RED BANK – Tim Cavrak picked a pretty good time to hit what he said was his first home run since he played Little League.
“I’ll remember it probably forever,” Cavrak, a junior shortstop for Colts Neck said Tuesday after his leadoff home run in the top of the fifth inning put the Cougars ahead to stay in their 7-4 win over previously-unbeaten Red Bank Catholic at Count Basie Park.
The win put the Cougars (9-1, 6-0) in sole possession of first place in Shore Conference Class B North, one game ahead of the Caseys (7-1, 5-1) and one game in the loss column ahead of Ocean (8-1, 2-1).
Cavrak yanked a 0-2 pitch from RBC’s Jack Ipsen over the left field fence.
“I tried to square it up and I drove it,” Cavrak said.
Colts Neck ranked No. 6 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10 and coming off a loss to Brick Memorial last Saturday, had wiped out a 4-1 deficit in the fourth inning on a two-out, three-run triple to right by junior left fielder Andrew Conforti.
“I was looking anywhere to drive the ball up the middle,” Conforti said. “Luckily, I got a fastball middle away. I just got the bat on the ball and was able to poke the ball over the right fielder’s head.”
Cavrak and Conforti are not the names that would come to one’s mind when thinks about Colts Neck, a team that won the divisional championshp in Shore Conference Class A North last season.
“Andrew Conforti was on JV (junior varsity) last year,” Colts Neck coach Mike Yorke said. “He’s a kid who’s worked very hard. Even though, he’s our nine (No. 9 hitter in the order). We think he’s a kid that hits the ball very well.
Yorke said Cavrak is quiet by nature.
“He’s a very intelligent kid,” Yorke said.
Junior left-hander Mario Ferraioli and senior left-hander Chris Murphy made the lead stand up.
Ferraioli battled his way throug five innings despite giving up four runs on six hits, walking two and hitting two while throwing over 100 pitches.
Murphy pitched the final two innings. He struck out three, allowed one hit, walked one and picked a runner off first to end the game.
Colts Neck added insurance runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Jordan Gonzalez scored in the fifth on a passed ball and Sam DeVitis drove in Tyler Kapuscinski in the seventh with a two-out single to center.
“I learned they’re (his players) resilient,” Yorke said. “I learned they’re tough as nails. I learned they hate losing. They were really bothered by the loss the other day.”
Red Bank Catholic, which is ranked No. 3 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10 and was the last remaining unbeaten team in the Shore, had built a 4-1 lead on a hit-and-run RBI single by Tom Merlo, a run-scoring double by Doug Facendo in the first and a two-run double in the third by Aaron Ahn.
Ferraioli (4-0) escaped further trouble in the third by getting a fly out to center and strike out.
“I was really impressed (with his team) after the kid (Ahn) hit the gapper to make it 4-1,” Yorke said. “It seemed like everything was against us and they found a way. They stayed together and turned it around for us.”
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; email@example.com