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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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.



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