Sean Martin @ShoreSportsNJ
The Manasquan Warriors and CBA Colts were tied at three entering the fifth inning on Wednesday in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals from Count Basie Field in Red Bank.
That would be hard to believe looking at the final score, as CBA erupted for 10 runs in the next two innings to pull away by a score of 13 to 5.
Already leading 2-0 in the third, Brandon Martorano hit a solo home run to extend the lead to 3-0. “It was huge”, said Martorano on taking the early lead against a Manasquan team playing with their season on the line. “To jump on Sheehan early was crucial in setting the table for the rest of the game”, he added.
Manasquan would quickly get those runs back the next inning. After Ty Hawkins hit an RBI single to make the score 3-1, Tommy’s brother Jack would deliver a two run single to tie the game at 3 off of Colts starter Ken Campbell.
Sheehan would exit in the fifth after giving up a leadoff walk to Will Morgan. He threw 91 pitches, giving up 7 hits and striking out 6. Marc Galvan would enter for Manasquan with the game still tied at 3.
The Warriors intentionally walked Martarano to get to Luca Dalatri, who struck out swinging against Galvan for the first out of the inning. Brandon was surprised by the decision, which paid off for Galvan, and said, “when playing a lineup as dangerous as ours you have to pick and choose your spots”.
From this point on, the Warrior defense would let Galvan down and sacrifice the lead. Shane Turk hit into a fielder’s choice at short, but a high throw at first allowed Morgan to come around and score the go ahead run for CBA.
Leading 4-3, the Colts sent out freshmen Nick Owenstein for his second inning of work in the 6th. He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the previous inning to hold the score at 3-3.
This time, Manasquan would get to him for two runs and retake the lead on a Tommy Sheehan RBI single at 5-4.
CBA would open the floodgates in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good, scoring 9 times to break the game open. It began with a Cid Porter single off of Galvan. CBA would get the next man on before Will Morgan followed with a pop out for the first out of the inning. Martarano came up and reached on an infield single to load the bases for Dalatri.
Galvan’s defense would let him down once again, as he forced Dalatri to ground to third. The throw home would be too high to handle and CBA plated two runs to take a 6-5 lead. The Colts would add to this lead without getting a ball out of the infield when Turk reached on an infield single to make it 7-5.
Galvan would give up one more run before being replaced by Jack Sheehan with the bases loaded. After recording a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Andrew Buccellatto cleared the bases with a hit that was misplayed in the outfield. Will Morgan would drive in the last CBA run in his second at bat of the inning with an RBI single to make the final score of 13 to 5.
CBA advances to their second straight Shore Conference Championship, where they will face Red Bank Catholic. The Caseys defeated Jackson Memorial 4-1 in the other semifinal.
“I’m expecting them to come at us with everything they have. They are obviously a great team and we are going to take our time getting ready for them. In such a huge game we have to be 100% prepared and whenever RBC and CBA get together its bound to be a great game so the excitement will most definitely be there.”, said Martorano about the match up.
They will also play on Friday in the semifinals of the SJ non-public A tournament against Immaculata. Said Martorano on the challenge of preparing for both games, “The mindset for Friday is the same as its been the last 10 games. Keep going out there and playing our game and keep moving on.”
Brandon added that his team feels they belong in these kinds of game. With the way they have been playing, that is hard to argue with.
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