COLUMBUS – When the Northern Burlington High School baseball team hit three home runs in the first inning, it proved to be the start of something pretty big.
And when right-hander Tyler O’Dell pitched out of bases-loaded jams in each of the first three innings, you had to figure it was the Greyhounds’ day.
“We practice getting the job done, and it showed on the field,” senior Ryan Shinn said.
In a nonleague matchup between two of South Jersey’s top teams Monday, no one got it done better than Shinn.
The Florida Gulf Coast recruit went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and six RBIs as Northern Burlington, No. 2 in the Courier-Post Top 15, routed No. 4 Buena 17-0. The game was stopped after 41/2 innings by the mercy rule.
“We swung the bats well,” Shinn added.
That may be the understatement of the year so far.
WATCH: Tyler O’Dell’s first-inning home run
Shinn hit a two-run home run in the first inning. He added another two-run shot in the second and then belted an RBI double and RBI single in an 11-run, eight-hit fourth.
“I need an approach every time up,” Shinn said. “I try to stay up the middle of the field.”
The Greyhounds (10-1) had their way, finishing with 17 hits — seven going for extra bases. They sent 16 batters to the plate in the decisive inning and had three run-scoring doubles.
Winning pitcher Tyler O’Dell opened the bottom of the first with a solo homer and Adam Rapp added a solo shot of his own as the hosts quickly built a 4-0 lead.
Ryan Shinn home run in the first
Bret Parlante and Kevin Welsh would contribute two-run doubles in the rout, while Zack Wright scored four runs. Mike Wainright and Mike Cottrell also had RBI singles.
“That was a little scary,” Buena coach Harry Grose said. “A rude awakening, and we think we’re pretty good.
“It’s time to go back to the drawing board. We need to stop reading our press clippings and stop worrying about our batting averages. That tastes bad.”
Adam Rapp tacks on third home run in first inning
The win was the ninth straight for the Greyhounds. Buena (11-4) saw its eight game-winning streak come to an abrupt halt. Dom Lopez and C.J. Middleton had doubles as part of the Chiefs’ five-hit effort.
“Everything clicked,” Northern coach Rick Doppler said. “We have talented kids and they all played well.
“You have to play your game. At any time, you can lose to anybody and you can beat anybody. Our kids have played well as a team and we haven’t had the team chemistry like we do this year.”
Even after the lopsided victory, Shinn wasn’t ready to cast the Chiefs aside.
“They’ve played some good teams and have a couple of Division I players,” he said. “That’s a defending state champion with a good record. Any time you can put it to a team like that …
“This was a big team win and a big momentum booster.”
Kevin Minnick; (856) 486-2432; kminnick@
N. BURLINGTON 17
• Player of the game : Ryan Shinn went 4-for-4 with a pair of two-run home runs, an RBI double and RBI single.
• Play of the game : Northern Burlington’s second double play, which ended the top of the third.
• Well said : “There’s a lot of confidence. We’re all together and this was a great game as a team.” — Ryan Shinn