Familiar foes meet in SJ Baseball Public School championships

by Marc Narducci | Jun 14, 2021
Familiar foes meet in SJ Baseball Public School championships

 In the Group 1 championship, Woodstown beat Schalick, 3-1.

Both teams are not only in the same conference, but the same division, competing in the Tri-County Conference Diamond Division. 

Second seeded Schalick won the division by going 8-0, with two of the wins over No. 4 seeded Woodstown, but the Wolverines gained revenge in the sectional final as Nate DeFlippo allowed one run in 5 ? innings to earn the win,

Marc DeCastero, a former star at Paul VI, is the first-year coach for Woodstown. Actually, DeCastro was hired before the 2020 season, but that was canceled due to the pandemic. 

This is a new era of Woodstown baseball. DeCastro replaced legendary Lee Ware, who guided the Wolverines 46 years.

In Group 3, No. 2 Ocean City beat No. 1 Mainland, 6-1, to capture the South Jersey Group 3 title. Both teams are members of the Cape Atlantic League, but are in different divisions. Ocean City is in the American Division and Mainland in the National. 

Ocean City lost an 8-3 regular season game against Mainland. The Red Raiders, led by righthander Gannon Brady, got revenge in the sectional final.

Brady, who has committed to Fordham, pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and striking out nine.

The final sectional title between conference rivals was in South Jersey Group 4, where Clearview defeated Williamstown, 3-1, in eight innings during the sectional final.

These two are in the same conference and division, the Tri-County Conference Royal Division. 

No. 1 seeded Williamstown was the division winner with a 7-1 record. Kingsway and No. 3 seeded Clearview were both 5-3 in one of the more competitive divisions in South Jersey. 

During the regular season, Williamstown won both meetings with Clearview, 8-3 and 8-2. 

That means in the three South Jersey Group title games involving teams from the same conference, all three sectional champs lost to their opponent in the regular season, 

Jared McKinney broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning for Clearview.

Derek Boerner earned the complete-game win for the Pioneers, allowing just three hits.

The other public school final was between teams from different leagues.

Manchester Township, the No. 12 seed, beat No. 2 Delran, 7-5 in the SJ Group 2 championship game. 

What these sectional finals showed is how difficult it is to win a revenge matchup.It also shows that a team need to have a deep pitching staff to win.

For instance, Mainland had to use ace Chase Petty in the semifinals, where the righthander struck out 17 in a 3-2 win over Moorestown. 

Petty is projected to be a first round pick in the July MLB draft. 

The tournament is set up so teams need at least two good pitchers and sometimes three to get through. 

This year’s sectional winners in Group 1, 3 and 4 showed that depth and an ability to avenge an earlier regular season defeat. 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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