By Ryan Wydra
The Colts of CBA have dominated Monmouth County as of late. Their ace Luca Dalatri has dominated hitters his entire career. Riding his pitching, as well as timely offense, the Colts would survive a tremendous effort from Wall on Tuesday to win the county for the second year in a row- 5-4
The Colts had the hot bats early in the game. CBA got big hits from Brandon Martorano and Dalatri early on. Dalatri had 2 RBI’s off a single and a double, as CBA cruised to a 3-0 lead after the 3rd inning. Many teams have been in this position when facing Dalatri. Wall was going to be in for a tough challenge.
Wall would get back into the game as they got the offense rolling in the 4th. The Knights got singles from Dan Wondrack and Ryan Orender. However, Dalatri would make it tough by striking out the next two batters. Wall would get a 2 RBI double from Nick Maclejewski to pull them within a run, trailing 3-2.
The 5th inning would be another opportunity for Wall to take over this game. Wall would immediately load the bases on Dalatri after getting singles from Nick Martinez and Brendan Barcas. Dalatri would respond again by showing his ability to work out of a jam, taking down two more batters. Wall would take a 4-3 lead after Zach Wilson hit a 2 RBI single.
In a situation where Wall could have broken the game open, Dalatri was able to persevere and maintain his focus. No one can ever question the mental toughness of Dalatri, a North Carolina commit. He was put to the test in the first five innings, and stranded a total of 5 Crimson Knights in scoring position.
CBA would strike back in the bottom of the 5th, after getting a double from Will Morgan. Wall pitcher Ryan Orender walked Brandon Martorano. This set the stage for Dalatri to get his third big hit of the night. He blasted a game tying RBI double all the way to the back wall. The game was deadlocked at 4 and anybody’s contest.
While CBA was threatening, Wall would simply not go away. The Crimson Knights played tremendous defense the entire night. Ryan Orender would pick up his 5th strikeout. Nick Martinez also made an amazing grab on a long shot in left field. Shane Turk was sure he was going to send it out, but Martinez was in the right position to make one of the best plays of the night.
The two pitchers were dueling it out the entire night. Both Dalatri and Orender gave up no runs in the 6th.They showed tremendous adversity, battling all the way to the end. The two stars clearly had only one goal, and this was walking out of First Energy Park with a championship.
The 7th inning was a war right down to the end. Wall had the first chance, and Dalatri responded like the champion that he is, bringing down 2 batters. He would finish the night with a total of 12 strikeouts.
CBA would have a chance to walk off in the seventh. Will Morgan singled into right field, and the Colts were one big hit away. Brandon Martorano stepped up to the plate, and ripped a walk off double to win the game. CBA would successfully defend their title, and win their second consecutive Monmouth County Championship.
Brandon Martorano finished the game 3/3 with an RBI single, double, and the walk off winning double to seal the deal for the Colts. Luca Dalatri threw a complete game with 116 pitches, striking out 12. What was even more impressive, was Dalatri’s ability to fight through adversity. No matter what Wall threw at him, he was able to stay calm, and do whatever he needed to do for his team to win.
Dalatri was also quite the weapon on offense, finishing 3/3 with 2 RBI doubles and an RBI single.
Ryan Orender pitched all 7 innings for Wall, throwing 107 pitches. He was able to keep his team in the game, striking out 6, and only giving up 4 runs. Zach Wilson finished 2/3 with 2 singles and 2 RBI’s. Nick Maclejewski was 1/3 with a 2 RBI double.
Both teams will be back in full swing tomorrow as the Shore Conference Tournament continues. Wall will face Ocean County Champion Jackson Memorial, and CBA will face Middletown South. Jackson Memorial and Middletown South have both been hot teams as of late. CBA and Wall will look to advance into the SCT Final Four.
NJSR will have coverage of these SCT games right here and on Twitter @SCHoops1, @ShoreSportsNJ and @jimrosa519.