Shore Conference Tournament - Bracket

Semifinals

At Count Basie Park

(7) Manalapan 5, (6) Wall 3

Sophomore Joe Mazza pitched into the fifth inning and helped his cause with a three-run triple in the top of the first to help lead the Braves past the Crimson Knights and into the SCT championship game for the first time in program history.

Manalapan exploded for five runs in the top of the first off Wall starter Ryan Napolitano, who suffered his first loss of the season on the mound. Back-to-back singles by senior Billy Watters and Tommy Guidice loaded the bases and after Napolitano got a strikeout for the first out, junior Nick DiPietrantonio ripped an RBI single to left to make it 1-0.

Mazza stepped into the box next and smoked a line drive inside the right-field line and into the corner to clear the bases, giving the Braves an early 4-0 edge. Senior Matt Panzica made it 5-0 with a two-out RBI double down the right-field line.

After laboring through the five-run, 38-pitch first inning Napolitano settled in and tossed four consecutive shutout frames and completed the fifth inning with 105 pitches before turning the ball over the senior classmate Grant Shulman for a scoreless sixth.

Wall chipped away at Manalapan's lead with RBI ground outs by senior Tanner Powers in both the second and fourth innings. The Crimson Knights cut it to 5-3 when Shulman beat out an infield single with one out as senior Johnny Volpe crossed the plate with Wall's third run.

The Crimson Knights started the top of the seventh against Manalapan junior reliever Hunter Serrano with the top of the order, but Serrano began the seventh with a strikeout to set the tone. He then walked junior Teddy Sharkey on four pitches but bounced back to get fly outs by Shulman and sophomore Jay Bant to end the game.

Manalapan will play in Sunday night's SCT final at FirstEnergy Park against the winner of Friday's game between Red Bank Catholic and Manasquan - originally scheduled for Thursday night but postponed because of anticipated storms in the Red Bank area Thursday night.

Before playing in the SCT final, Manalapan will for its first Central Jersey Group IV championship since 2012 on Friday, when the Braves play host to Old Bridge in the sectional final.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Wall (24-4) 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 6 1
Manalapan (23-7) 5 0 0 0 0 0 X 5 7 0

Pitching

Wall IP H R ER BB SO PC
Ryan Napolitano (L, 6-1) 5 7 5 5 3 5 105
Grant Shulman 1 0 0 0 1 1 14
Manalapan IP H R ER BB SO PC
Joe Mazza (W, 4-2) 4.1 4 3 3 3 3 76
Hunter Serrano (SV, 3) 2.2 2 0 0 1 2 47

Top Hitters

Wall Stats
Grant Shulman 2-4, RBI
Sean Nocera 1-2, 2 R
Dylan Richey 1-2, SB
Johnny Volpe 1-4, 2B, R
Tanner Powers 0-3, 2 RBI
Manalapan Stats
Joe Mazza 1-2, 3B, R, 3 RBI
Matt Panzica 1-2, 2B, RBI
Nick DiPietrantonio 1-3, R, RBI
Tommy Guidice 2-3, R
Ben Levine 1-3, 2B
Billy Watters 1-4, R

 

(4) Red Bank Catholic vs. (9) Manasquan - PPD, Friday, 3:45 p.m.

 

 

NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Semifinals

Central Jersey Group II

(5) Point Boro 6, (1) Governor Livingston 1

Junior Nick Guzzi shook off a first-inning home run by Drew Compton to fire a one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to propel the Panthers past the Highlanders and into the sectional final round for the second straight season.

Junior Cole Young drove in the first Point Boro run by beating out an infield single and a second scored on a throwing error on the same play to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning. Senior Sam Collins added a third run that inning with a two-out RBI single.

After Point Boro answered Compton's homer with three in the top of the second, Governor Livingston threatened again in the bottom of the second when a leadoff walk and an error set the Highlanders up with runners on first and second and none out. Guzzi came back to strike out the next three to shut down the potential rally.

Guzzi gave himself some extra cushion when he ripped a two-out RBI single in top of the fourth to make the score 4-1. After a one-out walk in the bottom of the third, the junior right-hander retired the next 12 in a row before an error ended the streak.

 

Point Boro lost to Haddonfield in last year's South Jersey Group II championship game and will host the Central Jersey Group II title game this time around, with No. 7 Robbinsville paying the Panthers a visit on Friday at 4 p.m.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Point Boro (21-6) 0 3 0 1 1 0 1 6 8 3
Gov Livingston (21-5) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1

Pitching

Point Boro IP H R ER BB SO PC
Nick Guzzi (W, 9-0) 7 1 1 1 2 9 100
Governor Livingston IP H R ER BB SO PC
John Grill (L, 6-2) 5 8 5 4 1 4 91
Ryan Davie 2 0 1 1 3 1 29

Top Hitters

Point Boro Stats
Cole Young 2-3, R, RBI
Sam Young 2-3, 2 R
Sam Collins 1-3, RBI
Nick Guzzi 1-4, RBI
Ryan Jasaitis 2-2
Governor Livingston Stats
Drew Compton 1-2, HR, R, RBI

 

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