TOMS RIVER – Matt Crispe’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Jackson Memorial its first lead of the night, and ace senior right-hander Brandon Janofsky then closed it out with a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts, as the Jaguars won the Ocean County Tournament championship with an 8-6 win over Barnegat Thursday night at Toms River High School East’s Raider Ravine.
It was Jackson Memorial’s second OCT title in the last four seasons and third overall.
Barnegat was defeated in the championship game for the second straight year. It was also the fourth championship game the Bengals have lost in the last two seasons.
Crispe’s hit, his third of the game, capped a three-run rally against Barnegat ace senior right-hander Seamus Brazil, who had come on in relief in the third.
The rally came with nobody out and featured a walk, three hits and two outfield errors.
Matt Castronouva, who came on in relief in the fourth, was the winning pitcher after he pitched three innings of relief.
With Barnegat ahead 6-5, Joe DeMaio led off the sixth with a walk.
Janofsky singled to right, and an error on the same play moved the runners to second and third.
With the infield up, DeMaio scored the tying run when Chris Hawryluk’s pop up fell into very shallow right. Janofsky moved to third and Hawryluk to second on the throw home. Crispe followed with his hit.
Barnegat had regained the lead 6-5 in a wild game in the top of the fifth when courtesy runner Mimo Padilla scored on a wild pitch.
Catcher Nik Fraim led off with a walk. Padilla moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on Jared Kacso’s single to left before he scored on the wild pitch.
Jackson Memorial wiped out a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the fourth as Hawryluk and Crispe delivered RBI singles with two out.
Those hits came after Kyle Johnson led off with a double to left followed by a strikeout and a ground out to first.
Barnegat had gone ahead 5-3 in the top of the fourth on a two-run single by Anthony Lani
Collin O’Conner led off the inning with a four-pitch walk.
Brazil, who had come on in relief of starter John Corbett in the third, then laid down a bunt in front of the plate and O’Conner beat the throw to second.
O’Conner and courtesy runner Evan Albanese executed a double steal.
Lani then smacked a single past a drawn-in field to plate O’Conner and Albanese.
That hit ended the night for Jaguars starter Ryan Takacs. Matt Castronouva came on in relief. He got out of the inning on a 2-3 double play on a popped-up bunt and a fly ball to center.
Brazil, a 6-foot-9 senior right-hander, came in after after Crispe led off the bottom of the third with a single.
Jackson Memorial erased a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the second even though it had just one hit in the inning.
Nick Rocco reached on an error with one out on a dribbler along the third base line.
Kyle Lona then rocketed a double to left center that Jackson Memorial coach Frank Malta argued hit the scoreboard and bounced back and thus should have been a two-run home run.
Barnegat struck first when it scored two runs in the top of the first against Jackson Memorial starter Ryan Takacs.
Aaron McLaughlin led off with a bad hop single to left. Nik Fraim followed with a single to left, then came a ground ball to second by Jared Kacso. Ed Rogan’s ground ball to second scored McLaughlin, and Max Rittner’s single to left scored the second run.
Jackson Memorial cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the first.
Kyle Johnson led off with a single to right. He stole second and scored on an error on Joe DeMaio’s ground ball to short.
The Jaguars had runners on first and second with one out, but Barnegat starter John Corbett got out of the inning with a fly ball to deep left and a strike out.
Barnegat made it 3-1 in the top of the second when Anthony Lani walked with one out, moved to second on Justin Difenbach’s ground ball to third and scored on Aaron McLaughlin’s single to center.