The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on June 11, 2006 · S13
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · S13

Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 11, 2006
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SUNDAY, JUNE 1 1 , 2006 THE RECORD S-13 North Jersey Sports The final photo sessions for All-County athletes are Monday from 7-8 p.m. at the Herald News in West Paterson and Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at The Record in Hackensack. Bosco goes out swinging Captures title with an awesome offensive onslaught DON SMITHSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Don Bosco's Brandon Boykin, right, being greeted by teammates after hitting the first of his two homers. He went 3-for-4 with six RBI. By ART STAPLETON STAFF WRITER DEMAREST - Most of the pre-game intrigue centered on which pitcher would take the mound for Westwood in Saturday's Bergen County baseball tournament final. When you swing the bat like Don Bosco can, though, sometimes even that does not matter. Junior second baseman Brandon Boykin went 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI to lead yet another offensive onslaught for Don Bosco in its 14-1 five-inning victory over Westwood for the school's second County title. Westwood used its top three pitchers - starter Curtis Arsi, John Kuder and ace Dylan Cacciola -and the Ironmen took turns wearing out each of them, scoring against them all. "We knew we were going to hit the ball," Boykin said. "Throughout the year, we really didn't hit as well DON BOSCO 14 as we thought we would. I guess when it came time for the County tournament, the adrenaline kind of took over and we just got on a roll." Added Chris Kievit, who also went 3-for-4: "We felt that whoever they were going to pitch, that was the one we were going to hit." Don Bosco set tournament records for most runs scored (51) and most home runs (13), including three for sophomore third baseman Steve Proscia, which tied an individual record. The seventh-seeded Ironmen (22-5) played small ball in the first inning before turning to the long ball, using a sacrifice bunt that set up junior Jaren Matthews' RBI double for a 1-0 lead. One batter later, Kievit crushed a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence for a two-run blast that traveled nearly 425 feet. Boykin followed with the first of his two homers, a solo shot to right field. "We really are a rare high school baseball team," Don Bosco coach Leon Matthews said. "We'll bunt anywhere in our lineup and we can hit the ball out of the park one through nine. Our fastest guy from first to second is our catcher. Our first baseman leads us in stolen bases. "We're not your typical high school baseball team, and I think that's why we were so successful." Sophomore Sam Cerbo was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after going 3-for-3 with a homer against Westwood. He finished 8-for-14 and made a remarkable play in center field that prevented a late-inning home run in Don Bosco's quarterfinal win over Paramus. Senior left-hander Alex Meyer picked up the victory in each of the last three rounds for the Ironmen, striking out nine while allowing just four hits against Westwood. The Georgetown-bound ace did not give up an earned run over his last 14 innings, finishing 12-0 for the season. It was a bittersweet end to a remarkable tournament run for 13th-seeded Westwood, which had to win four games just to reach the title game, including a semifinal upset of previously undefeated Old Tappan. "I guess midnight struck early this time," Westwood coach Joe Yurko said. "They've got tremendous hitters and they unleashed a barrage of home runs that obviously this tournament has never seen before. They were the better team, no question." E-mail: PENNSVILLE Pascack H. is foiled by last-inning nightmare By DAN ROSEN STAFF WRITER TOMS RIVER - Josh Feit danced over first base, nearly missing the bag before his home run trot even got started. Pascack Hills' junior pitcher couldn't stop celebrating as he galloped around the bases with a game-tying, three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday. Nine outs later, Feit and his teammates sat quietly in their dugout, simply stunned at what had transpired. The Cowboys used good fortune and mistake-free baseball to forge a tie entering the seventh inning of the Group 1 State baseball final, but came un done as Pennsville scored six runs on seven hits and a throwing error in the seventh for a 9-3 victory. It's the Eagles' second straight Group 1 State title and fourth in five years. It's also the fourth consecutive game they won in their final at-bat. "It just unraveled right before our eyes and that's what makes it so tough," said Cowboys senior third baseman Scott Fischer. "We come back and something like that happens, it's just so disheartening. It's hard to come back after one of those innings." Pascack Hills coach Mike O'Brien admitted Feit "was close to being on fumes" when he started the seventh inning. Feit got leadoff hitter Kevin O'Brien to fly out, but Joel Rios followed with a single to right. The big blow came next, when Mark Crescenzi's double landed just inside the right field line and rolled into the corner. Rios scored to give the Eagles a 4-3 lead. "That was the ball game," O'Brien said. "Another foot and it's foul, and maybe he gets him on the next pitch with a breaking ball. That turned the inning around." Three consecutive hits later, the Eagles had a 6-3 lead before Feit finally recorded the second out. Hills then threw wide of first base on a routine ground ball, allowing two more runs to score. Dave Lenig singled in the final run. "As quickly as we went up, we went that far down," Feit said. "I was making some good pitches, they were just putting the bat on the ball and it was dropping. There's nothing I can do about that. They're a good hitting team." The Cowboys had scored first in their previous five State games, but that streak ended quickly as Lenig smacked the game's first pitch into the trees beyond the left field wall. The Eagles led, 3-0, after the fourth, thanks to two RBI by catcher Justin Rizzo. However, sophomore Matt Marini opened the sixth inning with a double down the left field line. Fischer followed with a single to right before Feit crushed a 1-0 pitch from Pennsville reliever Scott Ward over the center field fence to tie it. "All day I'm thinking this isn't the way it's been," O'Brien said. "Nothing seemed like it was going our way. Then he Feit hits the three-run homer and I'm thinking we're back in business." Unfortunately, Pennsville never closed up shop. "It always hurts to lose, but it really hurts this way," Fischer said. "We were in it. We had it." Crowning moment jliii CHRIS PEDOTASTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Ramapo's center fielder Janie Palmeri stretching and catching the ball in the Group 3 State final. Dream run ends for PV By JOE DUFFY STAFF WRITER TOMS RIVER - Allentown's players say they never saw it coming. Pascack Valley didn't either. In a shocking and disappointing season finale, the Indians were blindsided by an offensive onslaught in an 1 1-1 five-inning, mercy-rule loss in the Group 2 softball final. "There's not much to say," Pascack Valley coach Craig Nielsen said. "They beat us. They hit the ball; what can you do?" When it was all said and done, the Monmouth County team had racked up 10 hits and battered a usually stellar Lynd-say Buehler. "In a million years I never would have thought we would hit that well," Allentown coach Bob Dabina said. "Early on in the season we had games where we hit well, but to come here and do it against a team of this caliber is something else." After 2V2 innings at Toms River East High School, this had all the makings of a close game. Allentown (23-4) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a ALLENTOWN U Cailtin Ryan bloop single. Buehler set down the side in order in the bottom of the second and looked to be settling down. The Indians got another boost in the top of the third when senior Lia Ribustello smacked a solo home run over the center field fence to tie the game at 1. "At that point, I thought we would be OK," Nielsen said. Soon after, the roof caved in. The bottom of the third started off innocently enough as Stephanie Stabulis grounded out. But the Redbirds connected for six hits, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by Ryan that provided a 4-1 lead. They batted around and had a 6-1 lead after the third. Buehler retired the side in the fourth, but Allentown got hot again in the fifth. Ryan led off with a double and Carly Machiz drove her home with a single to push the lead to 7-1. Later, an error on a Dana Machiz grounder loaded the bases, but Pascack Valley looked close to be getting out of the jam by getting outs on the next two batters. But Allentown scored twice on bases-loaded walks and finished off the game by scoring on a wild pitch and then on an error. The ending was sloppy, but the winners made contact consistently and their grounders just as consistently found the holes in the Pascack Valley defense. "You have to give Allentown credit," Nielsen said. "We had heard that they had some good hitters, and they proved it. Those first eight runs, all of them were earned. There's nothing you can do." Allentown captured its first group title in school history in any sport. Pascack Valley (25-7) had its second chance for a soft-ball group crown go by the boards much the same way it did in 2002, when it was drubbed by Middletown South. The Indians appeared understandably dazed by the outcome. "I told the girls to walk out of here with their heads held high," Nielsen said. E-mail: RAMAPO Ramapo wins 1st State title since 1978 By DARREN COOPER STAFF WRITER TOMS RIVER - Brittany Baiunco threw her last pitch of the season - a change-up - resulting in her 15th strikeout and the celebration was on for Ramapo. Players streamed out of the dugout toward Baiunco, celebrating the 2-0 win over Wall and the Group 3 State title, but assistant coach Mark Aug took a different path. Aug went straight for Green Raiders junior catch er bamantna Depken, wrapping her in a joyous hug. "She is the quiet leader," Aug explained. "She is a three-sport star and she deserves the recognition once in a while." After threatening all game, the Green Raiders (29-2) had runners at second and third with one out in the sixth when Depken stepped to the plate. "He Aug told me that I am going to be a hero today," Depken said. "He told me to trust myself, that he knew I could do it and to know that I had the trust of my teammates." Depken then dropped an RBI double in front of Wall center fielder Kylie Softchek to score Ramapo's first run. Jess Brennan followed with an RBI single for the insurance. "I got a little under it, but I knew as long as I made contact, I had a chance," Depken said. "It was the luck of the draw I guess." "We knew it was going to come," said Ramapo senior Amy Piccinich, who led off the sixth inning with a walk. "Right away, we were hitting, everyone was seeing the ball, and in the sixth, we were like, we've got to get it going." Two runs must have seemed impossible for the Crimson Knights (27-5) against Baiunco. After a somewhat shaky first inning which included, gasp, a walk, Baiunco settled in, not allowing a hit until the seventh, and fanning six in a row at one point. "We knew she was going to keep the ball to the outside and she was a carbon copy of what we expected ," Wall coach Tony Vodola said. "I think her ball moves a little bit more than people give her credit for." Wall had two base runners all game. "I thought Brittany was just on," said Ramapo coach Leslie Stephen, who guided the Green Raiders to their first State crown since 1978 when she played second base. "After the first inning, she just settled into a groove and she got better as the game went on." Baiunco said she got a good night's sleep after watching the movie 'Rudy,' but was nervous early. Working with Depken, who calls the pitches, helped steady her. "I have been playing with her since third grade. She always comes through," Baiunco said. "She calls a great game, and we work together real well. We have great chemistry as a pitcher and catcher and that's really important when you are facing batters you don't know a lot about." The Green Raiders celebrated heartily, accidentally breaking their new State championship trophy on their victory lap - "we'll just glue it back together," said Piccinich - something else to remember after a brilliant season. E-mail:

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