NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Semifinals

Central Jersey Group IV

(4) Manalapan 1, (1) Hunterdon Central 0

Junior pinch-runner Kyle Sciallo raced home on an infield single by senior Mike Kuver with two out in the top of the seventh for the game's only run and senior Aaron Ayers closed out a two-hit shutout to pitch the Braves past three-time defending sectional champion Hunterdon Central and into the Central Jersey Group IV championship game for the second straight year.

Manalapan lost to Hunterdon Central in last year's sectional championship game in Flemington but paid the Red Devils back on the strength of a gem by Ayers, who improved his season ERA to 0.99 in 49 2/3 innings.

Hunterdon Central threatened with runners on first and second and two out in the bottom of the fourth but Ayers got out of trouble and began a run in which he retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced - including the last eight in order.

The Braves lineup finally gave him some help on the scoreboard in the seventh when sophomore Joe Mazza singled off Red Raiders ace Joey DiChiaro with two out and gave way to Sciallo. The junior speedster stole second with Kuver at the plate and scored from second after Kuver beat out an infield single to the right side of the infield.

After vanquishing DeChiaro and top-seeded Hunterdon Central in the semifinal round, Manalapan will host the Central Jersey Group IV championship game on Friday against No. 6 Old Bridge.

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Manalapan (22-7)0000001150
Hunterdon Cent (16-9)0000000020

Pitching

ManalapanIPHRERBBSOPC
Aaron Ayers (W, 5-0)72002494
Hunterdon CentralIPHRERBBSOPC
Joey DiChiaro (L, 6-2)751117101

Top Hitters

ManalapanStats
Mike Kuver1-3, RBI
Bill Watters1-2, BB
Joe Mazza1-3
Nick DiPietrantonio1-3
Ethan Rodriguez1-1
Hunterdon CentralStats
Pete Ciufredda1-3
Nick Czarnecki1-3

 

Central Jersey Group III

(11) Northern Burlington 5, (2) Jackson Liberty 3

Senior center fielder Connor Keenan led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run and Jackson Liberty brought the winning run to the plate, but Ryan Dromboski escaped trouble and sealed an upset win for the Greyhounds at the expense of the Lions.

The loss marks the third straight year in which Jackson Liberty has ended its season in the Central Jersey Group III semifinal round on its home field.

After Keenan belted his home run to jump-start the rally, senior left fielder Charlie Rudderow drew a walk to bring senior catcher David Melfi up as the tying run. Last Friday, Melfi hit a walk-off home run to right field in the bottom of the seventh to beat Allentown, 5-4.

On Wednesday, Melfi again hit a fly ball to right-center but it hung up for a long fly out and the first out of the inning. After a strikeout by Dromboski for the second out, senior Scott Wierciszewski extended the game with a single to left that brought junior Brandon Kinsman up as the tying run. Dromboski got the Jackson Liberty second baseman to fly out to center field and clinch Northern Burlington a spot in the sectional final Friday at No. 4 Wall.

Keenan and his younger brother, sophomore Dan Keenan, accounted for all three Jackson Liberty RBI. Dan Keenan singled home Kinsman in the fourth to cut Northern Burlington's 2-0 lead in half and Connor Keenan came up with an RBI fielder's choice one batter later.

Northern Burlington scored two runs in the fifth on wild pitches to take a 4-2 lead and added an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single by Drew Wyers. Lorenzo Repack singled home the game's first run in the top of the first and Jake Babuscak doubled in the second Greyhounds run in the top of the second.

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No. Burlington (13-7)1100210580
Jackson Lib (23-4)0002001380

Pitching

Northern BurlingtonIPHRERBBSOPC
Joe Horton3.14223154
Ryan Babuschak (W, 4-2)2.23112150
Ryan Dromboski (SV, 2)11000111
Jackson LibertyIPHRERBBSOPC
Shane Hickey2.15222147
Scott Wierciszewski1.22111233
Nick DeCarlo (L, 4-2)1.20224351
Dan Keenan1.11000320

Top Hitters

Northern BurlingtonStats
Lorenzo Repack2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Jake Babuschak2-4, 2B, RBI
Drew Wyers1-2, R, RBI
Jackson LibertyStats
Connor Keenan3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
Dan Keenan1-3, RBI
Kevin Ritz1-3, R

 

 

Central Jersey Group II

(5) Point Boro at (1) Governor Livingston - PPD, Thursday, 4 p.m.

 

South Jersey Non-Public A

(6) St. Joseph Metuchen 3, (2) CBA 2

A dropped pop-up with two out in the top of the first opened the door to a three-run inning by the Falcons and St. Joseph of Metuchen held on to beat the Colts and advance to Friday's sectional final at top-seeded St. Augustine.

St. Joe's took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Seb Mueller before the error scored the second run and set up an RBI single by DeMarcus Shepard to make it 3-0 before CBA even took a turn at-bat.

Junior catcher Mason Wolf got CBA on the board in the third with a two-run single and moved up to second base on a bobble in center field. Junior third baseman Jason Arnott followed with a single through the right side and Wolf was held up at third.

Senior shortstop Tommy DiTullio walked to load the bases with one out but junior right-hander and Duke University commit Adam Boucher got a fielder's choice ground out to third and a fly out to left to stop the rally at two runs.

CBA's other chance to tie the game came in the bottom of the sixth, when junior Declan Hoverter led off the inning with a walk and junior Braedin Hunt followed with a single. Falcons reliever Jake Hellwig responded with back-to-back strikeouts before CBA senior second baseman Anthony Celestre worked a walk to load the bases for Wolf.

For the second time in the game, Wolf ripped a line drive with runner's in scoring position, but this one was right at St. Joe's second baseman Ardan Drury for the final out of the sixth.

CBA caught some more poor luck on a line drive in the seventh. Arnott started the inning by drawing a walk to put the tying run on but DiTullio hit a line drive that Mueller caught while standing right on the first-base bag for the easy double-play. Junior Pat Reilly followed with a well-struck line drive to right but Shepard made an over-the-shoulder catch to end the game.

Senior Joe Escandon took the hard-luck loss after throwing 2 1/3 innings. Hunt continued his strong work out of the bullpen with 4 1/3 scoreless frames in relief. Hunt finished the season with 16 consecutive scoreless innings, over which he struck out 25 and allowed only four walks and three hits.

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St. Joseph (20-8)3000000371
CBA (18-7)0020000251

Pitching

St. Joseph MetuchenIPHRERBBSOPC
Adam Boucher (W, 5-2)54224897
Jake Hellwig (SV, 5)21003238
CBAIPHRERBBSOPC
Joe Escandon (L, 5-2)2.16310254
Braedin Hunt4.11003467
Pat Reilly0.1000017

Top Hitters

St. Joseph MetuchenStats
Seb Mueller1-3, 2B, R, RBI
DeMarcus Shepard2-3, RBI
Dave Razzono1-3, R
Matt Sot1-3, R
CBAStats
Mason Wolf1-4, 2 RBI
Jason Arnott2-3, BB
Anthony Celestre1-2, BB, R

 

 

Regular Season

Class B South

Barnegat 2, Pinelands 1

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Barnegat (12-13, 8-6)0002000272
Pinelands (10-11, 8-6)0000010152

Pitching

BarnegatIPHRERBBSOPC
Tyler Suydam (W, 3-4)6.05110462
Dexter Dambroski (SV, 2)1.00001011
PinelandsIPHRERBBSOPC
Pat Apgar (L, 1-3)5.06220775
Pete Hammond1.00001012
Joey Ventresca1.01000014

Top Hitters

BarnegatStats
Lukas Torres2-4, 3B
Sean Lucas1-3, R
Nick Danbrowney2-2, RBI, R
Dexter Dambroski1-3, 3B
PinelandsStats
Joey Ventresca1-3, RBI
Rian O’Rourke1-3
Noah Dean1-3
Anthony Diaz2-3, 2 SB, R