A key two-out, two-run single by Austin Peck of Lacey gave Ocean County the lead for good and eight pitchers combined on a six-hitter as Ocean County defeated Monmouth County, 7-4, on Thursday night in the Shore Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Classic at FirstEnergy Park.
Peck’s hit broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth after Monmouth had tied the game with two runs in the top of the fifth.
Cory Cordasco of Toms River North led off the fifth with a single. Jordan Mundell of Jackson Liberty was hit by a pitch and Sal Smith walked to load the bases. Monmouth got a brief reprieve when Mike Martone lined into a 1-3 double play. Peck then followed with his hit to right.
Ocean extended the lead to 7-2 in the sixth by scoring three runs with two out. Smith hit a fly ball to center that was lost in the lights, wound up as a double and scored Cordasco. Martone followed with an two-run single to right.
Monmouth pulled within 7-4 in the eighth on an RBI ground out by Billy Moed of Manalapan and a run-scoring single by Jake Simpson of Rumson-Fair Haven.
A two-run single to right center by Corey Romanetz tied it in the fifth for Monmouth, after it had been no-hit by three Ocean pitchers through the first four innings.
Ocean County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Jordan Burst of Jackson Memorial scored on a ground ball to second by Casey Cranmer of Toms River South.
Burst scored Ocean’s second run in the third on a booming double to left by Brendan Benecke of Jackson Liberty. The ball one-hopped over the fence after hitting the warning track.
Home run derby
Toms River South junior right fielder Russell Messler won the Home Run Derby, which took place before the game.
Messler hit seven homers overall. He beat Jackson Memorial senior catcher Matt Thaiss in the final round.
In the final round, Messler hit two homers, including one that landed on the berm well-beyond the left field fence. Thaiss had one homer in the final round.
Messler and Thaiss were the only two participants who homered in the first two rounds. Messler hit five and Thaiss had one. Thaiss had gone 3-for-3 with a solo homer and two run-scoring doubles Thursday morning for the Jersey Shore team in its 12-7 win over Chester (Pa.) in the first-round of the Carpenter Cup in Philadelphia.