A game-saving catch by center fielder Shane Brown in the bottom of the seventh preserved the North Hunterdon High School baseball team’s 4-2 win over Watchung Hills in Wednesday’s North 2 Group IV semifinals.
Senior Greg Cocchiola delivered a two-run single, junior shortstop Mark Monk scored two runs and Shane Fontana had a sacrifice fly as the Lions improved to 17-11 and will play host to the winner of Thursday’s Perth Amboy-Westfield game in Friday’s sectional final.
Marc LeDrappier and Kevin Sauma added one run apiece for top-seeded Watchung Hills, which finishes the season with a 22-6 mark.
Central Group IV
Hunterdon Central 11, Marlboro 1: Matt Toke went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Brett McManus drove in two runs and scored two runs as the ninth-seeded Red Devils won their 11th straight game. They will play host to 14th-seeded Brick Memorial in Friday’s final.
Central Group I
Middlesex 11, Point Pleasant Beach 1: Kris Fellin pitched a complete game, with seven strikeouts, four hits and one walk to power top-seeded Middlesex (23-4) in the semifinal. Brennan Price finished 3-for-3, with two runs scored and three RBI, including a two-run homer. Walter Byleckie went 4-for-4, scoring four runs, with a two-run walk-off base hit to drive home Tommy Marcinczy and pinch runner Dom Lampasona. Kyle Dotey went 2-for-3, firing a two-run double. Middlesex will square off with the winner of Shore vs. New Egypt in Friday’s final.
North 2 Group II
Lyndhurst 2, Bernards 1: Brendan Ball threw a six-hitter for Bernards, walking one while striking out three in the semifinal. Zack DeLeon went 2-for-3, but the Mountaineers fell to top-seeded Lyndhurst, ending their season with a 22-7 record.
Rutgers Prep 6, Mater Dei 5: Anthony Brocato’s lead-off solo home run at the top of the seventh inning, when Rutgers Prep was down 4-3, tied the quarterfinal. Spencer Diggins followed with a double, his third of the day, and came around to score the go-ahead run on an error. Tyler Connell delivered the sixth run on a sacrifice fly from winning pitcher P.J. Strahm, who improved to 5-4. Paul Nemergut, Colby Smith and Malcolm Kelsey each had two hits.
Non-Public A North
St. Peter’s Prep 5, Union Catholic 0: Ryan Kahn connected on two doubles as the Vikings finished the season 17-8.
Non-Public A South
Paul VI 11, Immaculata 6: Paul VI scored five runs in the top of the eighth as the Spartans finished 13-12.
Gloucester Catholic 10, St. Joseph 0: Ninth-seeded St. Joseph was shut out by top-seeded Gloucester Catholic in a five-inning semifinal game. John Mark Bobko was 1-for-2 for the Falcons.
Non-Public B South
Marist 8, Wardlaw-Hartridge 1: Sixth-seeded Wardlaw-Hartridge (13-10) fell to third-seeded Marist in the quarterfinal round, scoring its only run in the first inning.