Toms River South defeated Jackson Memorial 2-1 Monday night behind stellar pitching from Nico Gonella and Colin Mackle.
Gonella cruised through the first six innings and recorded the first out of the seventh with ease before giving way to Mackle, who was able to get the final two outs for the save.
With runners on the corners and two-out, Jackson Memorial attempted to catch the defense sleeping – attempting a trick-play steal of home in effort to even the score. Mackle stepped off and fired home where catcher Damien Scott was waiting to apply the tag.
Here is the final out from Jackson Memorial and Toms River South. pic.twitter.com/UjtcLPjatg
— Casey Krish (@CaseyKrish) April 24, 2018
“I had clear sight of him, and I saw him take off,” Mackle said. “I know I had plenty of time. I just stepped off and made sure I threw a strike at my catcher.”
Mackle came into the game inheriting two runners on with one-out and issued a walk to Carmine Petosa after a lengthy at-bat.
“The defense was making plays all game,” Mackle said. “I knew if I threw strikes they’d have my back.”
“Damien (Scott) and Coach (Mitch) Powitz were calling a good game. I was just trying to execute my pitches and do my job.”
Mike Dimino stepped up with the bases loaded and one away and was able to cut the deficit in half for the Jaguars, as well as move the typing run to third.
Jackson Memoirla pinch-hitter Mike Koslowski fell behind 0-2 before pinch-runer Kyle Thaiss broke to the plate and was tagged out to end the game – with the bat still in the hands of Koslowski.
Gonella worked his way through sixth and one-third innings allowing a run while striking out five and walking four. Jackson Memorial scattered seven hits, however they were all singles.
Jackson Memorial had their chances – leaving 12 runners on base in the contest. Gonella worked out of bases loaded jams in both the fifth and sixth innings getting Andrew Sefick to fly out and Alex Iadisernia to ground out to end the threats.
“They are a good hitting team,” Gonella said. “I just came at them with every pitch I had. I had a lot of help behind me with my teammates.”
Toms River South (6-5) is starting to gain traction having won four of their last five after starting the season 1-4. They also got back to .500 in A-South play at 4-4. Despite the slow start the Indians entered Monday holding the 3-seed in the latest power point calculations in South Jersey Group 3. Although the tournaments do not get underway for another few weeks, Toms River South is still a team that can make some noise.
“We are going to be underdogs. We are going to come hard at every team we go up against and just keep going at it,” Gonella said.
Jackson Memorial (9-3) saw their three game winning streak snapped. They now sit in a three-way tie atop A-South at 6-2 with Toms River East and Toms River North.
Nick Beetel got out of bases-loaded jams in both the first and second innings after retiring the first two batters in both of the frames. He finished the contest with six strikeouts while going up three hits and four walks in 4+ innings of work.
After issuing a leadoff walk to Mackle, Jackson Memorial head coach Frank Malta signaled to the bullpen for Dimino.
Following a walk by Jordan Erbe and a sacrifice bunt from Maximus Rivas put runners on second and third with one-out for Gabe Driscoll.
Driscoll hit a chopper to second base that Christian Pellone took to the bag himself, but not before Mackle crossed the plate for the game’s first run. A passed ball would allow Erbe to come home, giving Toms River South a 2-0 lead through five.
TRS got two hits from Mike Lazzaro and a single from Justin Lowden to account for their three hits. They left 10 runners on – including six in the first two frames.
Iadisernia, Troy Bathmann, Petosa, Dimino, and Christian Pellone each had a hit while Sefick contributed two for Jackson Memorial. Tom Pellone drew two walks.
The teams split their season series after Jackson Memorial won a 3-1 meeting earlier in the season in Jackson.
Jackson Memorial will return home to play host to Brick Township Wednesday at 3:45 p.m.
Toms River South will travel across Route 37 to take on their cross-town rival in Toms River North Wednesday night at 7 p.m.