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NJSIAA Tournament

Group Semifinals

Group IV

Middletown South 4, Clearview 3

Senior Joe Stanzione scorched a long single to the wall in right-centerfield to score sophomore Will Doyle with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh and the Eagles (21-8) rallied from a two-run deficit in the sixth inning to stun the Pioneers (17-7) and reach the Group IV championship game for the first time since 1999.

Stanzione's game-winning hit capped a huge day at the plate for the senior first baseman, who clocked two solo home runs in finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI. Both home runs he hit were opposite-field shots and the second of the two cut Clearview's lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth while breathing life into the Middletown South dugout.

Once Stanzione cut the deficit to 3-2 with his one-out blast in the sixth, Middletown South immediately mounted a threat, with sophomore Ben Schild lining a single and sophomore Will Christopher dunking in a bloop double down the right-field line to put runners on second and third with one out.

Clearview starter Julian Costa got a big strikeout for the second out and got ahead of junior Evan Wood, 0-2, when the Eagles got bold. Coach Chris LeMore called for a suicide squeeze and Costa threw the ball in the dirt, allowing Schild to sprint to the plate with the tying run when catcher Adam McEvoy could not block it.

In the top of the seventh, Middletown South got out of the inning unscathed by improbably throwing three runners out at home plate for the three outs. With a runner on first, Costa slammed a double off the right-centerfield fence and when Schild's throw in from right field sailed over the middle infielders, Cole Fowler broke from third toward home. Middletown South third baseman Matt Pontari, who started the game in left field, was ready, however, and retrieved the ball before throwing a strike to catcher Greg Trezza for the first out of the inning.

Anthony Charles then singled to centerfield and this time, Clearview did not send the runner toward the plate and Charles went to second on the throw home to set up the Pioneers with two runners in scoring position and one out.

Middletown South pulled the infield up and Doyle fielded the ensuing ground ball hit to him and fired to Trezza for the tag at the plate and the second out.

With runners at the corners, Clearview tried to steal a run by getting caught in a rundown, but sophomore second baseman Joe Bartos kept tabs on Charles at third and threw to Trezza for the third out of the inning at the plate.

Doyle then led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single and moved to second on a passed ball. Senior Patrick Eagone then drew a walk and Trezza laid down a perfect bunt that he beat out, with Christopher getting back to third base before Costa's throw behind him could get him out.

Costa then got a big strikeout of Pontari, but he could not find an answer for Stanzione, who laid off a first-pitch curveball and was all over the next pitch on the outer half of the plate.

Wood earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief behind Schild, who needed 109 pitches to work through five innings. Schild allowed three earned runs - one more than he allowed the entire season to date prior to the game - on five hits and three walks while striking out nine.

Wood also labored through a 24-pitch sixth inning against Clearview's stubborn lineup, but stranded the bases loaded in the top of the sixth before leaning on his defense and overzealous Cleaview baserunning in the seventh.

Middletown South will take on Montclair for the Group IV championship in the first game of Saturday's quadruple-header at Veterans Park in Hamilton, with first-pitch scheduled for 10 a.m.

 

Group III

Ocean City 4, Colts Neck 2

Sophomore starter and Vanderbilt commit Tom Finnegan hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the top of the fifth to give himself the lead and finished off the complete game on the mound to carry the Red Raiders (19-7) past the Cougars (22-7) and into the Group III final Saturday in Hamilton against Pascack Valley.

Colts Neck fell into an early 2-0 hole in the top of the first and chipped away with a sacrifice fly by junior Collin Kratzer in the bottom of the first and an RBI single by Dave Cohen in the bottom of the third that tied the game, 2-2.

Kratzer came on in relief of sophomore starter Tyler Spencer after Finnegan's go-ahead single in the fifth and Ocean City added one more run on an error to complete the scoring.

 

Group II

Voorhees 6, Manchester 3

Manchester (13-11) scored three runs in the top of the sixth and brought the tying run to the plate with none out in the top of the seventh, but senior Cole McGourtey pitched the Vikings (24-4) out of trouble and into the Group II championship game Saturday against Hanover Park - ending a memorable, improbable run by the Hawks.

No. 9 hitter Keith Fallon and leadoff hitter Logan Duffy started the top of the seventh with singles and both moved up a base on a ground-out to first by Manchester starter Mike Mamato.

McGourtey then struck out junior Blake Warren to bring up junior Sean McAllister, who hit the go-ahead three-run home run to win Manchester the South Jersey Group II championship on Friday. McGourtey again clutched up and struck out McAllister to end the game and deny Manchester another wild comeback win.

McGourtey also went 4-for-4 with three RBI at the plate, including a big two-run double that highlighted a five-run fourth inning by Voorhees, giving the home team a 6-0 lead.

Manchester took advantage of a pair of errors in the top of the sixth by scoring three runs, with senior Chris Grille smacking a two-run single and junior Justin Renzi adding an RBI single to slice the Voorhees lead in half.

 

Monmouth County Tournament

Round of 16

(2) Red Bank Catholic 11, (15) Raritan 2

Alex Stanyek and Matt Scrivanic each homered in support of sophomore Dom Mallamaci and the Caseys handled the Rockets to advance to the MCT quarterfinals Tuesday against No. 7 Middletown South.

1234567RHE
Raritan (14-11)1100000251
RBC (22-4-1)400106X11101

Pitching

RaritanIPHRERBBSOPC
Chris Gonzalez (L, 4-2)1 44410
Kai Kruk440025
Giancarlo Lamberti0.104440 
Angelo Friend0.223210
Red Bank CatholicIPHRERBBSOPC
Dom Mallamaci (W, 5-0)65210776
Declan Leary11000013

Top Hitters

RaritanGame Stats
Chris Gonzalez1-3, 3B, R
Luke Ohea2-2, RBI
Red Bank CatholicGame Stats
Alex Stanyek3-4, HR, 3 R, RBI
Matt Scrivanic1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Sean Griggs3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
Shane Panzini1-1, 3 BB, R, RBI
Shane Andrus1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Riley Supp1-1, 2B, 2 RBI

 

 

Regular Season

Class A South

Brick at Toms River North - PPD, TBA

 

Non-Division

Brick Memorial 3, Donovan Catholic 1