It will be the #1 seeded Colts of Christian Brothers Academy VS the 4th seeded Caseys of Red Bank Catholic for the right to advance to the 2016 Shore Conference Championship. In what will be a rematch of last seasons Shore Conference Finals, the Caseys hope that they will be able to put together a well-rounded performance against a tough CBA team. Last year, the Colts were able to take advantage of a deep pitching rotation; led by North Carolina recruit and Senior Standout Luca Dalatri. The Caseys on the other hand, with great patience at the plate; use this as something that has helped them in developing such a lethal offense.
The Red Bank Catholic offense had picked up where they had left off during the regular season. After consecutive wins over Point Pleasant Beach and Jackson Liberty, RBC scored 9 runs while allowing just 2 runs over the course of 7 innings VS Point Pleasant Boro in today’s quarterfinal game. Senior John Poccia was effective throughout the entire game, particularly throughout the first 4 innings where he was able to display great location on his array of pitches.
“I felt good coming into the game. I felt good when I was warming up and it was good to be able to have control on all my pitches today in order to come away with the victory and beat a great team,” Poccia said.
Here all of his postgame comments here:
As mentioned earlier, Point Boro would attempt a comeback. The Panthers had to settle for only 2 runs in the fourth inning after getting baserunners on second and third with no outs. This would be after the previous two runs had already scored in the inning. Back to back doubles in the inning by Bill Feehan and Frank Graziano produced a run for the Panthers. Mike Falconetti would then follow with a base hit. Sebastian Severio then struck a well-hit double off the wall in right field to cut into the RBC lead and make it a 4-2 game. A key missed bunt limited the damage for RBC and prevented Point Boro from gaining any further momentum in the game.
RBC would score 5 more runs in the game and eventually win this one by a final score of 9-2. The icing on the cake came in the bottom of the 5th inning. Aiden Supp hit a ball that cleared the left field wall for a big three-run home run. From there, the RBC defense was up to the task of preventing Point Boro from scoring.
The Caseys have been able to make it to at least the Shore Conference Semi-Finals the previous three seasons. Their opponent will be Christan Brothers Academy; a team that has made it to the semifinals the last 4 seasons.
“We did not want anyone another team playing here in our spot,” RBC coach Buddy Hausmann said. “John has been pitching great all year and our offense was able to step up for him today. I was hoping that the offense would be back today. We went up to Bergen Catholic and played against a top team in the state and the offense seemed to come around so I was glad that it did today,” Coach Hausmann added.
I was also able to catch up with RBCs Evan Madigan who recently got his 100th hit for Red Bank Catholic. “John has been pitching really well for us. We did a great job with the bats today and to put up four runs early like that was great for us,” Madigan said. “Point is a scrappy team and we certainly knew what kind of damage they could do. I knew John would be able to pitch us out of any jam and he was able to,” Madigan explained when I asked him about the attempted rally by Point Pleasant Boro.
On the other side was a Point Pleasant Boro team that has come a long way this season after a sub .500 season in 2015. This had been their first shot at playing for an appearance in the Shore Conference semi-finals since 2006. That was a Point Boro team that last won a sectional title. This season, the Panthers came away with a Class B south title and will play Manasquan in round II of the Central Jersey Group II playoffs tomorrow afternoon.
“They are a great team; he [ Poccia] is a great pitcher. He is always ready to compete,” Coach David Drew said. With back to back games this week, Coach Drew knew that he would have a lot of in game situations to prepare for this week.
“We always like to say that a game is better than a practice. I think we got a good practice in today. Manasquan is a great team and we are just excited for the opportunity to play them.”
Point Boro will come back home tomorrow to take on Manasquan. RBC will start their state bracket on the 26th of May where they received the top seed in Non-Public A South. The Shore Conference Semi-Finals will take place next Wednesday with the official times still to be announced.
For updates of tomorrow’s Point Boro vs Manasquan game, follow me on Twitter @jimrosa519!