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Baseball, Softball Teams Vie in NJSIAA Sectional Semifinals

Point Beach baseball, Toms River East softball are top seeds still alive; Central, Manasquan, Donovan have both baseball and softball teams still alive

The high school baseball and softball state playoffs resume Tuesday, with the teams still alive just a step away from a sectional title – and just a few games from playing for a group championship.

At this juncture, there are 14 baseball and 11 softball teams from the Shore Conference playing in NJSIAA sectional semifinals on Tuesday. Teams that win Tuesday advance to the sectional finals, tentatively scheduled for Friday.

Teams that win sectional titles move on to the group semifinals, with their eye on the NJSIAA group championships, scheduled for Saturday, June 9, at Toms River North and Toms River East.

Here’s a look at the local teams that playing in sectional semifinals on Tuesday:

In baseball:

Point Pleasant Beach, in Central Jersey Group I, is the lone Shore team with a top seed. The Garnet Gulls (14-6) host Burlington City at 4 p.m. Point Beach is coming off a 4-2 victory over Keyport, after a bye in the first round. Burlington City (15-6) defeated New Egypt 3-0 on Friday after opening with a 5-2 victory over Henry Hudson.

In Central Jersey Group III, Manasquan, the 15th seed, which got into the tournament despite an under-.500 record, travels to Monmouth Regional, the sixth seed, for a 3:45 p.m. game. The Warriors (10-14) beat Matawan 4-0 on Friday after knocking off second-seeded Allentown, 3-2, in the opening round. Monmouth (15-8) defeated third-seeded Jackson Liberty, 5-2, on Friday after opening the tournament with a 2-0 win over Neptune.

Central Regional is another team that has made the most of its unexpected trip to the state tournament. The Golden Eagles (9-11) advanced to the semifinals in South Jersey Group III by beating Timber Creek 7-2 on Friday, scoring five runs in the seventh inning to win, after opening the tournament with a 7-0 win over fifth-seeded Kingsway. Central travels to top-seeded Hammonton (18-6) for a 4 p.m. start. Hammonton beat Oakcrest 8-6 on Friday, and opened with a 1-0 win over Lacey.

In South Jersey Group IV, perennial contender Toms River South travels to top-seeded Cherokee for a 4 p.m. game. The Indians, the third seed, beat Atlantic City 7-1 on Friday, after an opening-round 7-6 win over Shawnee. Cherokee beat Eastern 6-4 and opened with a 10-0 victory over Egg Harbor Township.

Monsignor Donovan has advanced to the quarterfinals of Non-Public South A thanks to a 6-5 upset of top-seeded Notre Dame on Friday, where the Griffins (10-12), the 16th seed, rallied and won it in  the bottom of the seventh inning to win. They travel to eighth-seeded Bishop Eustace for a 4 p.m. start.

Other Shore Conference baseball teams still in the NJSIAA playoffs:

In Central Jersey Group II, Rumson (11-9), the sixth seed, hosts seventh-seeded Robbinsville (17-11-1), and fourth-seeded Raritan (12-9) hosts Voorhees (13-10), the eighth seed. Both games are 4 p.m. starts.

In Central Jersey Group III, Freehold, the eighth seed, travels to fifth-seeded Hopewell Valley (19-8) for a 4 p.m. start. The Colonials (15-10) knocked off top-seeded Wall, 4-2, on Friday, after beating Woodbridge in the opening round.

In Central Jersey Group IV, Middletown South, the third seed, hosts 10th-seeded Manalapan, the defending sectional champion. Manalapan (13-11) knocked off second-seeded Jackson 5-2 on Friday. Middletown South (21-4) beat Monroe 5-0 after opening with a 19-0 victory over Old Bridge.

Also alive in the quarterfinals of Non-Public South A are Red Bank Catholic, which hosts St. Augustine, and seventh-seeded Christian Brothers Academy, which hosts Camden Catholic. In Non-Public South B, Mater Dei of Middletown travels to Gill St. Bernard.

In the NJSIAA softball tournament:

Toms River East is the top seed in South Jersey Group IV. The Raiders (24-2) host fourth-seeded Washington Township (24-6), which ousted Toms River South from the tournament on Friday. Toms River East is powered by pitcher Jordan Weed, who pitched a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over Triton on Friday after allowing just two hits in a 4-0 shutout of Lenape in the opener.

Central Regional (17-3), the second seed in South Jersey Group III, hosts sixth-seeded Delsea at 4 p.m. The Golden Eagles beat Oakcrest 5-2 on Friday, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth for the win that followed a 4-1 win over Seneca in the opening round. Pitcher Stephanie Pepper has 18 strikeouts over two games.

In Central Jersey Group IV, Howell, the fifth seed, travels to Middletown South for a 4 p.m. start. The Rebels (16-7) beat West Windsor South 6-3 on Friday after opening with a 4-0 win over Old Bridge. The top-seeded Eagles (20-5) beat West Windsor North 11-0 after beating Jackson 9-0.

Manasquan, the third seed in Central Jersey Group III, hosts Northern Burlington at 3 p.m. Northern Burlington (13-9), the seventh seed, beat Wall 6-3 on Friday. The Warriors (14-6) have played extra innings in both games of the tournament, beating Nottingham on Friday, 2-1, in nine innings, after opening with a 5-4 win over Hamilton that took 10 innings to decide.

Barnegat is still alive in South Jersey Group II. The Bengals (17-6) are the fourth seed in the section and have advanced with shutout wins over Sterling, 1-0, on Friday and 3-0 over Overbrook to open the tournament. Barnegat travels to top-seeded Buena (22-2) for a 4 p.m. game.

In the Non-Public South A quarterfinals, Monsignor Donovan, the seventh seed, travels to second-seeded Camden Catholic for a 4 p.m. game. The Griffins (14-7) beat Holy Cross 4-2 on Friday. Camden Catholic (14-3) had a bye in the first round.

Other Shore Conference teams still alive in the softball playoffs:

In Central Jersey Group III, fourth-seeded Neptune hosts eighth-seeded Lawrence. The Scarlet Fliers (15-9) beat Woodbridge to reach the semifinals.

In Central Jersey Group II, Raritan, the seventh seed, travels to third-seeded Voorhees while in Central Jersey Group I, Henry Hudson travels to New Egypt.

In Non-Public South A quarterfinals, St. John Vianney, the top seed, awaits the winner of Tuesday’s game between Paul VI and Bishop Ahr.

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