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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....


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