Eustace Shows Pitching Depth

by Marc Narducci | May 20, 2015
Eustace Shows Pitching Depth Eustace Shows Pitching Depth in Winning Diamond Classic Bishop Eustace always places a high priority on the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, and it shows by the results.

The Crusaders won the 42nd annual championship of the tournament that pits 16 of the top teams in South Jersey.

The Crusaders beat a talented Eastern team, 4-1 in the championship on their opponents’ home field.

That completed one of the most impressive pitching runs in Diamond Classic history. Here are scores of the Crusaders Diamond Classic wins.
4-2 Cherry Hill West
2-1 Gloucester Catholic
8-0 Northern Burlington
4-1 Eastern

Against four teams that were ranked in the Top 10 in South Jersey when the Crusaders met them, Bishop Eustace allowed a total of four runs. That is an incredible performance. Let’s review

Eustace 4, Cherry Hill West 2
First baseman Ryan DiMeo had three RBIs, and that was enough offense for senior righthander Tyler Phillips, who pitched a complete game, striking out nine.

2-1 Gloucester Catholic
At the time, Gloucester Catholic was the consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey. Phillips again got the win in another complete-game effort in which he allowed just three hits and struck out five. Eustace got an RBI double by Steve Bellis in the second inning and then a walk-off RBI single in the seventh by Justin Hagenman. Not only was it a big win over one of the state’s perennial powers, but it was the 600th career victory for Eustace coach Sam Tropiano.

8-0 Northern Burlington
Hagenman pitched the shutout while Phillips hit a home run. This was against a talented NBC team that is ranked among the top five in South Jersey.

4-1 Eastern
Jon Cole demonstrated the outstanding pitching depth with a complete-game five hitter. Junior catcher Nate Steele had two RBI and DiMeo scored two runs.

With its sixth title, Eustace is tied with Gloucester Catholic for the most Diamond Classic championships.

What is interesting is that Eustace and Gloucester Catholic could meet again in the South Jersey Non-Public A Playoffs.

Gloucester Catholic is the No. 2 seed, while Bishop Eustace is seeded sixth. First off, any tournament that has Eustace as a No. 6 seed has to be extremely talented.

The top seed is St. Joseph Metuchen.

If both teams win their first two games, they would meet in the semifinal on May 29.

Gloucester Catholic would have the revenge motivation and Eustace would be out to prove it can beat the best in yet another tournament.

Then again, neither teams needs extra motivation in the NJSIAA state tournament. Both teams play at a high level that the players from those squads feel they should contend for the top spot in South Jersey each year.

And anybody who wins Non-Public A, would certainly have a good argument to be South Jersey’s No. 1 ranked team.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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