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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Just not Ocean's day

See what happens Ocean fans ,when I pick your team to win. It's what happens to any team I pick to win. KABOOM!

Ocean just did enough things wrong Saturday to help make it right for Morristown and the Colonials (give them credit) also did enough to help themselves in the 11-7 win in the Group III final.
I don't know about you but when Ocean got its first two men on base to begin the game, single by Mike Rochford and Kyle Norman (HBP), and didn't score, I had a bad, bad feeling.

Then in the bottom of the first.. with one out an infield single (could have been scored an error (sprited argument on that one along press row), then a well executed hit and run single, then a bloop RBI single (runner thrown out at third) so it looks like it's going to stay 1-0.
Then the next kid jacks a 3-1 fastball the other way over the fence in right center. Eric Hinkle probably didn't make one bad pitch in that first inning except for the long ball. Second inning Ocean makes an error but escapes. Third inning for Morristown a single, stolen base, a two-out error and its 4-0.

Fifth inning. Ocean, held to the one hit by soph RH Matt Parish, comes alive. Greg Spatz a smash to third (hit). Corey Giddings beats out a slow roller, John Ernst singles to right. Bases loaded none out.
Ninth batter Tony DeSantis a force play grounder, run scores. Rochford sacrifice fly makes it 4-2. Then Kyle Norman works a two-out walk. Two on two out, Keith Weinkofsky up. I'm trying to pick out the tree he's going to hit it over.
Well, almost. Keith flies to deep right center. He tells me later he hit it off the hands.
Bottom of the fifth. Ocean comes unglued. Two errors by usually sure-handed SS Norman, one on a ground ball and then he throws away another. Zack Brown (4-for-4) belts a two-run double. It's a five run inning.
Hinkle is lifted though he pitched much better than his nine runs allowed would indicate (five were unearned).

Now Ocean, down 9-2, makes another bid in the sixth. Jamie Rosenkranz a two-run HR (Morristown LF nearly brains himself crashing into the wall. He's OK. A heck of an effort). Spatz walks, Giddings singles, both move up on an error in the outfield on the hit. Ernst a two-run single to right. It's 9-6. Hello ball game.
Parish is wilting, getting his pitches up. You can feel the tide turning.
But, alas. The next batter swings at the first pitch and pops it up (not a real good at bat there, got to wait, see if you can work the pitcher, take a walk). One out. Rochford hits it well but lines to deep center. Norman probably looking for another walk (good idea) takes a called third strike. Inning over leaving Weinkofsky on deck.
Bottom of the inning John Lombardi a two-run double and its 11-6.
But whenever Weinkofsky bats, no matter what the score, its worth waiting around for. (I had to stay. Would have anyway). Sure enough. ""Tuna" launches one half way to China over the scoreboard in left. But then its three fly balls and its over.
""You notice our stands were still full when we were down five or six at the time,'' said Ocean coach Del Dal Pra after the game. ""Everyone knew our potential, hoping we could come back. It just didn't happen.
""Their kid (Parish) did a great job. Kept us off balance. We probably have commited five errors total the last 12 or 13 games. Then to committ five (four) on a day like today makes it tough.''
""We were riding destiny all year long. It just didn't work out. Our goal right now is to get back here. Our juniors and sophomores start tomorrow. Actually I'll give them tomorrow off.''

Ocean returns five starters next season..batters No. 2 through five (Norman SS/P, Weinkofsky, Hinkle, Rosenkranz 2B/SS/P).
Number One in preseason? Maybe. TR S should be very good. CBA returns a ton of kids starting with the Laufer twins and six-game winner Kyle Slate. TR East JV went 25-1 and won two local tournaments.

Pat Biserta returns for Point Boro.

Hey it was a ""fun"" year as Weinkofsky would say after the game. It's not quite over. There's the Carpenter Cup beginning Monday, Senior All-Star game Wednesday at FirstEnergy Park, All-Shore teams, final Press No. 1 ranking, and Coach and Player of the Year.

It has been a "fun" year.



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