The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on June 11, 1995 · 157
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · 157

Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 11, 1995
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JUNE 11, 1995 B THE SUNDAY RECORD $-17 NORTH JERSEY GROUP 4 BASEBALL figure to romp raadsnsacK on By BOB KURLAND Staff Writer TOMS RIVER - When the history of Bergen County baseball is written, there will be a special niche for the Miracle of Hackensack. After stumbling through the regular season, the Comets captured their first State Group 4 championship Saturday. Leading the resurgence was pitcher Marden Medina, who made Edison his fourth straight tournament victim, 2-1, in his second consecutive eight-inning performance. There were unlikely happenings throughout the playoffs which favored Hackensack and, added together, provided the miracle. Ricky Dietz singled with one out in the eighth, moved to second on a groundout, held as Dave DeRosa drew his second intentional walk, and came in when Colin Roache's grounder went through the legs of second baseman Ed Sirico. DeRosa, who played varsity for four years, delivered Brian Van Saders with a single in the second inning. He admits he's played on teams with more talent. "This is a team which came through together," said the shortstop. "There were no individuals, just a great team. When it came down to the end no one thought about stats, just winning." Medina, who threw only 76 pitches loser Brad Bava (10-5) threw 121 pitches with nine strikeouts and stranded 13 described it for the team, "It's an amazing feeling." 1 r Northern Valley at Demarest's Chris Connelly gets back to first base ahead of the throw to Mike Miraglla of Rancoas Valley. Rancocas foils NVDemarest By GREG MATTURA Correspondent EAST BRUNSWICK - The cost of those first three at-bats was more than Northern Valley at Demarest could afford. Take away any one of those Rancocas Valley at-bats in the top of that first inning and Demarest might not have walked away a 2-0 loser in Saturday's Group 3 State baseball championship at Middlesex Vo-Tech. "If I could take the first inning back it would be a whole different story," said Demarest senior left-hander Bill Cooke. Take away any one of those first three at-bats and the pitcher's duel between Cooke and Bryan Bozarth likely extends into extra innings. Take away any one of those first three at-bats and Demarest (26-8) might have punctuated the season by claiming high school baseball's seldom-achieved version of the triple crown: league, County, and State titles. So what, you should be wondering, happened during those first three at-bats? Sophomore Mike Liptak stayed alive by fouling off two pitches, then lined a double to center that traveled about 355 feet and just beyond the outstretched glove of center fielder Paul Viole. Liptak's Even in defeat, Pequannock shows By GREGORY SCHUTTA Staff Writer TOMS RIVER - They stood in front of their dugout on the first base side of the field Saturday watching the celebration that they had hoped for weeks would be theirs. A couple of the plnycrs in the yellow Pequannock jerseys were still wearing their batting helmets as they watched Bound Brook celebrate their second straight Group 1 State soflball championship. But considering that the Panthers were just two seasons removed from a 7-15 season, a 6-5 loss to the defending State champ in their first New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association : .'4,. " S f -. - ' f t ?J., , ' - - i A " :.- KLAUS-PETER STEITZSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER MARDEN MEDINA Wins fourth tourney game "I have no explanation except that it was meant to be," said an astounded coach, Dennis Mamatz. "It was our time, a dream come true." For the skeptics who don't believe in sports miracles, check out the facts: The Comets (17-12), who were struggling at the time, barely made the tournament when on entry-cutoff day its game with tough Don Bosco Prep was rained out. Medina entered the playoffs with a lackluster 2-3 record. Yet the junior lift -.1 .. r -7'u r . .k GROUP 3 BASEBALL double was the Red Devils' lone extra-base hit and one of only two hits allowed by Cooke. Eric Anderson stayed alive by fouling off a two-strike pitch, then drew a full-count walk to put runners at first and second. It was the only walk that Cooke allowed. Bozarth's at-bat was a soft 50-foot topper between the mound and third base, but it led to two unearned runs. Cooke fielded and fired toward first baseman Alex Vouvalides. Vouvalides extended his glove and was about to make the catch, but he got screened when Bozarth and the throw went through. As the ball headed up the right field line, Liptak headed home to make it 1-0, Anderson headed for third, and Bozarth headed for second. Anderson was awarded home, too, after umpires ruled Norsemen third baseman Frank Kim had bumped Anderson on the bascpath and thus had prevented him from scoring. With Bozarth and Cooke each producing a potent mixture of faatballs and off-speed pitches, every run was critical. Cooke allowed only one baserunner the rest of the way, and struck out seven. His championship game appearance was nothing to be ashamed of. "I'm very proud of this team," senior center fielder Kim Pietro said. "Having just two seniors and being among the best teams in the state is a big accomplishment. It's a good way to go out." "Just reaching this point for our kids is a great accomplishment," Panthers coach Rudy Ference said. "It's been an unbelievable season. I-nnt year, we came from nowhere to go 16-9 and this year we made It to the State championship. We simply come out in every game expecting to win, and it's that attitude that's carried us all year." Thftt attitude was obvious early on as 1 A A Sir J 3 . W ed Hackensack onto his strong right shoulder. In his first two pressure-packed appearances he allowed no earned runs and a total of only five hits in 16 innings. In his second playoff appearance he tossed a no-hit, no-run classic against Memorial of West New York. And he yielded just five hits and two runs to Bayonne in the first game. In the sectional final Clifton appeared to have tied the game with a triple, but the batter was ruled out for missing first and the run was nullified. The final score was 2-1. Although it didn't matter, in the sixth inning of Saturday's Edison game Hackensack's Dietz was on second and rounding third on Roache's single to right to unlock the 1-1 tie. But the runner fell and just did scramble back in time. "Actually it was a good thing because the outfielder threw a perfect strike to the plate and I would have been out," Dietz said. Two innings later he did score the winning run. Edison (24-7) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth after DeRosa couldn't find the handle on a grounder in front of second. But when the next batter stroked a grounder over second, DeRosa dived to stop it from going into the outfield to keep the Eagles from taking the lead. HACKENSACK 2. EDISON 1 (8) (17-12) HacKaniack 010 OOP 012 7 2 (24-7) Edlaon 000 010 00 1 3 2 WP: Marden Medina (6-4). LP: Brad Bava (10-5). in mm-'" ' l'l ... .. J1 - V J " .. . . BETH BALBIERZSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Burlington County counterpart tossed a four-hitter with five walks and six strikeouts. Had this final been played at just about any other high school field other than spacious Middlesex Vo-Tech, Demarest might have overcome those first three at-bats with one swing. With the bases loaded and two out in the fifth inning, left fielder Damon Ponce de Leon sent a towering 365-foot drive to left-center that would have been an extra-base hit at just about every other high school field. But at Vo-Tech, where it's 370 feet to left-center and 385 to center, it was a long ou'tto the warning track. Bozarth's performance kept Demarest from sweeping every title. The Norsemen won the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League Division 1, Bergen County, and Section 1 championships. "It was a championship game between two pitchers with a lot of heart," said Demarest coach Greg Butler. "I can't say enough about Bill Cooke. And that kid Bozarth had a lot of heart. He shut out a championship team. And we are a cham- RANCOCAS VAL. 2. NVDEMAREST 0 (11-10) nmcixn Vitl 200 000 0 2 2 0 (201) NV0.mift ooo ooo o o 4 a RV-Mlkt Uplto: O-Paul VIotM. WP: Bryan Bixarlh (7-4. LP! BW Cook (11-2). GROUP 1 SOFTBALL the Panthers struck for four runs in the second inning to take a 5-1 lead. They loudud the bases with two out against Rutgers bound Trish Ulibarri-Rowley, one of the hardest throwers in the play-oITh, and Tammy TroaHt sent a single up the middle for one run. Then pitcher Tara Wm made the Cm-sadrrs pay for thinking that nobody could pull Ulibarri-Rowley by sending a soft liner down the left-field line. Left fielder Jaime Micklos, who had been playing way over In left center, couldn't reach the ball bofore Win cruised into third with 'a KLAUS-PETER STEITZSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ' Dave DeRosa of Hackensack leaps out of the way after retiring Frank Soos of Edison in Hackensack's 2-1 Group 4 State baseball tournament title win. i Clifton's slow start ends in tough loss By KEVIN T. CZERWINSKI Staff Writer TOMS RIVER - Clifton's Kim Artim fought back tears Saturday afternoon as she and the Mustangs readied themselves to board the bus for the long ride back to North Jersey. The hurler searched for the right words, groping for an explanation as to why Clifton had just dropped the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 4 softball championship game to Middletown South, 9-4. Artim, uncharacteristically, was hit hard. That, combined with the Mustangs' inability to get a clutch base hit led to the Eagles' victory and a State crown. "The ball was just flying," Artim said. "They hit it very well. I knew they were a good hitting team, but I didn't know exactly how hard they could hit it. "It took us a while to learn what pitches to throw, but by then it was too late." Middletown had runners on base in each of the first four innings, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Fundamental mistakes by the Mustangs played a key role in the outburst. A pair of Clifton errors in the second inning led to both Middletown runs. The Mustangs misplayed a Middletown rundown in the third inning, allowing another Eagle to score. Middletown then broke open the game in the fourth as Lisa Schutt and Kathryn Sweeney brought home three runs with RBI singles. Meanwhile, Clifton (27-4) failed to capitalize on its opportunities. The Mustangs had runners in scoring position in the first, second, and fourth innings and scored only two runs. The first inning was particularly demoralizing. The Mustangs had runners at second and third with one out when Artim lofted a fly ball to center. Kristen Pawley caught the ball and rifled it home in time to double up Stacy Veech, who was tagging on the play. "That play in the first inning really took the wind out of our sails," Clifton coach Rich LaDuke said. "When the ump pride of champions three-run triple and a 5-1 lead. The Panthers' inexperience in the championship came back to haunt them in the bottom of the inning as the Crusaders took advantage of a hit batsman and' two Pequannock errors to score five runs! and take a 6-5 lead. Two runs came in on what appeared to be an inning-ending grounder and two more followed on a base hit by Heather Yarashas. "I'd say that that was probably one of the worst innings we've had all season," Ference said. "We can be a streaky team. We can ploy two or three games without an error then come back and commit three or four in one game. The stnmgcst part of our game Is that Tara gets the ball f i . GROUP 4 SOFTBALL called her out, it knocked some steam out of us. "When the game was close, though, we just couldn't get a clutch hit. The first few ' innings we came out tentative. Because of that, we didn't take advantage of the mis- ' takes they made while they took advantage of the ones we made." 1 .... Clifton did stage a rally in the fifth inning and appeared to have turned the tide of the game. Artim led off the inning with a single and scored when Kelly Nyman cracked a two-run homer to left. "When they cut the lead to 6-4, I was : starting to think that this was going the. wrong way," Middletown coach Tom Er-big said. "We weren't getting the job done ; at that point. It was almost as if we were playing to lose. We changed that in the last inning, though, and were able to re- - lax." Middletown padded its lead in the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, including a two-run single by Rebecca Hughes. "We just hit the ball well and ran the " bases very well today," Erbig said. '.T know we can hit the ball hard, but we were really stinging it today. .; "And it helped that Clifton didn't get . the hit that could hurt us. We gave up the ' big hit when we had the big lead and that was OK because we had the big lead." , -, LaDuke was impressed with Middle, town's game and surprised by his team's , lack of intensity at the outset. "You have to give Middletown credit," . LaDuke said. "They had a great scouting report and they went right after our bat ters. "And I was surprised immensely that' we were tentative at first. We were aggres; sive earlier in the week and came out swinging against Union, and today we didn't." MIDDLETOWN 8. 9, CLIFTON 4 (?-4) Middletown South 021800 2 1 11 f (27-4) Clllton 010 120 0-4 I I 2B: C-Rebacca Thompson. HR: C-Kelly Nyman. WP: Tanya Jaramlllo (18-3). LP: Kim Arllm (16-2). over the plate, which she did. The errors just killed us." Wisz pitched well, scattering eight hits and walking none. But Ulibarri-Rowley seemed to get stronger as the game went on, holding the Panthers to just three hits over the final five innings and striking out five. Pequannock got its first two batters on in the seventh, but Ulibarri-Rowley got three fly balls to end the game. BOUND BROOK 6. PEQUANNOCK 8 W-I fquinnoc 140 OOO Q T 4 (20-4) Pound groo HO 000 Q I t Hi P-Tara Wlu. Wi Trlih Ulirjarrinowly(U-2). LP: Tara Wlu(1S-

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