After a promising Junior season, Toms River South’s Justin Fall took the mound for the first time this season. It was a dominating start for the lefty; who threw a complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over divisional rival Jackson Memorial. Furthermore, Fall was able to rack up eight strikeouts throughout the course of the game. He consistently kept the Jaguars off-pace as they scattered four hits through his 7 IP.
Fall opposed Jackson Memorial starter Connor Takacs, who left the game after giving up a RBI single to TJ Scuderi in the 6th inning. Both of Toms River South’s runs came in that same inning. Matt Shiffer scored the first run after he got on via a single, after advancing to second on a Ben Montenegro sacrifice. Shiffer was able to steal third and advance home following a throwing error.
Jackson Memorial had their best scoring opportunity in the second inning. After Tom Pellone singled to get on, he then stole second base. Troy Bathman then followed with a base hit. Pellone attempted to score to score on the play but was tagged out at the plate by Connor Leatherman. It was a game-changing play as TJ Scuderi was credited with the outfield assist.
After being handed a 2-0 lead in the 6th inning, Justin Fall stayed on for the save in the 7th where he secured the victory for his team.
“This was a big victory for us,” Fall said. “I was able to spend some extra time working on my pitches with the weather so going deep in the game was no problem for me,” Fall explained.
Fall acknowledged that pitching deep into the game allowed his team to relax and get on the board. “The bats were a little flat at the start of the game but I was glad that I was able to be on my game and help us come away with the victory,” Fall explained.
I also caught up with Matt Shiffer as he explained the mentality of his team in the 6th inning. “We know at that point that we had to score quickly,” Shiffer said. “We knew that Justin would eventually reach his pitch count and we wanted to get him the win,” Shiffer explained.
Shiffer then explained how he was able to score the first run of the game. “I saw that the play was available the pitch before,” Shiffer said. ” When I got to third, the ball bounced off my head and I was able to come home with the run,” Shiffer added.
Tj Scuderi was a big part of the game as he was able to drive in the second run of the game. “Getting those runs were certainly a relief for us,” Scuderi said.
“There were times last season where we would come out swinging rather lazy,” Scuderi added. “At the end of the game, we were finally able to get guys on and score a few.”
While it was only their first, Toms River South knew that this would be a critical game within the division. First baseman Matt Fitzpatrick talked about the importance of getting off to a good start against other teams in A South. “Last year against Jackson we came out a little flat and we lost,” Fitzpatrick explained.
“We knew just how important these divisional games are because if you fall behind 0-1, it is that much harder to come back,” Matt added.