, shifted to his left, snared it with a forehand stab and fired to Colby McMahon covering second base for the first out.

McMahon executed the turn at second base and first baseman R.J. Kernan scooped out the short hop to complete a game-ending 5-4-3 double-play.

Middletown North jumped on top with four runs in the bottom of the fourth -- all of which were unearned against Middletown South junior starter Mason Christopher thanks to two errors committed by the Eagles in the inning.

After an error to leadoff the inning and a single by Kernan, Hampton opened the scoring with an RBI single to right-centerfield. A fielder's choice groundout by Briggs set up runners on the corners with one out and Colby McMahon followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

Jason Quardt extended the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single through the middle and Middletown North added a fourth run on an error. Middletown North successfully executed a double-steal of second and third and when catcher Andrew Marquis attempted to throw out the trail runner, no one was covering the base and the ball skipped into centerfield.

Middletown South got a run back in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by John Chiusano, but Middletown North added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Dylan Briggs leading off the inning. With a 3-2 count, Briggs crushed the offering and it sailed well beyond the leftfield fence.

Middletown North advances to Friday's sectional championship game against No. 4 Lawrence, which the Lions will host after winning five of its six NJSIAA Tournament games in 2022 away from home. This season, Middletown North is 3-0 at home in three rounds of the tournament and would also host the Group III semifinal on Tuesday should the Lions defeat Lawrence on Friday.

Midd South (13-13)0001011362
Midd North (16-8)004010X590


Middletown SouthIPHRERBBSOPC
Mason Christopher (L)35403469
Brendan Roche12112128
Will Christopher22001331
Middletown NorthIPHRERBBSOPC
Gabe Ahlemeyer (W)65334398
Zach Hampton (SV)11001018

Top Hitters

Middletown SouthGame Stats
Ben Schild2-3, 2 R, RBI
John Chiusano1-2, 2 RBI
Lou D’Alessio1-1, BB, HBP, SB
Matt Sliva1-3, R
Middletown NorthGame Stats
Zach Hampton3-4, RBI
Dylan Briggs1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB
Jason Quardt1-1, 2 BB, R, RBI, 2 SB
R.J. Kernan2-4, R
Ryan Frontera1-3, BB, R
Gabe Ahlemeyer1-2, BB



Central Jersey Group II

(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 2, (12) Ocean 1

Rumson cashed in on a first-inning scoring opportunity and its pitching held the early lead all the way to the final out as the Bulldogs fought off the Spartans to reach the sectional championship game for the second straight year.

Owen Kenney ripped a one-out ground-rule double to open the scoring and place runners on second and third. Two more walks plated the second run, with Spencer Hobson working the walk that forced home what proved to be the winning run.

Ocean faced a similar situation in its run-scoring inning. With runners on first and second in the fifth, Shane Garrett smacked a slicing line-drive into right field that hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double, which permitted only one of the runs to score.

Rumson starter Jackson Hinchcliffe retired the next two batters to squash the rally and turned the ball over to Owen O'Toole and Matt Bruno to finish off the game with a scoreless inning apiece.

For the second straight year, Rumson will host the Central Group II championship game, with No. 3 Spotswood making the trip to Rumson for Friday's title game.

Ocean (19-8)0000100151
Rumson-FH (20-5)200000X230


Matt King (L)632238100
Jackson Hinchliffe (W)55111567
Owen O’Toole10000212
Matt Bruno (SV)10000112

Top Hitters

OceanGame Stats
Shane Garrett1-3, 2B, RBI
Matt King1-2, BB, R
Ben Robinson1-3, 2B
Rumson-Fair HavenGame Stats
Owen Kenney1-3, 2B, RBI
Spencer Hobson1-2, 2B, HBP, RBI
Reece Moroney1-2, BB, R



Central Jersey Group I

(1) Point Beach 10, (5) Manville 0 (5 Innings)

James Larsen needed only 48 pitches to complete a five-inning, one-hit shutout and Point Beach's No. 5 through 9 hitters went a combined 8-for-11 with eight RBI to lead the Garnet Gulls past the Mustangs and back to the sectional final for the fourth straight season.

Danny Lubach -- hitting in the No. 7 spot -- doubled home a pair of runs to open the scoring in the bottom of the second inning and added an RBI single in Point Beach's eight-run third.

No. 5 hitter John Coakley made it 3-0 in the third with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Lubach then followed with his RBI single, followed by two-run hits by both Noah Banick and Daniel Storch. Banick singled in a pair to make it 6-0 and Storch extended the lead to 8-0 with an RBI double.

Errors on back-to-back plays plated the last two runs of the eight-run third for Point Beach.

A two-out double by Tyler Canica in the top of the third inning was the only base-runner allowed by Larsen, who preserved his eligibility to pitch in Friday's championship game should Point Beach need him.

The Garnet Gulls will play No. 3 Middlesex in the championship game for the fourth straight season, with Friday's CJ I championship game marking the first time that Point Beach has hosted the Blue Jays in a sectional final. Last year, Point Beach beat Middlesex to win its first ever sectional championship -- ending a streak of four straight season-ending losses to Middlesex in the Central Group II playoffs.

Manville (14-8)00000XX013
Pt Beach (22-5)0280XXX10100


Nick Bentz (L)4101072271
James Larsen (W)51000548

Top Hitters

ManvilleGame Stats
Tyler Canica1-1, 2B
Point BeachGame Stats
Danny Lubach2-3, 2B, R, 3 RBI
Kyle Kolans2-2, R
Noah Banick2-3, R, 2 RBI
Daniel Storch1-2, 2B, R, 2 RBI
John Coakley1-1, BB, R, RBI
Bryan Matuschat1-3, 2 R
Colin Reinhard1-3, R


(3) Middlesex 7, (2) Shore 2

Middlesex (17-8)10131107102
Shore (13-13)0000020273


Mike Canavesio (W)772227101
Jeff Barham (L)36432578
Donovan Hughes44325385

Top Hitters

MiddlesexGame Stats
Justin Gordon4-4, 2R, 2B
Aidan Kozak2-4, R, 3 RBI
Alfonso Esposito2-3, 2R
Jack Adamski1-2, RBI
Chris Kozak1-3, 2R
ShoreGame Stats
Joe Santi1-2
E.J. Stefanelli2-4, R
Jeff Barham1-3, R
Christian Simonsen1-3, RBI
Parker Fegan1-3
T.J. Minner1-3, RBI



South Jersey Group IV

(11) Eastern 11, (7) Southern 2



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