NJSIAA Tournament

Opening Round

North Jersey 2, Group III

(2) Nutley 9, (15) Matawan 7

Junior Kevin Hogan hit a one-out, walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Raiders denied the Huskies an upset in thrilling, heart-breaking fashion.

Senior Jackson Hercek was 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, Junior Griffin Falco was 1-for-2 with a double, two runs and two RBI and junior Nick Trapani was 1-for-3 with two RBI for Matawan.

Senior Dan Hirujo also hit a solo home run for Matawan and took the loss when he came on for starter Chris Gendi (101 pitches) with one out in the sixth.

 

Central Jersey Group IV

(15) Marlboro 5, (2) Hillsborough 2

Junior Josh Schleifman went the distance on the mound and the Mustangs scored four runs in the top of the sixth to back him up in a first-round upset of the Raiders.

Schleifman allowed two earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four on 103 pitches.

Freshman Julian Buchman hit a game-tying RBI double in sixth and sophomore Nick Wright plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly. Junior Ramon Fontanes followed with an RBI single and senior Justin Kapuscinski capped the rally with another RBI single.

Kapuscinski finished 2-for-2 at the plate while fellow seniors Anthony Brienza and Nick Zicchinolfi each went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Marlboro, which will play at No. 10 Hightstown on Thursday in the sectional quarterfinals.

(9) Freehold Twp. 10, (8) Monroe 7

Senior Ryan Kurczeski pitched 4 1/3 innings of strong relief to settle the game and went 2-for-4 at the plate to help the Patriots rally from 6-2 deficit over the final three innings in a win over the Falcons.

Freehold Township earns a shot at top-seeded and three-time defending sectional champion Hunterdon Central.

Kurczeski took over for starter Zach Gorman in the third inning and finished by allowing one unearned run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts while also keeping his pitch count at 49. Both Kurczeski and Gorman (44 pitches) will be eligible to pitch again on Thursday.

Junior Jarrett Urban was 2-for-4 with the go-ahead RBI triple in the top of the seventh to put Freehold Township on top to stay, 8-7. Senior Brandon Smith also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases, while senior Cristian Corcione was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two crucial defensive plays at second base that kept the deficit at 6-2 in the third inning.

(4) Manalapan 3, (13) North Brunswick 2 (10 Innings)

Senior Ben Levine delivered the game-winning RBI single to deep left-center and the Braves pulled out an extra-inning, walk-off win over the Raiders. Manalapan advances to play No. 5 South Brunswick in the sectional quarterfinals on Thursday.

Senior Aaron Ayers pitched the first seven innings in taking the no-decision and senior Jake Pellecchia earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief.

Levine finished 3-for-5 with a run scored to go with the winning RBI and Pellecchia was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Sophomore Joe Mazza also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and senior Mike Kuver accounted for the other RBI as part of a 1-for-4 game at the plate.

(3) Middletown South 8, (14) West Windsor-Plainsboro South 1

Junior Danny Minze went 3-for-3 with an RBI to help his cause on the mound as the Eagles rolled to a round-one win over the Pirates.

Minze allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings on the mound.

Senior Robby Zega broke the game open with a three-run double in the third that put Middletown South ahead, 5-1, and both senior Trey Brey and junior Chris O'Connor each added a two-run double in the win.

Middletown South will host No. 6 seed and recently-crowned Greater Middlesex Conference champion Old Bridge in the sectional quarterfinals on Thursday.

 

Central Jersey Group III

(3) Ocean 10, (14) Freehold Boro 0 (5 Innings)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Freehold Boro (5-19) 0 0 0 0 0 X X 0 3 1
Ocean (20-6)  2 2 2 0 4 X X 10 8 0

Pitching

Freehold Boro IP H R ER BB SO PC
Dom Nonnenmacker (L 2-6) 4 6 6 6 5 2 69
Shawn Piotrowski 0.2 2 4 0 4 0 29
Ocean IP H R ER BB SO PC
Kevin Schoenberger (W 6-1) 5 3 0 0 0 3 59

Top Hitters

Freehold Boro Stats
Matt Donlon 1-1, 2B, HBP
Ocean Stats
Max Winters 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI
Ryan Toomey 3-4, 2B, HR, 5 RBI
Cole Kelly 2 RBI

 

(1) Hamilton West 11, (16) Red Bank 0

 

(8) Hopewell Valley 7, (9) Neptune 4

Senior Ron Cole hit his Shore-Conference-leading eighth home run and pitched four scoreless innings before a five-run fifth spelled the end for the Scarlet Fliers against the Bulldogs.

An error opened the door to Hopewell's big fifth inning, during which Cole allowed one earned run. He finished with eight strikeouts, one walk and nine hits allowed over 4 2/3 after entering the fifth with seven strikeouts, no walks and four hits allowed.

Cole finished 3-for-3 at the plate, including a solo home run to open the scoring in the top of the first. Junior Rocco Richard and sophomore Brian Young each went 2-for-3 with a double, with Richard hammering a bases-clearing, three-run double in the top of the sixth to cut Hopewell's lead to 5-4.

(5) Colts Neck 14, (12) Brick 7

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Brick (10-13)  2 0 0 4 1 0 0 7 9 4
Colts Neck (12-8)  0  0 6 5 3 0  x 14  14  1

Pitching

Brick IP H R ER BB SO PC
Ethan Gonzalez  2.2  4  6  2  2  2  58
Jimmy Leblo  0.1 1 0  0  0  0  7
John Wade (L, 1-3)  2  9  8  8  0  3  46
Nick Guiro  1  0  0  0  0  1  5
Colts Neck IP H R ER BB SO PC
Justin Coppola  3  4  4  2  2  6  64
Brooks Condon (W, 2-0)  2  4  3  3  2  2 34
Anthony Buzzetta  1  1  0  0 1  1  21
Adrian Jimenez  1  1  0  0 0 3  16

Top Hitters

Brick Stats
Christian Malta 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
John Wade 2-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI
Jimmy Leblo 1-3, 2B, R, RBI
Anthony Prato 2-3, R
Rob Blair 2-2, 2B, R, RBI
Colts Neck Stats
Colin Kratzer 2-4, 2B, 2 R
Rob Mannino 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Reece Horneck 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
George Zemlanicky 1-3, 2 R, RBI
Nick Torres 1-3, 2 R, RBI
Adrian Jimenez 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Brooks Condon 2-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI
Matt Veneziano 1-3, R, RBI

 

(4) Wall 14, (13) Lawrence 0 (5 Innings)

Senior Trey Dombroski pitched a five-inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts, no walks and one hit batter as the Crimson Knights handled the Cardinals to advance to Thursday's sectional quarterfinals against No. 5 Colts Neck.

Dombroski needed only 62 pitches to finish his first career no-hitter, which means he is eligible to throw 88 in Thursday's game should Wall choose to deploy him.

Senior Grant Shulman was 4-for-4 with a triple, four runs and two RBI to lead the offense. Senior Dave Howarth went 3-for-4 with an RBI, sophomore Jay Bant went 1-for-3 with three RBI, senior Tanner Powers was 1-for-3 with two RBI and junior Teddy Sharkey finished 1-for-3 with a double and three runs scored for Wall.

(2) Jackson Liberty 14, (15) Middletown North 2 (5 Innings)

Senior Connor Keenan and junior Brandon Kinsman each homered, three Jackson Liberty players collected three hits apiece and the Lions routed Middletown North to advance to the sectional quarterfinals against two-time defending sectional champion Allentown.

Keenan finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and Kinsman was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer. Sophomore Jake Hickman and senior Kevin Ritz, meanwhile, each went 3-for-3, while seniors David Melfi and Charlie Rudderow were each 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Melfi and Ritz each doubled, Ritz drove in two and scored three times, while Rudderow and Hickman each drove in a run.

Junior Shane Hickey worked the first four innings to pick up the win on the mound before senior Scott Wierciszewski finished it off with the final inning. Hickey was also 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI while Wierciszewski finished 1-for-1 with two runs and two RBI.

Senior Sean Gardiner took the loss and sophomore Colin Dowlen accounted for the two runs with a two-run home run for Middletown North.

 

Central Jersey Group II

(1) Governor Livingston 14, (16) Rumson-Fair Haven 4 (6 Innings)

Governor Livingston scored nine runs with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn a one-run game into a six-inning win over the Bulldogs.

(5) Point Boro 2, (12) Monmouth 1 (9 Innings)

Senior Sam Collins missed out on the win on the mound by hitting his pitch limit after 8 2/3 innings, but picked up the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Panthers past the Falcons and into the sectional quarterfinals Thursday at A.L. Johnson.

Collins scattered 12 hits, struck out four and walked none while also going 2-for-5 with a run scored at the plate. Sophomore Frankie Dominici also went 2-for-4 and scored the winning run on Collins's single in the ninth.

Junior Sam Young recorded the final out of the top of the ninth to pick up the win in relief on only five pitches.

Senior Dante Ciaramella matched Collins for seven innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and one walk while striking out 11. Junior Alex Alonso took the loss in relief, while senior Chris Anfuso went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored on junior Brian Yadlon's third-inning RBI single.

(4) A.L. Johnson 4, (13) Raritan 3

Senior Jake Tennant went the distance on the mound in his last high-school game but the Rockets could not overcome the Crusaders, ending their Central Jersey Group II title defense in the opening round.

(3) Manasquan 13, (14) Holmdel 1 (5 Innings)

Senior Mike Anthony struck out seven over three innings to earn the win and the offense backed him in a big way as the Warriors routed the Hornets for the third time in three tries this season.

Juniors Will Hopkins (2-for-4) and John Foreman (2-for-3) each doubled and drove in three, while senior James Harmstead was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBI to lead the offense.

Senior Spencer Bauer added a solo home run, senior Alec Wells was 2-for-3 with an RBI and junior Hayden Kunz finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI for Manasquan.

 

Central Jersey Group I

(1) Middlesex 18, (16) Henry Hudson 0 (5 Innings)

(3) Point Beach 8, (14) Keyport 0

Junior Will Baranello and sophomore Phil Trebour combined on a two-hitter and sophomore Colin Matuschat went 2-for-2 with two doubles and four RBI to lead the Garnet Gulls past the Red Raiders for a third time this season.

Baranello allowed two hits and three walks while striking out six over the first five innings and Trebour closed out the win with two hitless frames, including four strikeouts and two walks.

Baranello also went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple that opened the scoring in Point Beach's six-run first inning. Sophomore Alec Glen also went 3-for-3 with a run scored for Point Beach.

Freshman Anthony Longo came on in relief of starter Lucas Dant with none out in the first and pitched six innings. Longo gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Point Beach will host No. 6 South Amboy in the sectional quarterfinals on Thursday.

(2) New Egypt 13, (15) Keansburg 0 (5 Innings)

 

South Jersey Group IV

(11) Williamstown 9, (6) Toms River North 4

(13) Howell 5, (4) Kingsway 3

Senior Bryan Bernard pitched a three-hitter and senior Jake Kutcher went 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI to lead the Rebels to a road win over the Crusaders.

Howell took the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, the first on a tie-breaking RBI single by senior Ryan Gonzalez and the second on an RBI single by sophomore Antonio Gatti.

Kutcher tied the game on two different occasions - first with a two-run double to make it 2-2 in the top of the fourth and again with a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth.

Bernard pitched around five walks and struck out three to improve to 6-1 on the season. Howell will travel to play No. 5 Cherry Hill East in the sectional quarterfinals.

(3) Eastern 5, (14) Brick Memorial 0

(15) Cherokee 5, (2) Jackson Memorial 2

Senior Tim Haverstick hit a two-run single as part of a three-run rally in the top of the eighth inning and the Chiefs held on to shock the defending South Jersey Group IV champion Jaguars in the opening round.

Junior Ryan Lasko gave Jackson Memorial a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning but gave up two runs one earned - in the bottom of the seventh when he came on to try to close it out.

Sophomore Nick Beetel pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings on 82 pitches and sophomore Matt Potok fired 1 2/3 scoreless on 26 before passing the ball to Lasko. Freshman Zach Crotchfelt started the eighth inning and was charged with the loss.

Juniors Carmine Petosa and Jake Wendell each went 2-for-4 for Jackson Memorial, with Petosa striking for a double.

 

South Jersey Group III

(6) Hammonton 6, (11) Lacey 4

Sophomore Jacob Bowles went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI but the Lions fell victim to two three-run innings by the host Blue Devils in an opening-round loss.

Senior Jorden Jurkiewicz was 2-for-3 with a double, senior Miles Feaster was 2-for-4 with a run scored, sophomore Brandon DeAngelo doubled and scored a run and senior Colin Trembley was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

(9) Pinelands 6, (8) Toms River South 2

Joey Ventresca helped ignite a three-run sixth inning with an RBI single and added an exclamation point with a two-run home run in the seventh as the Wildcats came alive late to beat the Indians.

Pinelands opened the sixth inning with five straight hits, but had a run wiped off the board when Toms River South won an appeal at third base, with the home plate umpire ruling that junior Bryce O'Rouke missed the base when he tried to score on a double by senior Anthony Diaz. The run would have made it 2-1, but instead kept the score 2-0 with one out.

Freshman Rian O'Rourke followed the controversial call with a single to center field to put runners on the corners and Ventresca then came through with an RBI single to right to officially get Pinelands on the board.

Senior second baseman Billy Crawford tied the game with a single to center field off new pitcher Matt Hartshorn, who took over for starter Gabe Driscoll. Hartshorn then got a strikeout for the second out and with runners on second and third, Toms River South opted to walk senior Noah Dean and pitch to senior Pete Hammond.

Hammond made the Indians pay with a single to left-center to give his team a 3-2 lead.

Diaz again doubled in the seventh and Rian O'Rourke knocked him in with a single before Ventresca capped the scoring by launching the first pitch he saw onto the roof of Toms River South High School in right-center field.

After giving up two runs in the bottom of the first and five hits over the first three innings, Ventresca allowed just two hits over four scoreless frames to secure his third win of the season.

Driscoll coasted through the first five innings, during which he allowed only one hit and one walk, before running into trouble in the third.

Pinelands will travel to play top-seeded Triton in the sectional quarterfinals.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Pinelands (10-9) 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 6 11 2
TR South (13-10) 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 3

Pitching

Pinelands IP H R ER BB SO PC
Joey Ventresca (W, 3-4) 7 7 2 1 0 6 83
Barnegat IP H R ER BB SO PC
Gabe Driscoll (L, 4-4) 5.1 5 3 3 1 4 65
Matt Hartshorn 1 5 3 3 1 1 32
Keifer Samul 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 19

Top Hitters

Pinelands Stats
Joey Ventresca 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Anthony Diaz 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R
Rian O’Rourke 2-4, 2 R, RBI
Pete Hammond 1-4, RBI
Bill Crawford 1-4, RBI
Bryce O’Rourke 1-2, 2B
Toms River South Stats
Colin Mackle 2-3, R
Matt Hartshorn 3-3, R
Gabe Driscoll 1-3, RBI
Jordan Erbe 1-3, 2B

 

(1) Triton 10, (16) Central 0 (5 Innings)

 

(12) Toms River East 9, (5) Highland 7

Sophomore Joe Ussery doubled, homered and drove in four in a 2-for-4 day at the plate, which led a 13-hit, six-double attack that carried the Raiders (9-13) to a road win over the Tartans (14-8). Toms River East will play at No. 4 Ocean City in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

Ussery hit one of four RBI doubles by Toms River East during a five-run fifth innings that gave the Raiders a 7-1 lead. Junior Ryan Ciccardo hit the first run-scoring double of the inning to make the score 3-1 and sophomore Aidan Meola and senior Tyler Toth capped the rally with back-to-back RBI doubles.

After Highland answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 7-5, Ussery swung the momentum back to the visitor's dugout with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth.

Toth finished 3-for-4, Meola 2-for-4 and Ciccardo 2-for-3 with three runs scored to complement Ussery at the plate. Junior Robert Pero also added a double and an RBI for Toms River East.

Junior Reece Miller allowed three earned runs before being knocked out with two out in the fifth inning, but hung around long enough to earn his third win of the season. Junior Dan Facchiano got the last out of the fifth inning and senior Matt Santos pitched the final two innings to shut the door.

 

South Jersey Group II

(7) Barnegat 10, (10) Delsea 5

Junior Lukas Torres escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the fourth and broke a 5-5 tie with a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth to lead the Bengals past the Crusaders and into the sectional quarterfinals to face No. 2 West Deptford.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Delsea 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 5 9 3
Barnegat (11-12) 3 1 1 0 5 0 X 10 10 4

Pitching

Delsea IP H R ER BB SO PC
Jake King 4.1 7 8 7 4 5 93
Gaven Cannon 1.2 3 2 2 0 1 30
Barnegat IP H R ER BB SO PC
Matt Vernieri 3 8 5 1 2 2 58
Lukas Torres (W, 2-0) 4 1 0 0 0 3 50

Top Hitters

Delsea Stats
Dom DelPalozzo 2-4, 2 2B, R
Barnegat Stats
Brian Finucan 1-3, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Tyler Suydam 1-3, 2 R, RBI
Dexter Dombroski 2-3, R, RBI
Steven Meier 1-2, 2 R
Sean Lucas 3-4, R, RBI

 

(5) Haddon Heights 7, (12) Manchester 3

Senior Jack Felipe was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI but his production at the plate was not enough in a Hawks loss vs. the Garnets.

 

Non-Conference

Bergen Catholic 5, No. 4 Red Bank Catholic 0

 

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