PHILADELPHIA – Jersey Shore scored early and often, and their elite stable of pitchers kept two-time defending Carpenter Cup champions Tri-City off the board until the eighth inning as the boys from the Shore defeated Tri-Cape 8-1 Thursday at Dick Allen Field in Philadelphia’s FDR Park.
For the Jersey Shore, it was its Carpenter Cup record sixth overall championship dating back to 1994 when they captured their first title in the 37-year history of the tournament. The Jersey Shore also won cup championships in 2002, 2010, 2014 and 2017.
Jackson Memorial’s first team All-Shore third baseman Charlie Meglio – a Campbell University commit – got things rolling in the bottom of the first inning blasting his 10th home run of the season, and 20th of his career, sending an opposite-field liner over the right field fence giving Jersey Shore a quick 1-0 lead.
“Oh my God, probably the best group of guys I’ve ever played with to be honest with you, if not one of the best,” an ecstatic Meglio said following the win. “Every single dude, they just wanted it bad. Day by day we just did what we needed to do.”
Meglio went 2-for-3, including a home run, double, two RBI and two runs scored in Thursday’s final. The lanky right-handed batter entered the game hitting .368 with an .838 slugging percentage. His 38 RBI led the Shore Conference, and his nine regular season homers were second behind only Ranney’s A.J. Garcia who finished with 10.
One pitch later, Red Bank Catholic’s stud first baseman Frank Scrivanic picked up his first hit of the tournament drilling a long home run over the right-centerfield fence at the 385-foot mark to push the lead to 2-0. A three-year starter for the Caseys, his home run was the first of his career which seems almost unfathomable considering the production the Seton-Hall bound Scrivanic put up in his career.
“He hung a slider, and I knew it was gone right off the bat,” a beaming Scrivanic said. “I finally got one, it was nice getting it off my shoulders. It almost felt like a complete team, there were no holes. The pitching was awesome, the fielding was awesome and the hitting – we just put up a bunch of runs. It felt like a solidified team family.”
A third team All-Shore selection this season, Scrivanic hit .356 with 11 doubles, a triple, 26 runs scored and 24 RBIs for a Caseys team that was one win shy of winning its first-ever group championship after winning the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A title.
In the bottom of the second inning, Red Bank Catholic’s Sean Griggs led off with a walk and moved to third on a single by Central senior shortstop Dom Masino. Griggs then scored on a line-drive RBI single to rightfield by Rumson-Fair Haven senior second baseman Reece Maroney for a 3-0 lead.
Maroney went 4-for-7 with a double and three RBI in the four-game series.
Meanwhile, starting and winning pitcher, Red Bank Catholic’s Steve Svenson, was mowing down the Tri-Cape batting order in rapid succession. Svenson faced the minimum nine batters in three innings of work on just 34 pitches. The third team All-Shore selection went three innings without giving up a run or a walk while allowing just one hit and striking out four. In two appearances, Svenson gave up one run, three hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings of work.
Only a junior, Svenson went 5-2 during the year with a 1.68 ERA.
The Jersey Shore added two more runs in the bottom of the third. The Caseys senior catcher Shane Andrus led off with a walk before Donovan Catholic senior centerfielder Gavin Degnan ripped an RBI triple to the left-center gap. Degnan then scored on a short sacrifice fly rightfield by Masino to make it a 5-0 game after three innings.
Degnan is a first team All-Shore pick that batted .481 with a .914 slugging percentage. He slugged eight home runs while driving in 26 runs and scoring 38. In four games for Jersey Shore he went 5-for-10 with a home run, double and triple while driving in four and scoring four. His home run was a memorable one at Citizens Park – home of the Phillies – in Monday’s semifinal that tied the game at four.
The scoring barrage continued into the bottom of the fourth with the Jersey Shore adding two more runs.
Red Bank Catholic’s sophomore left fielder Dylan Passo – a third team All-Shore selection – got the inning started with a double down the leftfield line and scored the sixth Jersey Shore run when Meglio ripped an RBI double to deep centerfield. Passo went 3-for-6 with a double, two RBI, three runs scored and three walks in the four games.
Scrivanic then drove in his second run of the game bringing Meglio home on a line-drive single to left- center for a commanding 7-0 lead.
Red Bank Regional’s game three winner, Nathan Ruth, entered in the top of the fourth and tossed two scoreless innings pushing his scoreless streak to eight innings in the tournament. In those eight innings, the senior lefty struck out 12, walked three and allowed five hits in a truly dominant performance. For his effort, Ruth was selected as the Most Valuable Player for this years Carpenter Cup Classic.
“A lot of things are going through my mind, one of them being that this is a great team and a great team effort,” said Ruth after accepting the award. “The individual accomplishments come with winning so I’m just glad we could win this and kind of make a name for myself.”
Jersey Shore closed out its scoring adding a solo run in the bottom of the eighth. Wall senior shortstop Gabe Cavazonni and Toms River East’s sophomore second baseman Matt Ferrara hit back-to-back singles placing runners on the corners before Saint John Vianney senior Andrew Zottar brought Ferrara home on a fielder’s choice groundout for a 8-1 final.
After escaping with a 10-7 win in the opener against Burlington County, the Jersey Shore pitching staff allowed just five runs in just under 20 innings.
In Thursday’s final, Matawan junior right-hander Brandon Falco pitched a one-two-three sixth inning with two strikeouts and Marlboro’s senior Alex D’Ambrosio (two outs) and Southern junior Brady Lesiak – a first team All-Shore selection – combined for a scoreless seventh inning. Lesiak was also the game one winner going three innings without a giving up a run while allowing three hits without a walk and striking out three.
Rumson-Fair Haven right-hander John Goodes – a University of Richmond commit – got through the eighth inning surrendering Tri-Cape’s only run allowing two hits and a walk. In three games, Goodes went 4.2 innings spanning three games giving up three hits, two runs, three walks while striking out two.
Middletown South’s senior righty Ben Schild – a University of Connecticut commit and three-time All-Shore pick – struck out the side in the top of the ninth with a walk sandwiched in between there.
Middletown North’s senior Ryan Frontera – a Seton Hall commit and a second team All-Shore pick – had four RBI, two doubles and two runs scored in the four-game series.
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