Panther Pride & Claws Milestone
The finals of the Ocean County Baseball Tournament at Toms River East had a very different look last night Missing were any of the Toms River schools who for stretches have dominated the tournament. As a matter of fact there weren’t any teams from Class A South.
However the third meeting of the season between Class B South rivals Point Boro and Jackson Liberty provided plenty of fireworks and when it was over the Panthers had their first-ever OCT title.
Sam Young’s two-run double snapped a 5-5 tie in the 5th inning and Boro went on to a 10-7 victory which snapped Liberty’s 18-game winning streak. St. John’s bound Nick Guzzi went six innings for the win and was named the Tournament MVP as he went 3-0 in the OCT.
The Lions had won the two previous meetings between the teams on their way to the division title but it was the Panthers who hoisted the championship plaque that went with last night’s victory as county champs.
By the way the two head coaches are among the best guys you’ll meet on and off the field in Boro’s Dave Drew and Jim Rankin of Jackson Liberty. I wish them both well in the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Tournaments.
Speaking of good guys you won’t find too many better than Greg Giombarrese who is officially the Director of Communications for the Lakewood BlueClaws but is better known as the radio voice of the team whose games air on our Beach Radio 1160 & 1310AM.
Greg reached a milestone last night as he broadcast his 1,500th BlueClaws game and it was a wild one as they scored twice in the bottom of the 9th for a 4-3 win over Hagerstown at FirstEnergy Park with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch.
A graduate of Fordham University, Greg made his BlueClaws debut in 2007 and returned in a full-time capacity in 2009 and has been behind the microphone ever since. He has only missed a handful of games over the last 11 years, usually for a wedding, and as good broadcasters do brings excitement and passion to the ballpark every day.
Truly one of the team’s best assets, congratulations Greg on #1500 and many many more.