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Tony Graham

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ocean wins, 13-6

Ocean ended with 15 hits, seven for extra bases. Matt Segall (7-0) allows one run over three solid innings to restore order and get the win. A big night for "Tuna" Weinkofsky, Eric Hinkle, and Greg Spatz.

The 19 runs scored were one off the SCT championship game record in the event that began in 1980.

Weinkofsky missed by less than a foot in the first inning of becoming the first high school player to hit two home runs at First Energy as he ripped a triple that nearly bore a hole though the chain link fence in deep left center. He blasted one out earlier this year vs. Southern. He'll probably have a few chances in 2007.

End of five

Ocean leads, 10-4. In the top of the fifth Greg Spatz lashed his second triple of the game and scored, and Keith Weinkofsky (triple, two doubles, 3 RBI) doubled in two more.

End of four

Ocean leads, 7-4. Matt Segall pitched a perfect fourth for Ocean. Steve Wagenhoffer came in for TR S in the fourth.

TR South edging closer

It's 7-4 Ocean after three. Matt Segall came on to pitch for Ocean in the bottom of the third inning allowing one run. Marc Potter has been in for TR South after relieving Joe Talerico in the first.

Wednesday baseball updates

Here at First Energy Park after two innings Ocean leads TR S in an extra-base fest, 7-3.
Ocean scored five runs in the top of the first inning on a single, double, and two triples including a tremendous smash off the top of the left field fence by Keith Weinkofsky. In two at bats Eric Hinkle as ripped two doubles for Ocean and driven in three runs.

TR South came back with two in the first on an RBI double by Chase Gray and a Ryan Kapp RBI single.

Earlier today in the Monmouth County Tournament semifinals CBA defeated Monmouth Reg. 4-1 and RBC downed Freehold Twp. 4-1.

Stirring wins, tough losses in the NJSIAAs

First, the wins.
Ocean, down 7-0 roars back to beat Nottingham, 10-8. Eric Hinkle, after being shaken up crashing into the wall in the first inning, sits out for a while, then returns and unloads a slam that shoots Ocean back into the game. Greg Spatz and Kyle Norman shut down Nottingham most of the rest of the way.
Ocean coach Del Dal Pra told me tonight Hinkle hurt an ankle and may not pitch or play the OF in Wednesday's SCT but he should be OK to DH and that Jamie Rosenkranz will definitely start vs. TR S in the SCT. As for Friday vs. Colts Neck in the CJ III final his (Hinkle's) status remains to be seen.

Other big comebacks - Point Boro, down 6-1, rallies to win at West Deptford in eight innings, 9-6. Pat Biserta cracks a two-run HR to start the comeback, then bangs a solo shot to lead off the seventh. Boro ties it and wins it in the eighth.

Keansburg comes from way back with five in the seventh to win 14-13. Titans to play for the CJ I title Friday

Tough defeats of the day go to TR South and Freehold Twp.
TR S up 5-0, 8-6, 10-8 loses in eight at Eastern, 11-10. Pitching in a little disarray on the eve of the SCT final vs. Ocean. Look for Joe Talerico to start, By the way, JT jammed a finger and may not hit Wednesday though he is OK to pich.

And Freehold Twp. dropped a killer of a game in eight at Steinert, 2-1. Brach loses in relief, a walk, error, single, a couple of steals, a sac fly and....ball game.

Two games in the MCT Wed afternoon....RBC hosting Freehold Twp., and Monmouth at CBA.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Quick NJSIAA scores

Colts Neck 5, Freehold 2; TR East wins 4-3 as Gaynor gets the save, TR S loses in extra innings, 11-10; Point Boro wins in eight, 9-6; Raritan loses in eight innings, 10-9; RBC wins, 8-1; Freehold Twp. loses in eight innings, 2-1, at Steinert..more later...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Brookdale stays alive/from the NJCAA web site(More details in Tuesday's Press)

(I have inserted the names of some of the local high schools of the Brookdale players)

Brookdale knocks out St. Louis – Forest Park 8-6 in NJCAA Division II World Series

MILLINGTON , TN – Brookdale Community College (42-9) broke a 6-6 tie with a single run in the eighth and ninth to claim an 8-6 win over St. Louis-Forest Park in an elimination game in the NJCAA Division II World Series Monday. Brookdale led 4-0 after two innings but found themselves trailing 5-4 after six innings. The Jersey Blues then scored two in the top of the seventh, and the Highlanders answered with one in the bottom of the inning before Brookdale claimed the win.

Carlos Guzman led the hitting for BCC with two hits, including a home run and three RBI. Paddy Matera (TR North) had three hits for the Jersey Blues, while Damian Walcott (Freehold) also went deep. Steve Porter and Ryan Gray each had three hits for St. Louis , while Blake Bussmann and Brad Johnson each homered for the Highlanders.

Jonathan Guzman (2-0) picked up the win in one and a third innings or relief. William Lawson shut the door in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season. Matt Kerperien (3-2) took the loss. He threw to two batters, both of which scored.

Brookdale advances to take on the winner of Elgin and Allegany Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. St. Louis – Forest Park finishes the season 36-20.
Talked with TR East coach Bill Frank tonight who said it'll mainly a "game time decision" as to whether Casey Gaynor takes the mound at Cherokee in Tuesday's NJSIAA South Jersey IV semifinal in quest of Shore Conference career record-tying victory number 33.
It's my guess Gaynor (10-1), who needed last out relief help last Friday after throwing over 120 pitches in the 7-6 win over Vineland won't start this one but may come on in relief of senior Adam Ponaski(4-2).
Ponaski, by the way, was very effective against Cherokee in a pre-season game.
Steve Falk of Observer will be on hand at Cherokee to cover the game for the Observer and Press. I'll be at the CJ III semifinal at Freehold between the Colonials and Colts Neck.
Colts Neck has never played in a sectional final and Freehold hasn't won one since 1962 according to Freehold coaches.
The winner could get Ocean if the Spartans get by at Nottingham in their CJ III semifinal game.
If Ocean wins Tuesday, Friday's final will be at Ocean
as sectional finals are being played ay home fields of the highest seeds.
If TR South and TR East both win Tuesday TR East will host that sectional final Friday.
This is looking well ahead but there potentially could be a NJSIAA Group II semifinal between Point Boro and Raritan if both win their sectional championships.
There could also be a South Jersey A final between CBA and either RBC or St. John Vianney. This, too, is pushing the envelope, but it's possible.

Any thoughts on who wins the Ocean-TRS SCT final Wednesday? I'll be happy to publish any reasonable predictions on the old blog.
Yours truly and Scott Stump, recently voted "favorite sports writer" of Holmdel athletic director Laurie Cancalosi and principal Cheryl Swider, should be at FirstEnergy Park for the SCT final.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

What? No high school baseball? A fan who who belongs in the "can."

Well, here it is Sunday, Memorial Day, and no meaningful local high school baseball game to attend after covering three Saturday.
I am suffering from high school baseball withdrawal. There must be one around somewhere. South Jersey? South Dakota? Where?

Well, let's review Saturday.

Gobbled up a few doughnuts on the way as I arrived at Freehold at just after 10-am for the Freehold-Monmouth game.
Monmouth couldn't really do anything all day with Freehold starter Jason Nardi and Ryan Cuneo's big RBI double in the third inning off Monmouth's Bobby Wyrwa proved to be the key hit in Freehold's 4-2 win.
It's still debatable this year as to who hits the higher pop ups. Cuneo or Ocean's Keith Weinkofsky. We're talking rain makers here.

Freehold now moves on to hosts Colts Neck in the CJ III semifinal Tuesday setting the stage for a possible All-Shore CJ III final if Ocean can take out Nottingham. Starting pitching? Well both are without arguably their top pitchers as Freehold can't use Nardi due to NJSIAA pitching rules and C Neck is minus Anthony DeSclafani (back). So it comes down to depth and bullpen where Freehold has the option of using Cuneo starting and or relieving. Colts Neck has several quality arms from which to choose (Yuhas, E. Jackson, Hayes).

After the game (Freehold-Monmouth) back in the car for the ride over to Freehold Township for the SCT semifinal between the Patriots and Ocean. The trip seemed a whole lot shorter than that 10 mile (it seems) walk from the parking area down to Patriot Park. Still no tram!! How about NJ Transit service?

Perhaps by now some of you have heard, read about the Greg Spatz home run into the garbage can in Ocean's 9-3 win. One of the funniest things I've ever seen covering baseball at any level.
Everybody was like, "Did that really go into the garbage can.?" So someone went out and checked, reached in, and sure enough, there was the ball. Don't know if Spatz got to keep the ball. Don't know if he'd want to without an accompanying can of Lysol.

Ocean appears to have as mutch pitching depth right now as anyone in the Shore Conference. Saturday they trotted Jamie Rosenkranz out as their number two (Eric Hinkle pitched Friday) and JR was throwing hard, a crackling fastball and good off speed stuff. They the bring in Kyle Norman behind him. And all three are under classmen. This is the duo you'll likely see in the SCT final Wenesday depending of course, on their pitching needs Tuesday. And then there's Matt Segall, the senior lefty who has three pitches, slow, slower, and slowest and is very hard to pick up if you're a hitter and can tie batters up in knots.

Then it was back to the office in Neptune to write up those two games, tend to a few other chores, and it was off to Toms River South for the TR South-P Boro SCT semifinal.
This was an excellent game. In the end TR South, a 7-6 winner, justhad more polished pitching from which to choose, in the one-two punch of senior Evan Bigler and frosh Tyler Gebler who they will probably ride in most games the rest of the way.
I would guess Marc Potter or maybe Joe Talerico gets the Wednesday start vs. Ocean but, again, so much depends on Tuesday's state game at Eastern and also whether they win that and need pitching for a Friday sectional final.
Remember, anyone who starts a sixth inning Tuesday can't pitch Friday. That never seems to be a problem for TR South which shuttles pitchers around like toy boats in a bath tub.

About the game..that Pat Biserta home run in the first inning went out faster than the space shuttle. What a shot! In the fifth he sent Ryan Kapp back to the rightfield wall, just missing a two-run bomb. Back and forth it went.

The game proved Point Boro belongs on the field with any team in the Shore this season but TR South, especially at home or batting last, just keeps coming at you, coming at you relentlessly. If Ocean leads TR South by a run Wednesday going into the bottom of the seventh I'd be crossing my fingers if I was an Ocean rooter. The Indians have that comeback knack "the South finish" down pat this season.
I keep telling myself Tyler Gebler is a freshman. But he has the poise and talent of someone years older.

Look at some of the talent returning in 2007! Gebler, Biserta, Weinkofsky, Chris Bresnahan of St. Rose, just to name a handful. Wow.

By the way, it was neat to see Todd Frazier at the game, it was his first look at his his alma mater in 2006.

I must address the TR South "Fan" who for a second time last week Saturday night was berating the umpires who needed to call the site director to have him "ejected" or at least removed from behind the home plate area.
This guy is a classless jerk who should not be allowed at a high school sporting event and is an embarrassment to TR South. If he pulls the same act next season (I believe TR South has no more home games in 2006) he should be barred from the premisis.
I was standing next to the umpires during these incidents and they were threatening to forfeit the game if the "fan" was not removed. Obviously that was not their No. 1 choice. But it potentially could be very damaging to TR South. You say it couldn't happen Indian faithful? You may not want to take the risk.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

TR S wins a barn burner over Point Boro in the SCT semis

TR South wins 7-6 on Ryan Kapps' second RBI single of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. There were four lead changes, Point Boro used four pitchers, and Boro's Pat Biserta laced a first-inning solo home run and flirted with a two run shot that was caught at the wall.

Rookie Tyler Gebler was the winner in relief and Biserta lost in relief. A teriffic game.

Lots of baseball in Freehold

The third time was a charm Saturday for Freehold but not for Freehold Township Saturday.

Freehold defeated Monmouth Regional for the third time this season, 4-2, to advance the Colonials to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III semifinals Tuesday at home against Colts Neck.

Ryan Cuneo doubled, singled, and drove in a run for Freeehold and Rich Pultar drove in a run with an infield hit in a three-run fourth inning.

John Marx added an RBI double for Freehold as Jason Nardi bested Bobby Wyrwa.

Monmouth scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error.

Greg Spatz of Ocean and John Ernst of Ocean each went 3-for-3 and Spatz hit a three-run home run home run that cleared the left field fence and landed in a garbage can (we kid you not) as the Spartans won for the the first time in three attempts this season over Township, 9-3, to advance to Wednesday's Shore Conference Tournament final at First Enegry Park vs. the winner of tonight's TR South/Point Boro game.

Sophomore Chris Ballester hit his first varsity home run for Township, a solo shot in the fifth inning. Jamie Rosenkranz pitched five innings for Ocean to improve to 4-3 and added two of ocean's 15 hits.

Triple Header Saturday

It's three-for one day beginning with Monmouth at Freehold at 10:30 a.m. in the NJSIAA CJ III quarterfinal, then it's SCT semifinals at 1 p.m. with Ocean at Freehold Township, followed by Point Boro at TR South at 7 p.m.
I hope to make all three...those 1030 in the morning starts are always a killer though especially as I write this at past midnight. Can we get coffee and doughnuts at this game???? C'mon Steve (Kochinsky), let's do it.

This is Round 3 of the series this year with Freehold winning the first two barn burners. Let's not forget, Monmouth is the defending Group III champion.

Brett Brach apparently was not at his sharpest but Township still rolled Friday in the CJ IV quarterfinal at Edison. No Brach and no Eric Hinkle in this one after Hinkle and Ocean blew away Hamilton West, 5-0. That extra star in the sky tonight was Keith Weinkofsky's 16th career home run which went into orbit.
You know, not to drum up the hype yet (oh, what the heck, why not???) "Tuna" has a realistic shot at the Shore record of 27 career home runs set by Mark Fink (Jackson, '94).
Fink hit 14 as a senior. Todd Frazier came up one shy in his senior year.
Today it's Jamie Rosenkranz getting the start for Ocean and I believe Jason Elo for Township.

I would suspect a good crowd at TR South tonight to see the Indians host Point Boro. It's 11-0 Evan Biger looking for his - get this - third win of the week for TR South. Look for Point hitting machine Pat Biserta to get innings at some juncture for the Boro. I said in a very recent blog, Shore teams would probably have trouble in Friday's quarterfinals. They did, the trouble was probably fitting all those winning box scores into the scorebook.

Amazingly, despite all the local teams that won, there is just one all-Shore game in Tuesday's semifinals, with Colts Neck traveling to the winner of Monmouth-Freehold in CJ III.
Almost every other Shore team is on the road Tuesday.

Will he or wont' he? That''s the question for TR East coach Bill Frank as to whether to start Casey Gaynor in quest of Shore Conference record-tying career win No. 33 Tuesday at powerful Cherokee after Gaynor labored to a win with relief help Friday. Frank is pondering starting capable Adam Panoski (4-2) and having Gaynor (10-1) ready in relief.

Ok...I promise I'll have the results and details of the Freehold-Monmouth and Township-Ocean games on here Saturday afternoon once I get back to the office from Township, and the TR South-Point result as soon as I can Saturday night..barring rain delays, extra innings, flat tires....who knows?

Oh man. I can hear that alarm clock already. Where are the ear plugs??


Friday, May 26, 2006

NJSIAA results

Monmouth and Freehold was postponed..will play at 1030 a.m. Saturday at Freehold.
Otherwise...didn't get to this as early as I had hoped but here are the NJSIAA winners today and there were lots of them:

Ocean, Freehold Township, Rumson, Raritan, Keansburg, TR South, TR East, P. Boro. Going down were Brick, Lacey, and Barnegat.

A big day about to unfold, A Colts Neck injury, Casey Gaynor goes for number 32

After going 6-2 vs. non-conference teams in NJSIAA action Monday, most Shore Conference teams hit the road today and probably will be hard pressed to match that figure
. Some 11 local teams see action today, weather permitting, vs. non-conference clubs. There is one game - Monmouth at Freehold in CJ III - where we have clash of locals. Freehold has beaten Monmouth twice in close games (one in extra innings this season) and both games were successful in the outcome though ace Bobby Wyrwa was on the mound for Monmouth. He figures to be there again today.....

The winner will take on Colts Neck in the CJ III semifinals after the Cougars ousted Wall Thursday.
CN coach Mike Yorke told me tonight that sophomore Anthony DeSclafani (5-2) is out for the year (back). That definitely would seem to put a crimp in their CJ III hopes but you never know
The Wall Knights, the Class B North co-champs this season, ended with a seven-game losing streak and still had a great record.

Casey Gaynor goes for career win No. 32 career hosting Vineland at Raider Ravine today in the NJSIAA Tournament. That would leave him one behind all-time Shore Conference leader Chipper Hirst of Manasquan (1970). and he would have a shot to tie the mark next Tuesday. So this is a big one.

I remember talking to Chip a few years ago when Jeff Frazier of TR South (who ended with 32 wins) was chasing the mark. Hirst told me there was no fanfare back then over his record. Somebody mentioned it at an awards banquet and that was it. Times have changed.

Freehold Township, which visits Edison today in CJ IV, is the only Shore team left with a chance at the 2006 Quadruple Crown (4 championships including an overall state title.) Gotta like their chances if 9-0 Brett Brach is on the hill. Have to think they will throw him and then I presume Jason Elo tomorrow vs. Ocean in the SCT.

That game tomorrow is at 1 p.m. In the other SCT semifinal CBA slayer Point Boro visits TR South 7 p.m. Saturday.

Let's see. Since last Saturday I saw six games and, hopefully this weekend, will see at least three. If you like high school baseball this is like the NCAA Tournament minus the points!

Speaking of Frazier, this time Todd. Have been chatting with him every day the last few days as Rutgers competes for the Big East championship and we've been running those comments in the Press.
He likes his team's chances today against Louisville but RU has to win twice over Louisville to advance to the finals tomorrow (Saturday). RU is 0-4 vs. Louisville this season including the 9-8 defeat Tuesday and Louisville is on an 11-game winning streak. A tall order for the Knights.
He also has been talking with brother Charlie of course, now a TR S coach, and has been following the Indians' wild week. Said it reminds him of his 2001 championship year in high school.

Todd now has 20 career home runs at RU. The record of 34 belongs to Jeff, and like Jeff, Todd figures to leave after his junior year for the big leagues.

Anoher former local high school standout Joe Testa (Brick), a sophomore at Wagner, got the Seahawks off to a good start Thursday in the Northeast Conference Tournament.

Will try to post the local hs scores on the blog soon as I can this evening when I get back from the Freehold-Monmouth game.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Who said this?

(Point) Boro bats are going to have to have a big day to post the upset (of CBA). Can't see it.

Of course..I said it. Just another reason never to mortgage your house, car, or puppy, on any prediction I make.

So now the Shore Conference semis are set. Ocean will travel to Freehold Township
Saturday and Point Boro to TR South.

Interesting in that all four teams have NJSIAA games Friday so we'll see how the
pitching shakes out.

A quick review of games I saw Wednesday.

Went to watch Ocean vs. RE East but had a brief meeting at work which made me just a
few minutes late. Naturally I got there after Keith Weinkofsky had hit one to Tibet and
Jamie Rosenkranz added another.

Weinkofksy's seventh of the season (15th of his career) tied his dad, Chuck, who hit
seven as an Ocean senior. The Ocean single season record is 10 by Mike Chiarella last

Ocean pitched well but TR East isn't hitting. Had a runner at third with one out in
the first and Casey Gaynor bounced out and Ryker Toscano flied out and that set the tone
for the day.

East will have Gaynor on the mound in the states Friday. They win if they get him
some runs.

The TR South/St. Rose game was fascinating, great effort by Anthony Ranaudo and St.
Rose, by Evan Bigler and the Indians, but I hated the way the game ended. How anti

Wanted to Bigler to blast one out of sight or at least Mark Perry smash a game-ending
hit. Or have Ranaudo win his own game with a bomb on the roof or Jayson Hernandez line
one in the gap.

Soooo.. Perry hits a hopper in the infield with the bases-loaded, St. Rose can't make
a play at the plate. Ball game.

I think we should at least start that part of the inning over with the bases loaded
and go from there. Don't you?

Just kidding on that part.

But the ending was sort of a let down and would have been even if St. Rose had won in
similar fashion. The count was 3-1 on Perry when he swung. Maybe even a bases-loaded
walk might have been more exciting. But I don't think TR South plans to give it back.


TR South in 8, 3-2 over St. Rose

Anthony Ranaudo goes seven for St. Rose allows one hit but leaves with the game tied at 2. Evan Bigler (11-0) of TR S in two separate stints goes five innings and allows two hits and two runs.. Winning run scores on an infield roller with the bases loaded...

.more later

A stunner in the SCT

Yes, it's true. Point Boro ousted top-seeded CBA Wednesday, 3-2, behind Pete Chomiak's four-hit complete game.
Pat Biserta scored two runs including the game winner on a throwing error in the fifth inning and had an RBI double.

Also, Ocean over TR East 3-0 as Keith Weinkofsky belted his career 15th to tie the school record and Jamie Rosenkranz added a solo shot, all in the first inning.
Matt Segall was the winner with relief help in the sixth from Kyle Norman. Off now to TRS-St. Rose...

St. Rose and the SCT

Just got this message from Wall assistant coach Jim Rochford:

""Was just reading your blog about the sct semis between TRS and St. Rose.
You stated to your knowledge you don't think St. Rose has ever made it to the
SCT semis before. They made it to the Semis in 2004. They beat CBA in the
Quaterfinals and We played them in the Semis. We beat them 12-3 I think but I
am not sure. We then went on to beat Ocean for the Championship. Just thought
you would like to know St. Rose did make it to the Semis in 2004.""

2004? I'm lucky I remembered who I covered yesterday. Seriously, thanks much to Jim Rochford. We always welcome valuable information.

26 and counting for St. Rose with TR South in the wings, another "South finish" shocks TR East

Let's s look ahead before we look back
Wednesday night at the Ken Frank Baseball Stadium No. 4 St. Rose (20-0) winners of 26 in a row dating back to last season, takes on TR South (19-5) in a Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinal. The winner plays the winner of the CBA-Point Boro game in the semis.

The pitching matchups - junior right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (7-0) for St. Rose vs. senior right-hander Evan Bigler (10-0) for TR South.

I attended the 6-4 St. Rose win over Manasquan Tuesday at First Energy Park and here's what senior catch Jayson Hernandez of St. Rose had to say about the TR South game:

""To me it's the biggest came coming up this season for us. It'll give us a lot of respect if we win and I really think have a strong chance of winning with Anthony on the hill.'

Tuesday after the thrilling TR South 6-5 win over TR East Bigler told me:

""They're (St. Rose) a very good team. The kid Ranaudo is the real deal. I pitched against him last year and we beat them, 2-1. I've got confidence in my guys that we can go do. It's going to be a helluva game though.''

Far as I know St. Rose has never made it to the SCT semifinals and it's 26-game winning streak is the longest in recent Shore Conference history. Longest I have a record of is a CBA 20-gamer in the early 90's. If anyone knows of longer streaks I wouldf be happy to hear from you but please document them in some fashion.

The top of that St. Rose lineup -Chris Bresnahan, Sean Crowley, Hernandez, Ranaudo, and James Reilly is formidable.

Today, before the St. Rose-TR South game I hope to hop over to Raider Ravine and watch the Ocean-TR East SCT quarterfinal.
Joe Reilly (6-0) the probable starter for TR East. Not certain who is going for Ocean though it could be senior Matt SeGall (not sure if that's the correct spelling, sorry Matt).

Now, to the TR South-TR East game in which TR South, fresh from using four pitchers in Monday's 14-12 NJSIAA win over TR North, trotted out three different hurlers with Bigler going the last two innings. Rumor has it he planned to sleep over on the mound until Wednesday night.

Versatile Joe Talerico of TR South started the game on the mound and opened the bottom of the first with a home run onto the gymasium roof. After playing four positions Monday Talerico wound up playing three Tuesday. About the only thing the junior hasn't done is pitch and then run behind the plate and catch himself.

I just had a feeling freshman Tyler Gebler was going to get the big hit for TR South at the end. His long drive to left was just a tad too far to the right of TR East's Dan Nelson to make the play. He got to the ball but it glanced off his mitt. He probably feels he should have had it and it would have been a grrrrrreeat catch. But it was difficult after a long run (he was playing shaded to leftcenter ) and Steve Falk of the Observer and myself immediately scored it a double.

The ending was stunning. Senior lefty Adam Panoski of TR East struck out Talerico for his 12th K of the game in the bottom of the seventh and TRE East shorstop Ryker Toscano ranged smartly up the middle to throw out Ricky Petrosino for out number two. But then Panoski walked Bigler (3-for-3) on four pitches and Ryan Kapp drilled a hit to left. The rest goes down into the lore of one of those "South finishes.''

The teams are now tied for first place in Class A South and TR E can still set a record by winning at least a share of a sixth consecutive division crown with a final regular season win over Brick Memorial.

TR South has to play TR North in its league finale. Dates of those games have yet to be set.

While Gebler is a young standout for TR South I came away highly impressed today with freshman shortstop s Bresnahan of St. Rose who had three hits including the go-ahead RBI double and stole three bases for the Roses.

St. Rose CF Sean Crowley made a super running catch deep in left center at FirstEnergy Park of an extra-base bid by Squan's Alex Otchy. Manasquan's Mike Hohenstein also made some excellent plays in left with two diving catches.

In the Monmouth County Tournament Freehold Township, which beat Wall Tuesday, 4-2, plays at RBC in one semifinal with the date TBA. In the other semifnal it's the CBA-Squan winner (that game is Thursday) vs. the winner of Wednesday's Raritan-Monmouth game.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Frazier homers but RU loses

Todd Frazier, featured in the lead story in Tuesday's Asbury Park Press, belted his 10th home run of the year, a 3-run shot that started the Knights back from a 6-0 deficit.
But the bullpen of RU (27-27-1) failed to hold an 8-6 lead in a 9-8 loss to Louisville (29-28) in the BIG East championships.
Frazier, former TR South High School star, went 1-for-3 with a walksier

RU drops into the loser's bracket of the double elimination event and will next play at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Pitching, pitching, pitching. Maybe Casey Gaynor will help,
but not til next year.

Schedule updates

Here are some scheduling updates for the week:

Wednesday - Mater Dei at Gloucester Catholic 4 p.m. (NJSIAA Non-Public B game)

Thursday - NJSIAA CJ III, Colts Neck at Wall 3:45 p.m.
Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinal, Manasquan at CBA 3:45 p.m.

Probably won't make it personally to the Freehold Township vs. Wall MCT game today, too short a turn around until 7 p.m. game in Toms River for the A South title between TR East and TR South.

A big day for Shore teams in the NJSIAAs, and some wild wild games

Overall.. Shore teams did very well Monday going 6-2 in games vs. non-conference teams. Winners were Raritan (CJ 2), a CJ III sweep with wins by Colts Neck, Monmouth, and Freehold, Freehold Twp in CJ IV, and TR East in SJ IV also were winners. With career win No. 31 Casey Gaynor of TR East is now two shy of the Shore Conference record

As we thought we already have a guaranteed CJ III finalist from among the above trio or Wall which had a bye Monday and plays Colts Neck Friday. Ocean would have to emerge from the other side of the bracket to make it an All-Shore CJ III final.

Thanks to Mater Dei coach Pat Ridell for informing us of his Non-Public B game Wednesday at Gloucester Catholic.

Saw that wild Brick-Brick Memorial game today while Steve Falk of the Observer went through three pencils, three erasers, and two pens in the TR South 14-12 win over TR North.

One of the more interesting developments in the Brick game was when Dragon coach Jason Groschel let senior Albert Fayad bat with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth and Brick still down 8-4. The light-hitting Fayad had been DH'd for the last two or more weeks but Groschel decided to give him a shot to swing the bat there and he cracked an 0-2 pitch into right field for a two-run single.

Defensive Play of the Day was RF Billy Winters of Brick making a diving catch in the gap to rob Mark Cerrachio of extra bases in the second inning. Memorial still scored four runs in the inning, two on Danny Romanowski's booming 2-run HR to right center but the run Winters saved turned out to be big.
Winters two-out single in the seventh loaded the bases for Craig McNelis' decisive hit.

Tuesday night TR East will send Adam Panoski to the mound at TR South looking to nail down that unprecedented sixth straight Class A South title. TR South, which was dipping into third graders by the end of the TR North game, will probably start Evan Bigler (8-0) who was unavailable Monday due to NJSIAA pitching limitations. As for Wednesday's starter vs. St. Rose in the SCT, anybody out there got a glove?

The Roses put their 19-0 record on the line 4 p.m. Tuesday vs. Manasquan which has nothing to lose. Then 7-0 Anthony Ranaudo I expect will start Wed. night 7 p.m. at TR South. St. Rose has also added a game with Brick Thursday.

Freshman Tyler Gebler is the next "big time" player at TR South. Remember you heard it here first. Of course, if he doesn't pan out, forget I ever mentioned it. But he looks like a special talent.

Monmouth Reg. will play Raritan Wednesday in an MCT game. Friday in CJ III Monmouth and Freehold square off for the third time this year in a game in Colonial Country. That could be my port of call. Freehold took the first two, 2-1, and 5-3 in eight innings.

Freehold Township, TR East, and TR South are playing three games back to back to back Monday (NJSIAAs) ,Tuesday in Class A South and the MCT, and Wednesday games in the SCT. Will all three make it through unscathed? I think not. I'd say TR East has the best chance.
We'll see what happens.



Monday, May 22, 2006

Some regular season highlights

Some highlights from today whose box scores but no details will run Tuesday:

Mater Dei over Barnegat 7-6 as Mike Doherty hit a walk off solo home run with one out in the seventh. Doherty went 2-for-4 with a double, HR 2 RBI's, struck out eight and walked one.

Midd. South 1-0 over SJ Vianney on a Pat Magnotta 1-hitter. Gary Fare's two-out single in the sixth was the only hit for SJV at Walter WEoods Memorial Field. Magnotta struck out seven and walked four. Bob Haspel doubled and scored the only run of the game. That's consecutive 1-0 losses for SJ Vianney.

Today's NJSIAA scores, Braick rallies from waaaaay back, TR S in a slugfest

Brick rallied from an 8-1 deficit to defeat Brick Memorial 9-8, TR South hit three home runs and got six runs in the sixth to down TR North 14-12, TR East 6-1 over Cherry West, Casey aynor now 31-4 career; Raritann 3-1 over Del. Valley, Zecchino 15 Ks.; Freehold 2, Ewing 0; Monmouth 12, Manchester 4; Rumson 2, Shore 0 behind Ben Miller; Somerville 10, Squan 5; Colts Neck 17-3 over Willingboro, Freehold Township beat West Windsor South 7-1 as Brett Brach (9-0) fanned seven.

On the high school baseball trail

Just hit a wrong button so the prior blog published prematurely. Good thing I'm not an air traffic controller. Anyway, was going over coverage plans for the week.

On Tuesday may try to catch the afternoon game in the MCT at Freehold Township between the Pats and Wall. Guess I'll miss Brett Brach (drats!) who is probably throwing in the states Monday.

Now we're up to Wednesday and I will be going back to TR South to see St. Rose probably throw Anthony Ranaudo (7-0) at the Indians in the SCT. Friday there's more NJSIAA games on tap and the SCT resumes with semifinals Saturday. Of course mixed in is the Monmouth County Tournament. And, all of the above is subject to change!

Let's see now.. who is still in the running to try to become the next Shore Conference team to win the Quadruple Crown that Wall won in 2004 and became the only Conference team to do so?
That's 1) winning a division, 2) a county championship, 3) the Shore Conference championship, and finally 4) an overall (not just a sectional) NJSIAA title. That's what Brett Burke and the Knights did in that 2004 season.

From Class A North, CBA (non-public) and Freehold Twp. (public) are still alive in the MCT and the SCT (and states as we speak). Other A-Public champ Ocean is out of the MCT.

From A South...TR East won the OCT and is zeroing in on the division crown and plays its first state game Monday.

From B North Wall and Feehold were co-champs..Freehold is out of all tournaments but the states and Wall is gone from the SCT...A Central champ RBC is out of the SCT, B Central champ (non-public) St. Rose didn't enter the MCT so they can't do it and other B Central teams are out. B South champ Point Boro bowed out of the OCT.

This leaves...CBA, Freehold Township, and TR East. Am I missing anyone?

Some thoughts on Press Player of the Year? Candidates right now would be Casey Gaynor, Brett Brach, Ranaudo, Ryan Cuneo (Freehold)_, Pat Biserta, Tom Heuer (P Boro), perhaps Greg Geran (RBC) and Keith Weinkofsky (Ocean). Usually depends on what happens in the SCT and the States. Any thoughts? Anyone else at this point
come to mind??

My mind still boggling over Monmouth U being out of the NEC Tournament. They were having a great season and then.... poof...all gone.
There were some pitching injuries that were a problem and then the bats went just about dead.

Later folks...
Filled the car up with gas tonight as a big week of traveling to high school baseball games unfolds. State Tournament games, Shore Conference games, and the Monmouth County Tournament. If you like high school baseball does it get better than this?

Ok...Monday will be off to Brick Memorial for the game vs. Brick in South Jersey IV. Brian Streilein a cinch to start for Memorial. Not sure if Lucchetti or Murano goes for Brick in the fourth, yes, fourth meeting between the team this year, Memorial has won the last two. Haven't seen Brick at all and got a few innings worth of a look at Memorial at the Wall game Saturday. so am really looking forward to the action.

Tuesday it's down to the Ken Frank Baseball Stadiumfor the Class A South showdown between TR East and TR South. The big story here is if East wins it becomes the first team (as far as we know) to win or share six consecutive A South championships.
TR South won't get Casey Gaynor who is throwing in the SJ IV Tournament Monday, at least that's what we're

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Hard to believe Harry"..but Monmouth U. baseball suffers late-season collapse

As the late, great Philadelphia broadcaster/outfielder used to vent to Harry Kalas when things went wrong for the Phllies (which was often), "Hard to believe Harry.'

Well, it is hard to believe that the Monmouth University baseball team, which led the Northeast Conference race for most of the season, won't be appearing in the NEC Tournament that begins Thursday at First Energy park.

In a spectacular collapse Monmouth dropped its final seven games of the season, the last six in the NEC, culminating with Sunday's 6-5. 10-inning loss at Wagner, to finish out of the NEC playoffs for the first time in eight years according to the Monmouth sports information department.

In a showdown for the final playoff spot Wagner's Joey Malfettano, a senior graduate of Toms River North, singled with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of th 10th off releiver Kevin Schneider to give Wagner the victory and a sweep of the season-ending three-game series on Staten Island.

Wagner (17-32, 15-9) finished third in the final standings. Monmouth (27-22, 14-9) finished tied with Sacred Hearet (23-28, 14-9) for the fourth and final playoff spot but lost out to the Pioneers on a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Senior Joe Cummings (TR East) started for Monmouth and was charged with five runs, four earned, in six innings as Monmouth fell behind after four innings, 5-0.
But the Hawks battled back and tied the score with four runs in the seventh inning, the last two on a two-out single by freshman Rick Niederhaus.

At one point in the season Wagner was 1-17 overall. It trailed Monmouth by five games when the Hawks started the NEC winning their first 12. But Monmouth then tumbled to 2-9 in the NEC after that while Wagner went 8-4.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

SCT quarterfinal matchups and are the '64 Phillies Monmouth U. uniforms??

Let's take a look at the quarterfinal matchups. In one bracket we have Ocean at TR East and Brick Memorial at Freehold Township.

Ocean has had East's number in the regular season the past few years including a 6-2 decision last May 11. Since TR East is throwing Casey Gaynor in the states Monday and I guess Panoski in the Class A South showdown with TR SOuth Tuesday night this looks like a Wednesday game. Ocean could come back with its #1 Eric Hinkle and East will be in trouble. Raiders have had run-scoring problems even with their 14-run outburst Saturday vs. Raritan.

Freehold Township will not be throwing Brad Brach at Memorial as the 8-0 Brach will go Monday in the states. Same for Memorial as #1 Brian Streilein likely to go Monday in states vs. Brick. Jay Gordon is a solid #2 for Memorial and Township has some capable #2s as well.

Other bracket is Point Boro at CBA and St. Rose at TR South. Both CBA and P. Boro have state byes so they can pick their and choose who they will throw. Colt starters Jordan Warncke, Kyle Slate, and Dave Laufer are as tough a triumvirate as there is in the Shore Conference. This team is not 21-2 by accident. Boro will counter with John Rose or Pete Chomiak and Pat Biserta has been effectiive in relief. Boro bats are going to have to have a big day to post the upset. Can't see it.

By the way..talked today with Boro coach Walt Currie. Slugging catcher Tom Heuer was picked for the Carpenter Cup but had to withdraw due to family obligation.

St. Rose has a state bye so it cam come at TR South with ace Anthony Ranaudo, 7-0. TR South will be playing Monday in states, Tuesday vs. TR East, so goes with a #3 Wednesday. Whoever it is will be one of the better pitchers St. Rose has seen this year. An interesting match up with the 19-0 Purple Roses.

Three quarterfinals are now set (at last!) in the Monmouth County Tournament. Wall and Freehold Township are supposed to play Tuesday, the other two games are CBA vs. Manasquan and Raritan vs. Monmouth. RBC is already in the semifinals and will play the winner of the Freehold Township/Wall game. CBA/Squan winner faces Raritan/Monmouth winner in the semifinals.

I can't see Manasquan defeating CBA and I lean towards Monmouth over Raritan. Wall vs. Freehold Township is a toss up. Knights have been skidding but are due to turn it around.

Must have been a great game Saturday, the 1-0 Township win over Monmouth in eight innings in the SCT. Brach got two outs in the eight in relief of lanky Sean Stewart to get the win. Bobby Wyrwa came on in the seventh and took the loss.

Got up early this morning to cover the Ocean-Freehold SCT game. Hey Del..where were the dougnuts? Hinkle looked dominating most of the way vs. a good hitting Freehold team. Freehold slugger Ryan Cuneo walked, singled, and flew out vs. Hinkle. Ocean's Keith Weinkofsky, on a recent home run tear, had a single that led to a run. Weinkofsky had two doubles and a single in the afternoon 6-1 Ocean win over Freehold in a non-division make up game. "Tuna" (Weinkofsky) needs one more home run for his 15th which will tie Mike Chiarella for the career school record. Remember, Tuna is just a junior.

At the game got to meet Keith's father, Chuck, a terrific hitter who I covered when he was in high. Glad it didn't make me feel old or anything.

Also bumped into former Ocean player Jimmy Simmons, graduated a few years ago with one of the sweetest swing I've ever seen on the high school level. Jimmy will be a senior in September at George Washington majoring in finance and international business. Elected not to play ball at GW..but in a few years he will be able to buy and sell me, probably at a discount.

When the game was over decided to scoot over to Wall and watch the Wall-Brick Memorial game even though I wasn't scheduled to cover it.

By the time I got there it was already 7-0 Memorial. Left when it was 10-3. As I arrived back at the Press munching on a sandwich I got a call from Steve Falk who was covering the game for the Observer. ""It's 10-6 "he told me. Then "10-7", then "10-8". Did I have time to jump in the car and drive back? Too busy choking on the sandwich.
Decided to let Steve's play-by play carry me through. Memorial held on, 10-9. Another of example of "never leave a high school baseball game early." I'll never learn!!

What a beautiful facility Wall has at its 18th Avenue Athletic Complex. Lights anyone? They could use some stands there, but the field is magnificent.

The Monmouth U. baseball team is pulling a '64 Phillies. If you don't know what happened to the' '64 Phillies consider yourself fortunate. I do not have the stomach to review at this time.

Anyway, MU was 12-0 in the Northeast Conference to start the season, but has won two league games since. And after two losses at Wagner today (Joey Testa from Brick struck out 11 and beat Freehold Township's Brad Brach 2-1 in Game Two,) Monmouth has plummeted from first to fourth place and at 14-8 and is hanging on by a thread to the last playoff berth over Wagner (14-9 NEC) in the NEC Tournament which begins Thursday at First Energry Park.

Wagner was 7-5 after 12 NEC games. It all means the winner of Sunday's noon game on Staten Island between Monmouth and Wagner will grab the fourth playoff berth. Monmouth has made the NEC event a record eight years in a row and will look to senior left-hander Joey Cummings (6-3, 2.87 ERA, Toms River East ) to keep its record intact.
Wagner used its #1 and #2 Saturday and does not have a starter left whose ERA is under .5.36 soooo...we'll see what happens. I like Joey to come up big and win this for the Hawks.

Monmouth has been hurt by arm woes which have sidelined sophomore lefty Matt Marc-Aurele (4-2, 2.91 ERA) who has missed key starts during Monmouth's swoon.

That's it for now folks....

TR South wins, 1-0

The Indians edged past SJ Vianney Saturday night, 1-0, in the SCT. Evan Bigler won with relief help from freshman Tyler Gebler according to my buddy Steve Falk of the OC observer who went over to watch the end. A Vianney player tripled with two outs in the seventh and the next batter ripped a comebacker that Gebler handled for the final out.

More scores

In the SCT...TR East defeated Raritan 14-6, St. Rose over Colts Neck 3-2, Point Boro got by Rumson 6-4.

In the Monmouth County Tournament, Raritan defeated Colts Neck 10-5.

CBA wins in the SCT...

The top-seeded Colts took Toms River North, 7-2. Vin Avella's three-run bomb snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth inning and Anthony Lombardi belted a bases loaded triple in the sixth.

More SCT

Freehold Township beats Monmouth with a run in the bottom of the eighth, 1-0. Brett Brach won and Bobby Wyrwa lost as both came on in late relief.

SCT Saturday results

Ocean behind an Eric Hinkle shutout blanked Freehold, 5-0; Brick Memorial got a three-run home run from Brian Streilein, built leads of 7-0 and 10-1 over Wall, and hung on to strand the tying run at second as the game ended in a 10-9 victory.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Squan/CBA postponed

This is an MCT new date..Which will come first? Labor Day or the conclusion of the MCT??

Wall postponed vs. Freehold Twp.

Friday's MCT game has been postponed to Tuesday 345 p.m. at Freehold Township. What fun!!!!

Colts Neck at St. Rose washed out

This Shore Conference Tournament second round game will be 3 p.m. Saturday...Roses Saturday game with Kennedy, Iseln cancelled...

Can the Monmouth County Tournament be saved? The 2007 Carpenter Cup Roster about to be revealed..some changes in our Top 10 are coming

Lots of action this weekend in the Shore Conference and Monmouth County Tournaments. Coming Saturday in Rally I discuss the step child status of the MCT and the need for county Athletic directors and or the Shore Conference to get involved in getting a better handle on this once classic event.

Also Saturday in the APP and the Observer we have the rosters for the 2007 Shore Carpenter Cup team..and our Press latest Top 10 Poll. A few changes as two teams drop out and two others take their a first timer for 2006. Who do you think it will be?

At the moment I plan on attending the Ocean-Freehold SCT game Saturday. Who's gonna bring the coffee and doughnuts?? It's always a treat to see Ryan Cuneo step into the box for Freehold and Keith Weinkofsky for Ocean.

I enjoyed the Colts Neck-Middle North game Wednesday. Hard to believe but this was the first event I have ever covered at Colts Neck. Very nice field at Cougar Cove and an impressive young team to boot. I believe in my few years at the Press I have covered at least one athletic event at every Shore Conference High school.

I guess next year I gotta make to Barnegot to see the Baby Bengals who will be getting older.....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Local Tournament schedule

Friday, May 19
Shore Conference Tournament
Second round
Colts Neck at St. Rose3:45 p.m.

Monmouth County Tournament
Manasquan at CBA3:45 p.m.
Wall at Freehold Township3:45 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
Shore Conference Tournament
Second round
Monmouth at Freehold Twp.10a.m.
Freehold at Ocean10 a.m.
TR North at CBA11 a.m.
Brick Mem. at Wallnoon
Rumson at Point Boro2 p.m.
Raritan at TR East3 p.m.
SJ Vianney at TR South7 p.m.

Monmouth County Tournament
Second round
Raritan at Colts Neck10 a.m.

The big THREE OH

TR East ace Casey Gaynor became the fifth pitcher in Shore Conference history to win 30 career games Thursday night as he blanked Toms River North, 6-0. The senior right-hander, 30-4 in his career, struck out 14 as he pitched a two-hitter. Gaynor is three wins shy of the conference record of 33 set by 1970 Manasquan graduate Chipper Hirst.

an SCT upset

In a five inning rain-shortened game Rumson, seeded No. 24, upset No. 9 RB Catholic Friday 5-3. Winning pitcher Ben Miller a two-run home run. Also, Freehold advanced defeating Mater Dei, 8-7. ""They gave us a run for the money,'' said Freehold coach Steve Kochinski.

In a regular season game CBA defeated Wall, 7-0 behind junior Kyle Slate (4-0).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More SCt action

TR North over Manasquan 6-2, Raritan took Lacey 4-1, and St. John Vianney scored five in the eighth to trip Shore, 11-7. Thursday games.. Mater Dei at Freehold, Rumson at RBC.

SCT scores

Here's what we have so far....Colts Neck 4-1 over Middletown North, Brick Memorial 3-2 over Brick; Monmouth downed Manchester 13-3, Point Boro over Keansburg a wild nondivision game Ocean outlasted Wall 11-10..more later..also..RBC-Rumson Thursday at 4 at RBC

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

SCT final..CBA vs. Brick Memorial? St. Rose upgrading schedule, MU football news

Well..let's take a look at the Shore Conference brackets:

If form holds up (it almost never does) one semifinal could be CBA vs.TR South with the other TR East vs. Wall. St. Rose is on CBA's side of the bracket and could be looking at TR South in the quarters, if it gets past the winner of the Colts Neck - Middletown N. game.

The TRE bracket looks very tough with it including Freehold Township, Ocean, Freehold, B. Memorial and Wall. TRE could be meeting Lacey in the second round in an Ocean County final rematch if the Lions get by Raritan in the first round.

Our picks - CBA is too strong in its bracket and makes it to the final to oppose.... streaking Brick Memorial...just a hunch. Of course I'm right every other light year or two!

Kudos to St. Rose which is beefing up its schedule and this week visits defending Goup IV state champion Hillsborough Wednesday and Sunday travels to Non-Public A giant St. Peter's.

For those of you who follow Monmouth University football the Northeast Conference is expected Tuesday to announce agreement with the Pioneer League to stage a post season game between the champions of the two leagues for at least the next two years. and...the NEC will host this year's game!

Back to baseball where Scott Stump of the Press will be covering the Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinal game Tuesday between Freehold Township and Wall. Wednesday I hope to make my first visit ever to Cougar Cove to see Colts Neck host Middletown North in the first round of the SCT.
And Steve Falk of the Observer plans to cover a first round SCT game between Brick and Brick Memorial. Lucchetti vs. Streilein??

Belated congrats to Brookdale with its array of former Shore Conference baseball standouts for winning the District Junior College crown and heading off to the Division II National Tournament for a second year in a row.

Monday, May 15, 2006

the 2006 Shore Conference Tournament pairings

2006 Shore Conference Baseball Tournament

(17) Manasquan at (16) Toms River North, winner plays at (1) CBA; (25) Keansburg at (8) Point Boro; (24) Rumson at (9) Red Bank Catholic; (21) Middletown North at (12) Colts Neck, winner plays at (5) St. Rose; (13) SJ Vianney at (20) Shore, winner plays at (4) Toms River South; (19) Brick at (14) Brick Memorial, winner plays at (3) Wall; (22) Manchester at (11) Monmouth, winner at (6) Freehold Township; (23) Mater Dei at (10) Freehold, winner at (7) Ocean Township; (18) Raritan at (15) Lacey, winner plays at (2) Toms River East.

Round one to be completed by Wednesday, Round two by Saturday; quarterfinals by May 24; semifinals by May 27th; championship game 7 p.m. May 31st at First Energy Park. Rain date June 4 at FirstEnergy Park, time to be announced. Note: SCT games take precedence over any other games except NJSIAA games.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

e-mails always welcome

At the moment am having trouble getting the comments link back up but e-mails are always welcome at
Some Shore Challenge results:

South Brunswick (15-4) scored on a sixth-inning infield hit Saturday night to defeat 19-2 CBA, 1-0, ending CBA's 11-game winning streak. It has been blanked (the other by Brett Brach of Freehold Twp., 5-0) in its defeats. Jordan Warncke (6-1) took the tough luck defeat on a five-hitter. CBA was held to three hits.

Toms River East 17-4) scored eight runs in the fourth inning of its 9-5 win over Ramapo (17-4) tonight. Joe Somma and Casey Gaynor had two-run singles in the inning which included two of Ramapo's five errors. Ramapo, according to TR East, handed Old Tappan its first loss of the season Friday.

TR East senior right-hander Joe Reilly went to 5-0 for the Ocean County champs.

Wall dropped a tough 3-2 Challenge decision to 19-2 St. Peter's. After a Craig Hughes RBI single got Wall within 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh the Knights had runners at first and third with one out. But the potential tying run was picked off third base on a failed safety squeeze.

St. Rose continued to rise to the Challenge winning a third Challenge game behind Anthony Ranaudo, 12-1 over Audubon. St. Rose at 18-0 is off to its best start since beginning 19-0 in 2004, a team that faded at the end. Audubon dropped to 12-6 so they must be a decent enough club.

Ocean bounced back from its Monmouth County loss to RBC with a 6-1 Challenge win over Linden.

A.J. Squillante had an RBI double, Dave Kaczka a sacrifice fly, Sean DaSilva an RBI double, and Kyle Norman an RBI single for Ocean.

Manasquan and Holmdel played Challenge games today but, far as I know ( wasn't here all day), failed to call in their results.

I heard Squan 10-2 lost from our Scott Stump who was there to cover St. Rose and that Holmdel lost too, 3-2...and am adding losses to their records (Sqaun 10-9, Holmdel 8-15) in our standings unless I hear officially otherwise.

Watched Brookdale Community College whip Orange County N.Y. 6-1 this afternoon after the Jersey Blues (38-8) drubbed UConn, Avery Point 15-2 to begin District action.

Brookdale hosts Orange (22-22) 11 a.m. Sunday and one more win sends it to its second consecutive Division II national Tournament. If Brookdale loses then a second game Sunday will decide the District winner, but Brookdale is not losing.

On Brookdale's 26-player roster I counted 18 former Shore Conference players. Among them Region 19 Player of the Year Joe Arminio (Point Boro) belted a long home run to left vs. Orange to back the three-hit pitching of Kevin Rickert (TR North). Ryan Beard (Point Boro) improved to 10-0 with the win over the Conn. team.

Damian Walcott (Freehold) plays a blanket covering centerfield for Brookdale and coach Johnny Johnson tells me Walcott could be drafted.

Ricket (7-1) and Beard (10-0) have become the one-two punch of the Brookdale staff this season.

I love that Johnson keeps track of the game as he hangs the scorebook on the dugout wall and scores every play himself. I wish more high school coaches would adhere to this practice as too often their "'callers'' are lacking in information and even the coaches themselves sometimes have trouble in this area.

The Monmouth University baseball team is in a nose dive as not even Brad Brach (6-3) from Freehold Township could prevent a double header loss today at Central Connecticut that dropped Monmouth into a first place tie with CCSU in the Northeast Conference. Brach, the sophomore right-hander who has been splendid all year, lasted only three innings in the second game 7-1 loss. Matt Coulson (Freehold) bowed in the opener 3-0.

Monmouth, losers of seven of its last eight, had only seven hits in the two games. With four games NEC games left it could be in danger of dropping all the way to fifth place and missing the NEC Tournament for the first time in a zillion years if it doesn't snap out of it.

I guess Joe Cummings (TR East, 6-3) will go in Sunday's rubber match though he went three innings Thursday in the tough loss to Rutgers.
Monmouth's pitching has been thrown out of kilter with sophomore Matt Marc-Aurele (arm issues according to the Monmouth web site) missing his last two starts and the hitting (it always happens this way) has gone south to boot.

A "Goner'" for Geran wins for RBC

Greg Geran lined a 3-0 pitch for a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday to give Red Bank Catholic (15-6) a dramatic 4-3 victory over Ocean (14-6) in a Monmouth County Tournament quarterfinal.
""It kept going and going and going,'' said RBC coach Tony Martinez of the 380-foot drive over the fence in center at Count Basie Field.
RBC will play the winner of the Freehold Township-Wall game later this week in a semifinal game.

An Eric Hinkle RBI double gave Oceean (14-6) the lead in the top of the eighth inning.
Keith Weinkofsky belted a two-run home run for Ocean in the first inning, his fifth home run in the last seven games.
Hinkle took the 2-0 lead into the seventh when RBC tied the game with four consecutive singles, the last two run-scoring hits by Tim Griswold and John Oriolo.

Winning pitcher John Menna (5-0) went the distance.

Off to Brookdale

Getting a chance to see those Jersey Blues today, with many former Shore Conference standouts, as they play in the Districts for a chance to go to the Junior College World series. And of course will be keeping tabs on high school baseball.


LOOK OUT for those line drives!

Covered the Manasquan-Holmdel game today and suddenly my life flashed before my eyes. No, not because Manasquan won, 6-1, or Holmdel lost 6-1 or whatever.

Here's what happened. Before the game Holmdel's cleanup batter was struck on the wrist by a line drive in infield drills. Initial thoughts were it was fractured but x-rays later proved negative. However, a trend was started.

First inning I was standing along the right field line near first base and was actually paying attention instead of checking ball scores on my cell phone.

A good thing. A Holmdel kid blasted a foul that roared right past my noggin as I used my cat like quickness to avoid instant demise. Well..truth be told..I wasn't real quick and the drive just missed me.

In the bottom of the inning a Squan hitter laced a shot down the left field line that struck a fan in the arm. Apparently he was unhurt.

I then put on a batting helmet.

Squan won 6-1 to take third place in Class
A Central but did not win the "public" school championship because teams finishing below second can not be champions, even by rules of the Shore Conference which hands out championships like bubble gum.

Tonight Middletown South beat Wall, 3-2. Hasn't been a banner year for the Eagles but in the past few weeks they've beaten Top 10 teams Freehold Township, TR East, and now Wall.

Matawan (10-10) is in the state tournament by way of a forfeit win over Asbury Park and a 13-5 wjn over Keansburg today. Matawan had scheduled two games for today starting with a make up game with AP but, when AP arrived lat, Matawan was awarded a forefit in accordance with a seldom enforced NJSIAA rule. The Huskies then downed KB to clinch the berth.

Asbury Park coach Stan Barber, though not thrilled with the forfeit ruling, admitted the bus driver got lost.

You can't make this stuff up!.

Friday, May 12, 2006

No Top 10 this week!@#@!

Just kidding. But after CBA (19-1), most teams in the Press Top 10 suffered defeats this week, most of the time to each other. Maybe there should be a number one and eight or so blank spaces. It's a real jumble after #1 or #2.

The gainers this week will be Wall, St. Rose, and Ocean while others slide or hold on by their batting gloves.

Some late Thursday night results..Ocean downs Toms River East 6-2. Greg Spatz and Tony DeSantis 2-run singles and Keith Weinkofsky an RBI double. and RBC was upset in eight innings by Red Bank, which rallied from a 4-1 deficit to eventually snap 5-5 tie with four in the eighth as key hits were supplied by Kyle Grant and Ryan Mauhn (hope we got that spelling right!).

GAME of the DAY..remember what happened last week with Point Boro when it came from 10 down to beat Lacey?. Guess what happened to Point Thursday? Had leads of 9-0 and 10-1 and lost to Freehold 14-13, Ryan Cuneo a three-run game tying bomb for Freehold and later Rich Pultar a two-run shot. Point blaster Tom Heuer who hit a slam vs. Lacey to win that game hit another slam and a solo shot. And how did the winning run score..why on a passed ball of course.

Some highlights from Thursday we couldn't get in the paper Friday..Shore's Rich Yelton blanks Long Branch, 10-0; Adam Helfgott's RBI single for Marlboro in the seventh downs Colts Neck 5-4.

Thursday was a rewarding day for Toms River North, Rumson, and Middletown North which clinched NJSIAA berths. Rumson, two games below the required .500 mark and realizing Friday may be a wash out, arranged with Henry Hudson to play two games. Got to credit Henry Hudson for going along with this. Rumson won two, 11-9, and 4-0 behind a productive effort by Steve Giordano, 5-for-6, a bunch of RBI. North (10-10) downed Holmdel 7-0 behind Al Rodriguez to complete a recovery from a so-so start to the season, and TR Noth defeated Brick.

Bowing out of the states were Matawan which fell to 8-10 after a tough eight-inning home loss to Monmouth Regional and Keyport (8-10) which tumbled to Barnegat. Teams who miss out on the states may still gain berths in the Shore Conference Tournament where the .500 cut off is Monday. However, a wet weekend may dampen the schedule.

A Keansburg loss to Mater Dei Thursday assures Shore gets sole posession of the the "public'' championship of Class B Central. It appears Manasquan is in the running for that same dubious title in Class A Central. These are championships because the Shore Conference says so. But it's ridiculous.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Tom tidbit

This tonight from Lacey assistant coach Tom Faulkner -

""Bill Frank and I were college teammates at OCC
on the baseball team in 1972 & 73. Then as now Brookdale was the team to beat. In 1972
they had John 'the count' Montefusco and in "73 Denny Walling, both who went on to play in
the majors after transferring to Clemson.
"In "73 we won the southern division championship
of the GSAC. Bill played lst base and was an outstanding hitter. And as you know he has become an outstanding coach!''

Tom Faulkner
Lacey H.S.

Tom ..neat stuff. We welcome all reader tidbits and information here.

Tonight Casey Gaynor notched his 29th career victory and with the next one he will become the fifth Shore Conference pitcher to reach 30 wins in his career.
The conference record is 33. Todd Roth as noted earlier pitched very well. Lacey will be a tough out in any tournament with Roth on the hill but the defense has to play a little sharper.

Kudos to the OCT for ending their event prior to the onset of the state and Shore Conference Tournaments.

We know there are many more teams in the Monmouth County Tournament but it would be a plus for Monmouth teams in the states and Shore events if they could end the MCT prior to those tourneys.

Maybe the MCT could start with the prelims...five or six games at one site (Wall Municipal Complex, Count Basie Field), any place with lights, and then a week later play all the first round games at the same site or sites.

Next play the quarters in similar fashion rather than having the individual schools attempt to fit in their games here and there..and Bingo!'re in the semis.

Right now the MCT still has one first round game to play and is just beginning the quarters.

Rain looks like it could be a problem for everyone for the next week!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gaynor, TR East win OCT

Casey Gaynor pitched a one-hitter and struck out 14 Wednesday night as Toms River East defeated Lacey in the Ocean County Tournament championship, 4-0. The only baserunner Gaynor allowed was to pitching counter part Todd Roth who grounded an opposite field single to right with two down in the second inning.

Roth pitched well enough to win most games striking out 11.


Yes, the Monmouth County Tournament is in progress and we have a few scheduling updates for quarterfinal games: Ocean will play at RBC 3:45 p.m. Friday (yours truly hopes to attend) and Wall visits Freehold Township 3:45 p.m. next Tuesday May 16th.. Also Tuesday is Raritan is at Colts Neck in a first round game /winner to play Monmouth Regional in the quarters.
No date set yet as we speak for the CBA-Manasquan quarterfinal contest...but fear not, this tourmament will be over by July!

Not that this is exactly headline news but just a reminder to all this Friday is the NJSIAA cut off date. Teams must be at .500 or better to qualify and Monday is the cut off for the Shore Conference Tourmament, .500 record also holds here too.

OCT final

That would be 7 p.m. tonight at Toms River South as Lacey (12-7) tangles wih Toms River East (15-3).

Sorry for the blogging drought. Apparently had some technical difficulties Tuesday I was unaware of (and it was such a great blog, too)!!

Runs to be scarce in OCT? Al Kunzman Day Saturday at Central Regional

Look for a low scoring Ocean County Tournament final 7 p.m. Wednesday at Toms River South when Lacey (12-7) tangles with Toms River East (15-3). Having said that a 13-12 game is now almost a sure thing.

Neither team has been swinging the bats well lately. Aside from it's shootout loss the other day to Point Boro, Lacey hasn't scored more than six runs since an April 26 win over Pinelands. Yes, I know they scored 11 Tuesday vs. Asbury Park, but that hardly counts.

After roaring through an early stretch when TRE East rattled home 39 runs in three games vs. B Mem., Southern, and Brick, the Raiders have scored in double figures just once. And Tuesday they fell to Middletown South (6-14) by a 6-1 count. Granted, they may have rested a few regulars (Casey Gaynor played and got two hits) but no matter, the bats have not been jumping. And with the likes of Tod Roth (6-1, 0.75 ERA) going for Lacey and Gaynor (6-1, 1.00 ERA) hurling for TR East this may not be a get well night for the lineups. Having said that...15-14 is now a forgone conclusion.

Who said sports writers aren't fans, too? If yu were in our office tonight for the ninth inning of the Phillies-Mets game you would have seen allegedly grown men jumping up and down and cheering when Delgado hit the home run in the ninth inning. Of course one was almost in tears (me).

Ah, but in the bottom of the ninth was my turn to howl. That was some Ruthian blast by Abreu wasn't it?

A nice moment coming up Saturday at Central Regional when legendary coach Al Kunzman is remembered on Al Kunzman Day with ceremonies for the late 300 plus game winner at 11 a.m. Many family members and former players are expected to attend. Central will play Lakewood in a regular season game following the ceremonies.

Including Tuesday's win over Shore, St. Rose has quietly fashioned a 23-game winning streak dating back to last season's run to the Non-Public B crown. The streak should be tested this weekend by 13-4 Delsea in the Shore Challenge.

Freehold Township ace Brett Brach went to 7-0 with Tuesday's win over Colts Neck. When Brett joins brother Brad next year at Monmouth U. it could ensure the Hawks maintain their%

Monday, May 08, 2006

A clean Slate, and other items

Add CBA junior Kyle Slate to the stable of arms coach Marty Kenney appears to have in his stable for the stretch run. After suffering a dislocated knee which shelved him for a while this season the right-hander, now 3-0, hurled six strong innings and struck out 10 Sunday night as CBA, No. 1 in the Press Top 10, downed Hudson Catholic (13-5) in the Shore Challenge, 5-1.
Ace pitcher Jordan Warncke pitched a scoreless final inning.

The Monmouth County Tournament has eeked into the quarterfinal round, for the most part. But after talking with Colts Neck coach Mike Yorke Sunday night, the first round game between the Cougars and Raritan won't be until May 16. According to Shore Conference rules County Tournament games rate somewhere behind Chinese Checkers, they are dead last in the pecking order with even nondivisional games having priority.

Yorke, by the way, was the man behind the Shore coaches proposal we wrote about Saturday for having two game divisional series replacing the staggered schedule of divisional games. I sort of liked it and would like to see it tried for a year.
Any thoughts on the subject out there in Blog Ville??

Congrats to Brookdale for winning Region 19. The Jersey Blues host the Districts this weekend with the winner advancing to the National Division II Junior College Tournament.

Toms River East grad Joe Cummings helped Monmouth U. halt a brief slide Sunday and hold onto first place in the Northeast Conference with a 5-0, compete game shutout of Quinnipiac. Joe's six wins (6-2) are a career single season high

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Gaynor, Roth, Ranaudo hurl gems. Point Boro bats are silenced, Weinkofsky's bat booms at last

Well..let's start with the Ocean County Tournament. In the first game Casey Gaynor of TR East was too much for the young Indians of TR South, 5-0, fanning eight. Gaynor now goes to 28-4 career and will be on the mound in the OCT final, whenever that is, should be later this week at night at TR South.

The Indians, though, are a championship team in waiting, beginning next season. Frosh Tyler Bigler is a Todd Frazier look alike, a better pitcher which wasn't Todd's forte though he did well on the mound, and will be a good hitter. TR South starts almost all underclassmen.

""Good pitching stops good hitting" (bet you've heard that before) proved to be true in Game Two as Lacey's Todd Roth stopped the big bats of Point Boro, 6-2. Roth struck out 16 and, after falling behind briefly in the third inning 2-1, the senior right-hander took over.

Throwing a drop-off-the-table curve ball, Roth struck out 11, Pat Biserta went 1-for-3 with a sharp single, and Tom Heuer popped up and walked twice. Gerry Gaytas hit a "no doubt about it" two-run home run in the fifth inning that made it 5-2 and this time there would be no Boro comeback.

Lacey players reminded me after the game that I almost never picked them in football season...heck, all they did was get to the SJ III final!!. Well, we don't pick baseball games but if it's Gaynor vs. Roth I gotta go with TR East, 3-1, in a well-pitched game. Just trying to be consistent here.

Earlier today I said St. Rose needed some more big wins to give more credibility to their un beaten season. So they go out in the Shore Challenge and blank a good Bergen Catholic team, 6-0, behind a two-hit gem by junior Anthony Ranaudo who struck out 16!!

James Reilly drove in all six runs, with two home runs, a two-run and three-run shot and an RBI single. Ok...The Roses are for real. Certainly Ranaudo is!! Looking forward to seeing how St. Rose fares in the Shore Conference Tournament. CBA also won its Shore Challenge

Until a few days ago big Keith Weinkofsky of Ocean hadn't hit gone deep all season after clouting four in 2005.. Now he has four in his last four games capped by today's three-run walk off blast in the eighth that downed Southern, 6-3.

The OCT, St. Rose, etc.

Heading down to Toms River today for the Ocean County Tournament semifinals as Point Boro and Pat Biserta finally reach a larger stage but Lacey and Todd Roth are also in the spotlight. Lacey has proven itself to be a worthy opponent.

If Casey Gaynor has a realistic shot at at least tying the Shore Conference record of 33 wins the Toms River East ace probably needs a win over Toms River South today. Casey has 27.

St. Rose also gets another bigger stage appearance vs. Bergen Catholic in the Shore Challenge. Purple Roes got a nice win over Randolph in the Challenge last week but not participating in the Monmouth County Tournament, I believe, was a credibility mistake. Constantly flogging Class B Central opponents proves very little. They are a defending state champion and, no doubt, a high quality club. But, in my opinion, they need to do well in the Shore Conference Tournament, in the Challenge, and later in the NJSIAA Tournament, to be considered an elite Shore Conference team.

It figures that in baseball, it doesn't figure. Freehold, one day after their dramatic win over Wall to clinch a share of the Class B North championship, falls to up and down Manasquan in the Monmouth County Tournament.

Brick Memorial, a few days after losing to scrappy Central, turns around and upends Toms River South.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Freehold, RBC, Biserta, Bill Frank, have big days

Once again, in the better late (or early) than never department, another full day of high school baseball has come and gone.

Red Bank Catholic is officially the non-public Class A Central champion with its 2-1 ein over Rumson Tuesday night coupled with St. John Vianney's loss to Raritan earlier. This also means there will be no public school champion in the division because SJV finishes second and no team lower than second can be awarded a championship according to Shore Conference rules.

But what RBC should be applauded for is winning a real championship, no matter what you call it, by finishing first after two second place finishes that gave them the ridiculous, who cares non-public crowns.

Meanwhile, in Class A North, Ocean and Freehold Township get the public school ""champion" consolation prize for finsishing second to CBA. Whupee. Maybe I am old school but as I said early in the season on this forum second place is well.... second place. and the kids know it.

The big game Thursday between title contenders was at Freehold where the Colonials can now hang that championship banner in their gym for the first time since 1989. Of course Wall still has a shot to share the title if they beat Colts Neck Monday. Wall leftfielder Connor Shanley pulled a hammie running out his two-run single in the fourth inning and it remains to be seen how long he's sidelined.
. The middle of that Freehold lineup is one of the best in the Shore Conference. John Marx, a line drive hitter bats third, and Ryan Cuneo is a long drive waiting to happen every time he steps to the plate.
No 5 batter Jason Nardi is another legitamate home run threat and is still trying to figure out how his blast to deep left field midway through the game stayed in the ball park.

Speaking of home run threats..Pat Biserta of Point Boro clouted his daily dinger, he hit two actually , including a slam ,and Tom Heuer hit another home run in the win over Point Beach. Ok. It's Point Beach which was starting a pitcher with almost no varsity experience. . But they still count.

I am so looking forward to seeing the Boro play Lacey on Saturday in the Ocean County Tournament in the "'rubber game" of their three-game series. This will be my first time watching Biserta in high school and, as he's a junior, I don't think will be my last.
In high school circles Biserta is now is drawing favorable comparisons to Todd and or Jeff Frazier and or Colin Gaynor. Not bad company.

Congratulations to Bill Frank for joining the 400 club.
Frank, baseball coach at Tom River East since 1985, won his 400th career game Thursday night when the No. 1 Raiders defeated Southern, 3-2, in a Shore Conference Class A South game.
Frank joins his brother Ken, head coach at Toms River South (629) and CBA boss Marty Kenney (572) as the only active conference coaches with 400 or more victories.
Other former conference coaches with 400 wins were Barry Cook (St. John Vianney - 481), and Larry D'Zio junior (Jackson - 407).
Southern was also the victim last year when Ken Frank won his 600th game. Southern was also the victim when TR South's Rod Velardi pitched his state record third no-hitter in a row in 1991.
Also, Southern was the victim when Brick football coach Warren Wolf won - I think it was - his 300th game back in the early '90.s . Anyway, it was a milestone.
Notice a trend here?

I will not be attending any high school baseball Friday as I am covering the Monmouth U. women's lacrosse match in the Northeast Conference Tournament. C'mon now. I know something about lacrosse. If the ball goes in that little's a goal..isn't it?

In college baseball Brookdale opens play in junior college Region 19 and the Press will provide on the spot coverage with Josh Newman doing the honors for Saturday's paper. We wish good luck to Johnny Johnson and the Jersey Blues.

See you at the OCT!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Colonial moment/ a Raritan upset

Ryan Kresge's two-run double keyed a four-run sixth inning when Freehold rallied to stun Wall, 5-3, and earn a share of its first Shore Conference division title since 1989 with a Class B North victory.
Also Thursday, Raritan's 6-3 win over St. John Vianney means RBC can win the Class A Central championship with a night game win over Rumson.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Day of Decision in Class B North and Point Boro does it again!

It's Day of Decision in Class B North on Thursday as Wall (11-1, 9-1) travels to Freehold (11-3, 9-2). This is the division finale for Freehold while Wall has one division game left Monday vs. Colts Neck.

The coaches have told me senior Ryan Cuneo (1-0) will emerge from the bullpen for Freehold while junior Craig Hughes (4-0, 8 wins the last two years) starts for Wall in a battle of right-handers. A Wall win and they clinch the title no matter what they do Monday. If Freehold wins it clinches no worse than a share of its first division title since, I believe, 1987, and Wall would have to win Monday to deadlock the race.

I have seen some real good games lately and am looking forward to this Wall-Freehold tilt. This will be my first look at Wall this season while I feel I have Colonial season tickets!!

Also Thursday.. RB Catholic (11-4, 8-3) and St. John Vianney (11-5, 8-3) play their Class A Central finales vs. Rumson (7 p.m.) and Raritan (afternoon) respectively.

It's been a rough week for Monmouth Regional which lost at home in the ninth inning Monday to Freehold, dropped a tough 2-1 game at home Tuesday to Point Boro, and lost Wednesday at Wall in the seventh inning, 5-4.

We're beginning to speculate ( as sportswriters) whether Point Boro junior Pat Biserta - the human line drive - will be drafted in 2007. With another 4-for-4 day in the Boro's miraculous win Wednesday he's now batting around .600.

He'll be facing Lacey ace Todd Roth in the Ocean County semis Saturday as both teams seek their first OCT final. Point Boro's 15 wins are three shy of the school record of 18 set in 1966 according to coach Walt Currie.

If you haven't heard how the precocious Panthers (15-1) won again in dramatic fashion - it was hard to beleive - just pick up a Press or an Observer Thursday (or view on line). It was unbelievable.

Well, Manalapan threw B. J. Martin at CBA today and the St. John's bound senior was bombed out in the third inning. Dave Laufer slammed a three-run home run in the first inning and CBA was off to a 10-0 win in the Monmouth County Tournament.

We don't have all the dates but are the latest MCT matchups - RBC vs. Ocean and CBA vs. Freehold-Squan winner (quarterfinals). First round games - Raritan at Colts Neck, SJ Vianney at Monmouth, Middletown South at Freehold Township (rematch of the recent South upset) , and Marlboro at Wall.

Here's a question - Assuming No. 9 Point Boro defeats Point Beach
Thursday how high should we rank the Panthers in the next Top 10 Poll on Saturday?


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mariner sail to upset

Unheralded Chad Geran (5-1) stole the show from Toms River East Tuesday night as the junior right-hander beat the Raiders, 4-3, denying coach Bill Frank his 400th career win and handing ace Casey Gaynor (5-1) his first defeat while stopping East's 11-game winning streak.

Gaynor struck out 13 but yielded a pair of two-run singles in the second inning which included an error, two walks, and a hit batter.

Ony one run off Geran (five Ks, one walk) was earned.

Regarding the prior blog...still not sure what to make of it. The first poster seems certain the second pitcher takes the loss. The second answer from the rule book seems to indicate the winning run should be charged to the previous pitcher, not the reliever. Where's the Excedrin?

It's been a long night. See you Wednesday!

Manalapan's Martin to face CBA

Manalapan fireballer B.J. Martin will be on the hill 345 p.m Wednesday when the Braves visit CBA in the Monmouth County Tournament. The teams play Tuesday but it's a meaningless game (more or less) for Manalapan which is out of the states and Shore Conference events, but can focus on throwing the St. John's bound Martin in search of an MCT title.

Scoring question and I don't know the answer (yet). In the Freehold-Monmouth game Monday the lead runner, put on by Monmouth starter Bobby Wyrwa, was out at the plate on an infield grounder. But the batter who reached vs. the reliever (Connors) on a fielder's choice eventually came around to score the winning run. Who gets the loss? I don't want guesses and I'm not trying to pin the loss on one pitcher or the other. I'm just trying to get it right for present and future reference. The point it a releiver's fault that the batter he faced and later scored reached when a play was made on the runner the other pitcher put on?

Anyone who answers must be quoting from a rule/scoring book (which I don't have) or be very, very educated on the matter. It's fascinating that only in baseball do situations like this crop up all the time.

It'll be a late (very late) blog tonight (or morning) as I head out to Toms River where TR East coach Bill Frank is looking for career win no. 400.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Making his Marx for Freehold

Jason Nardi had just pitched one of his best games for Freehold and, despite giving
up a home run that was tracked by radar in Nome, Alaksa, was all smiles after the
Colonials outlasted Monmouth Regional Monday in a classic Shore Conference Class B North
struggle, 5-3.
""I hung that pitch, a slider, I shouldn't have thrown that pitch,'' Nardi told me
after the game as he described the dellivery onmouth's Pete Geronimo sent into orbit with
two outs in the bottom of seventh that tied the score, 3-3.

But John Marx' two-run double with two outs in the top of the ninth enabled Freehold
to remain in the B North hunt while just about ending the quest for Monmouth. Freehold's
Ryan Cuneo was overpowering with four strikeouts in two perfect innings in relief.

According to Nardi it was the second time this season Freehold had defeated Monmouth
on a late-game hit going back to the Freehold win earlier in the season.

Nardi belted a three-run double in the third inning off Bobby Wyrwa that gave
Freehold a 3-0 lead.

""I hit it to the deepest part of the park, 400 feet, but it got the job done,'' he

Wyrwa was solid into the ninth inning for Monmouth in a game that could have gone
either way.

Other game notes: Cuneo, who twice was walked intentionally, hit a foul pop fly that
seemed to graze a cloud....Monmouth rightfielder Will Stefanski threw a strike to home
plate to cut down the potential lead run for Freehold in the eighth after a two-out hit by
Marc Hubbert...The Monmouth dugout takes a back seat to no one, even the Toms River
schools, for loudness and creativity, though it didn't seem to bother Freehold pitching.

Also...Freehold Township's loss to Middletown South means CBA has clinched at least
a tie for a seventh straight Class A North title.

In the tight Class A Central race...with RB Catholic and SJ Vianney both with three
league defeats: RBC plays Tuesday vs. Holmdel and Thursday vs. Rumson, Vianney plays
Raritan Thursday. If they end tied Manasquan could win the exalted "Public School"
division championship. I'm sure there would be a celebration on Main Street.

Holmdel's Anthony Ferraioli went 4-for-4 in a win over Long Branch; Mater Dei's Mike
Doherty hit a three-run triple in a 10-run fifth inning vs. Henry Hudson; Southern's
Andrew Finelli belted a slam (it seems to me that may be his second this season) in a
6-0 win over Lacey..Colts Neck super soph Anthony DeSclafani struck out 14 vs. Neptune
in six innings before Matt Yuhas struck out the side in a 5-0 win.

Did you know? Freehold, Wall, and St. John Vianney all won in nine innings Monday.

Coming up Tuesday night: TR East coach Bill Frank goes for win No. 400 and Casey
Gaynor for career win #28 in a 7:30 start at Toms River North.
John Marx of No. 10 Freehold rifled a two-out, two-run double in the top of ninth inning Monday afternoon to send Freehold to a 5-3 win over No. 5 Monmouth Regional enabling the Colonials to remain in the Shore Conference Class B North hunt while damaging Monmouth's chances.

In a a Monday upset, Middletown South defeated No. 3 Freehold Township, 4-3.

More later tonight....