Sean Martin @ShoreSportsNJ
The Middlesex Bluejays got a pair of three run homers from Dom Lampasona and Matt Carrovillano in route to a 15 to 3 win at Shore on Friday in the Central Jersey Group 1 final.
Lampasona’s blast came in the first inning off of Shore starter Ryan Campi. The top of the Bluejay order did a great job of getting on base all day, as Nick DiNizo and Stewart Lester led off the inning with singles. Campi would get the next two outs before giving up the shot to Lampasona.
For a while, it appeared as if that lead would be all Middlesex starter Tristan O’Connor needed. He had all his pitches working in the first two innings, striking out two in the first to end a Shore scoring threat.
The top of the Bluejay order would produce another run the next inning when DiNizo hit a one out double. Stewart Lester would get his second single in as many innings to drive in DiNizo and push the lead to 4-0.
Working with that lead, O’Connor breezed through the bottom of the inning striking out two more Blue Devils.
Shore would get back into the game in the 3rd, scoring the first runs that Middlesex would concede this entire tournament. It began with back to back singles against O’Connor before Dhillon Barbetti doubled to drive in the first run.
A James Kelly sacrifice fly would make the score 4-2 before O’Connor got the second out on his 5th strikeout.
However, Shore would pull within a run with a two out rally. Justin Halper walked and Devin McLaughlin doubled to make the score 4-3 going to the fourth.
MIddlesex would quickly re-pad their lead in the fourth against Campi, thanks to some defensive mistakes by Shore. With a runner on third and two outs, Campi should have been out of the inning with a Stewart Lester ground ball to first. An error on the play plated a costly run and extended the inning for Matt Carovillano.
Carovillano would deliver the decisive blow as his three run homer run would make the score 8-3 and chase Ryan Campi from the game.
Now working with a big lead, O’Connor pounded the zone and continued his dominance. He ended Shore’s best threat to get back into the game in the fifth when he left the bases loaded by striking out two in a row. He finished with 9 strikeouts in 6 innings of work.
Tristan threw 124 pitches, and was truly a “workhorse” type pitcher for his team. O’Connor admitted to being tired later in the game, but battled through it and put together a terrific performance for Middlesex.
The Bluejays would break the game open in the top of the 7th against Devin McLaughlin, who came in for Campi in the fourth. They scored 6 runs in the inning, two of which came on bases loaded walks.
Lampasona would replace O’Connor in the 7th and close out the game, eliminating the defending section and group champions.
Middlesex had captured the CJ Group I crown in emphatic fashion, shutting out every team in their way before upsetting Shore on the road.
They will now play in the Group 1 semifinals on Tuesday at Gloucester County College. They will face Haddon Heights at 4 PM. Haddon Heights defeated Wildwood 4-2 in the South Jersey Group 1 sectional final to get here.
Click the picture below to see the full Group I bracket-