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NJSIAA Tournament

Group Semifinals | Preview

Group IV

Howell 2, Cherokee 1 (9 Innings)

Sophomore Joe Zito doubled and pinch-runner Jack Gartenstein scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning and the Rebels overcame the loss of ace Dan Furlong to injury in the first inning to knock off the Chiefs and reach the Group IV final for the first time since 1994.

Zito started the top of the ninth inning with a double to left field and Gartenstein took third base on a wild pitch with one out to move within 90 feet of scoring the go-ahead run. A pitch to sophomore Braden Walsh hit the dirt and bounced around the backstop and settled between a net and the backstop fence.

Gartenstein held at third and Cherokee catcher Jason Schooley retrieved it without an issue, but Howell coach Eric Johnson pointed out to the umpiring crew that the ball being lodged in the netting should be a dead ball and allow Gartenstein to score. The umpires agree, awarded the runner home plate and Howell took its first lead of the game.

Senior Jason Pace came on for his second inning of work and after a running catch in centerfield by senior Devon Smith, Pace struck out the last two batters to close out the win.

Pace earned the win in relief of senior right-hander Nick Barracato, who pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run. Barracato came on in emergency relief of senior starter Dan Furlong, who took a line drive off the side of his face on the first batter of the game, was removed from the game, and was taken to a local hospital for examination.

Barracato also walked and scored the first Howell run on an RBI single by sophomore Braden Walsh to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning.

Howell will take on Hunterdon Central Saturday at 1 p.m. at Veterans Park in Hamilton.

Howell (24-6)000100001231
Cherokee (22-8)100000000170


Dan Furlong0.0111003
Nick Barracato760023102
Jason Pace (W, 4-0)20000321
Jeremy Cheeseman52113796
Shane Sax (L)11112254

Top Hitters

HowellGame Stats
Braden Walsh2-3, BB, RBI, SB
Joe Zito1-4, 2B, R, SB
CherokeeGame Stats
Dom Patrizi1-3, 2B, RBI
Jason Schooley2-4
Evan Brown1-4, R



Group III

Middletown North 6, Delsea 1

Colin Dowlen pitched a complete game and drove in seven runs and the Lions extended their winning streak to 11, snapped the 15-game winning streak of the Crusaders and advanced to a group championship game for the first time since 1983.

Dowlen scattered seven hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter in finishing off Delsea on 111 pitches. He was at 108 with one out in the bottom of the seventh and induced a game-ending double-play, with Delsea called for baserunner interference at second base to account for the game's final out.

Dowlen opened the scoring with an RBI single through the middle in the top of the third inning and contributed a two-run single in Middletown North's five-run fourth inning. Sophomore Dylan Briggs fought off an RBI single into shallowed left field to score senior Andre Lombardi and make it 2-0 and an error stretched the Lions lead to 5-0.

With one out, Dowlen hit a hard ground ball to shortstop, but a wicked hop ate up Max Van Auken, carried into the outfield and plated two runs. Freshman Zach Hampton capped the five-run rally with an RBI single to left.

First baseman Landon Burns tagged a leadoff double in the fifth and scored on a groundout to get Delsea on the board -- the first run Dowlen allowed in 38 2/3 innings.

Middletown North moves on to the Group III final to play Cranford Saturday at Veterans Park in Hamilton, with a scheduled first pitch of 10 a.m.

Midd North (20-10)0015000660
Delsea (23-6)0000100174


Middletown NorthIPHRERBBSOPC
Colin Dowlen (W, 9-2)771105111
Jake Watson20000541
George Starr (L)24645468
Otley Makosky32001236

Top Hitters

Middletown NorthGame Stats
Colin Dowlen2-3, HBP, 3 RBI
Zach Hampton2-4, RBI
Dylan Briggs1-3, R, RBI
DelseaGame Stats
Zach Maxwell3-3
Landon Burns2-3, 2B, R
Jake McGinley1-3, 2B



Group II

Haddon Heights 4, Rumson-Fair Haven 2

Senior Charlie Tallman blasted a two-run home run to centerfield in the top of the third inning, but the Garnets answered with four in the bottom of the inning and held on to beat the Bulldogs.

Drew Costello tied the game for Haddon Heights with a two-run double and Jack Turner smacked a two-out, two-run single to right to give the Garnets a 4-2 lead.

Haddon Heights will play Ramsey in Saturday's Group II championship game at Veterans Park in Hamilton.

Rumson-FH (22-5)0020000261
Haddon Heights (22-7)004000X651


John Goodes (L, 9-1)654438
John DiCostanzo (W)66220996
Timmy Shell (SV)10000114

Top Hitters

Rumson-Fair HavenGame Stats
Charlie Tallman2-4, HR, R, RBI
Reece Moroney1-3, R
Haddon HeightsGame Stats
Drew Costello1-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Jack Turner1-3, 2 RBI
Caden Bodine1-2, BB, R



Group I

At Woodbury High School

Woodstown 4, Point Beach 0

Ben Foote and Brent Williams combined on a three-hitter and the Wolverines blanked the Garnet Gulls to advance to the Group I championship game and end Point Beach's deepest ever NJSIAA Tournament run.

Rich Burger gave Woodstown a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second and Ken Lowry added a two-run single later in the inning. Brent Williams tacked on an RBI single for the Wolverines the following inning.

Woodstown will take on New Providence in the Group I championship game Saturday at Veterans Park in Hamilton.

Pt Beach (20-10)0000000031
Woodstown (18-9)031000X440


Owen West (L, 2-2)44443369
Jackson Killian20002133
Ben Foote (W)43002149
Brent Williams30000229

Top Hitters

Point BeachGame Stats
Bryan Matuschat2-3
WoodstownGame Stats
Brent Williams1-2, R, RBI
Ken Lowry1-3, 2 RBI
Rich Burger1-3, RBI



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