MIDDLETOWN – Will Morgan admits his early-season struggles at the plate were starting to get to him.
Perhaps his frustration over those struggles was one of the reasons he was talking with some of the Marlboro players after he made out in his third at-bat Thursday in a Shore Conference Class A North game.
However, the day ended on a positive note for the Christian Brothers Academy senior right fielder as his one-out RBI single over the right fielder’s head in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Colts, ranked No. 1 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, a hard-fought 1-0 win.
“I just focused on keeping my shoulder closed, keeping my head on it (the ball),” Morgan said. “I have been pulling out and my head has been coming off the ball.”
Morgan’s hit broke up what had been an outstanding pitching duel between Christian Brothers Academy’s highly-touted junior right-hander Luca Dalatri and Marlboro junior right-hander Jermy Dyzenhaus.
Dalatri, who went 11-0 last season and has already made a commitment to the University of North Carolina, went the first seven innings.
He had a perfect game for four innings and a no-hitter for 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 10, walked one and allowed one hit while throwing 95 pitches. Phil Saglietto broke up the no-hitter with a single.
CBA coach Marty Kenney said he lifted Dalatri because it was early in the season and he didn’t want to push the envelope any further on a frigid day.
Dyzenhaus, who had picked up the win in relief Wednesday against Middletown South, struck out six, allowed six hits, walked one and hit one in a route-going performance.
“Jeremy was as good as anything we’ve seen here at Marlboro,” Jim Ferraro, who is in his seventh-season as Marlboro’s head coach, said.
The one walk Dyzenhaus issued came to John Miller leading off the bottom of the eighth.
Shane Turk’s sacrifice bunt moved Miller to second. Cid Porter reached when it was ruled he beat the throw to first on a ground ball to short that was bobbled. That put runners on first and third. Porter then stole second before Morgan delivered the game-winning hit on a fastball.
“I’ve been striking out quite a lot lately so I’m just focused on making contact with the ball,” Morgan, who also made a diving catch in the top of the seventh, said.
“This was big for him (Morgan),” Kenney said. “He’s actually been hitting well in BP (batting practice), in the cages and in our drills, but it seems like when he gets in the game, he’s been too antsy. His front side is flying open. He’s swinging at bad pitches, taking good pitches. I’m hoping that a couple of games gets him going.”
Morgan might not have had the chance to be the hero if it were not for a good all-around play senior shortstop Matt D’Angelo made in the top of the eighth.
With Mason O’Mara on in relief of Dalatri, Chase Sandler singled with one out and Gene Napolitano singled with two out.
Mike Santaromita then grounded one deep in the hole that D’Angelo chased down to prevent the ball from going into the outfield.
D’Angelo had no play at first, but saw he had a play at third when Sandler slipped going round the bag. He ran to third and tagged Sandler before he could get back to the third to end the inning.
“I took a look over to see if he was going to make a big turn and I saw his coach waving him in so I decided to run over there,” D’Angelo said.