Tyler O’Dell went 3-for-4 and Michael Cottrell knocked in two runs while igniting Northern Burlington High School’s 6-4 victory over Mainland in the Group 3 state semifinals Wednesday at Rutgers University.
The Central Jersey champion Greyhounds (27-4) built a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning behind unbeaten starter Eric Stinglen (7-0), and Ryan Shinn provided 2 2/3 innings of relief to subdue Mainland’s comeback efforts. Shinn struck out six, including three in the seventh.
Stinglen pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, and Northern took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning. After the Mustangs plated two runs, the Greyhounds answered with two in the bottom of the fifth for a 6-3 advantage.
Bret Parlante, Mike Wainwright and Zack Wright joined Cottrell in driving in runs.
For Mainland (23-6), the defending Group 3 state champion, Matt McLaughlin had a single and double.
Northern Burlington will face South Plainfield (23-8), a 3-1 semifinal winner over Mount Olive, in the state final Saturday. Shinn (9-0) is scheduled as the starting pitcher, bidding to get the Greyhounds their first-ever state title.
NON-PUBLIC B SOUTH
• Holy Spirit 7, Marist 1: Sophomore pitcher Bobby Spicer fashioned a complete game and carried the Spartans (13-16) to their first sectional championship since 1984 with the victory at Colonia.
The improbable South Jersey crown was clinched by a Holy Spirit team that lost seven of its first eight games this season and was seeded 10th in the 16-team field in the sectional playoffs. The Spartans have won seven of their last eight contests.
The visitors started quickly, notching four runs in the first inning, including a bases-loaded triple by Chris Lefferts. After Marist (17-12) ace A.J. Candelario came on in relief, Holy Spirit added two runs in the fourth inning when Anthony Boselli doubled home Tommy Burns and A.J. Russo.
Holy Spirit, which last won a state title in 1982, will face Newark Academy (19-12) in the state championship game Saturday.
NON-PUBLIC A SOUTH
• CBA 2, Bishop Eustace 0 : The Crusaders were limited to just three hits as they fell to Christian Brothers Academy in the sectional final played at Monmouth University.
Chris Jones led Eustace, going 2-for-3. Ryan DiMeo added the other hit.
Mike Garvey went the first five innings for the winners, striking out five and allowing just one hit. Luca Dilatri earned the save with two innings of two-hit, five-strikeout relief.
Brandon Martorano homered for the winners.