By Ryan Wydra
The stakes are always high in the TR South baseball program. Ken Frank has 820 career wins as coach. The Indians have won many championships during his tenure. Winning consistently has always been a goal for Coach Frank. The Indians were ready to go on Monday night. They were looking to bounce back from a 4-3 second round SCT loss to Red Bank Catholic. The stage was set in the first round of the South Jersey Group III tournament. TR South would host an Oakcrest team that has played much better than their 9-15 record.
TRS got off to a good start in the first inning. Austin Gonella led off and got to second base on what could have been a ground out. Oakcrest made a throwing error in the field, and the Indians took advantage of that. The Indians got out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd with big hits from Jake Ryan and Ray Liguori. Jake Ryan singled, and Ray Liguori batted him in with an RBI triple. Ryan and Liguori have been producing very well all season.
However, Oakcrest would not go away easily. Good pitching from Ryan Johnson kept the score low early on. Oakcrest would get big hits from Tyler Manno and John Dodson. Manno hit a double in the 4th to give Oakcrest a 4-3 advantage. Oakcrest had the Indians on their heels. Coach Frank would have to keep his team focused in the second part of the game.
Ryan and Ligouri would continue to drive the offense for the Indians. Jake Ryan hit his second single of the game, and Ray Ligouri hit a double as TRS led 6-4 heading into the 5th. Ben Montenegro also drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Ryan Shiffer also hit an RBI single late in the game. Shiffer ended up running home from third on what was one of the most controversial plays of the game. Oakcrest tried to argue that Shiffer was tagged out. The umpires argued over the call before finally agreeing that he was safe. That would be all TRS needed to finish this game, beating Oakcrest 8-4 to advance in the South Jersey Group III Tournament. TRS will host #6 seeded Triton on Thursday night. Triton were winners over Pinelands 6-0.
Ray Ligouri started the game for the Indians. He finished with 4 strikeouts. He threw over 80 pitches early on and was replaced by Anthony Carfora in the 4th. Carfora finished the game, picking up a strikeout, and pitching a 1-2-3 7th inning to get the win in relief for TRS.
Ray Ligouri finished the day 2/3 with a double, triple, and an RBI. Jake Ryan was 3/3 hitting three key singles to pace the Indians offense. Ryan scored twice for TRS. Anthony Carfora was also 2/4 with a single and a double in the game.
Scores Around The State
Marlboro 5, East Brunswick 1
Jackson Memorial 4, Brick Memorial 3
Howell 8, Hillsborough 3
Allentown 8, Wall 6
Ocean 4, Jackson Liberty 0
Middletown South 5, Middletown North 4
Cinnaminson 12, Pt. Pleasant Boro 9
Eastern 9, Brick Twp 5
Toms River North 3, Shawnee 2
Manasquan 13, Monmouth 3
Manalapan 6, Montgomery 2
Hunterdon Central 7, Freehold Twp 0
Delran 2, Manchester 1
Matawan 4, A.L. Johnson 2
Shore 10, Highland Park 0
Williamstown 7, Toms River East 4
Barnegat 4, Overbrook 1