Facing a bases-loaded situation, and a 5-3 game, CBA Colts ace Luca Dalatri battled to victory on Wednesday evening. Dalatri was able to force a groundout from RBC’s Doug Facendo to CBA’s Sal Rinaldi who made the play to sent the Colts to their third straight Shore Conference championship game.
However, it did not come easy. In the 7th inning, the right-hander needed 27 pitches to close out the Caseys. RBC was able to load the bases with a final surge, but the senior maintained his focus and finished the job like he has done so many times before.
While facing the adversity, CBA catcher Brandon Martorano had a simple message for his pitcher and lifelong friend on the mound.
“Just continue to battle, many pitchers can go up there and blow hitters away, but you have become one of the best pitchers in the game by consistently locating,” Martorano said.
With the win, Dalatri has tied the Shore Conference win record with 34. The last pitcher to win 34 games was Casey Gaynor of Toms River East back in 2004.
The Colts knew just how important it would be to establish an early lead. After RBC starter Justin Liggett held CBA scoreless over the first three innings, an intentional walk to Luca Dalatri set the tone for first baseman Kenny Campbell.
It was a 2-out, bases clearing triple that got CBA on the board in the fourth inning. Campbell would also hit a sacrifice fly later in the game as he finished with a 4-RBI effort.
“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit. Luca is a bulldog out there and I wanted to get him the lead,” Campbell said.
Brandon Martorano spoke on Campbell’s night at the plate saying, “Kenny is a pitcher by trade, but he can certainly swing the bat. After yesterday’s loss, it felt good for him to come out and swing the bat like he did tonight,” Martorano said.
RBC was able to get on the board in the 5th inning as Evan Madigan took a pitch into right field to open up the offense. CBA responded by putting up 2 more runs to take a 5-1 lead in the 7th. Once again, it was Madigan who was able to figure out Luca Dalatri by driving in the 2nd and 3rd runs for the Caseys.
The RBC run in the 5th inning was the only send run that Dalatri had given up all season and snapped a 37 inning scoreless streak for the right hander.
The game also marked just the second time Dalatri had given up multiple runs. It was not since last year’s MCT final that Dalatri allowed 4 against Wall.
The senior pitcher spoke on his semi-final start and the upcoming Shore Conference final. “Tying the record is tying, but I want to beat it,” Dalatri said. But as a University of North Carolina recruit and potential Major League baseball draft pick, Dalatri understands that his health is of major importance.
Whether it is Luca or any of the other talented pitchers on CBA’s staff, the team believes they can win their third SCT title in four years.
In addition, if Dalatri is to pitch in the championship game, he would be going for his 10th win of the season. As we all know, short rest or not, he is always ready to do what he can to help his team win. Except this time; he will be going for that special win #35.
CBA will now take on division rival Middletown South at First Energy Park on Sunday evening at 7PM. For the seniors of both squads, the game will be a renewal of a great battle that has taken place over the last 4 years.
Last season, Middletown South was able to hang with CBA by winning a share of the Class A North title. This season, the Colts will be looking to take the Shore Conference title away from the Eagles.
“We will have to prepare and make sure we are ready for the championship game,” Brandon Martorano said. “They are a great team and to play my final game against them is a great opportunity. This really shows just how strong Class A North is with two teams now fighting for the conference title”.
Great to see a fun game last night! Good luck to both teams in their upcoming games! pic.twitter.com/4SJlrBmOow
— jim rosa (@jimrosa519) June 2, 2016
Kenny Campbell Interview-
Brandon Martorano Interview-
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