Three S.j. Teams To Play For State Titles Tomorrow

Posted: June 12, 1987

Three South Jersey teams - Bishop Eustace Prep, Cherry Hill West and Kingsway - will be trying to bring home NJSIAA state baseball championships

from Princeton University tomorrow.

Bishop Eustace, even though it has won 11 straight and is ranked No. 2 in The Inquirer's South Jersey ratings, has the most difficult task.

Make that a monumental task.

Eustace will face St. Anthony of Jersey City, which will send senior righthander Willie Banks to the mound. Banks was the third player selected (Minnesota Twins) in last week's major-league free-agent amateur draft.

Eustace will be aiming for its fourth state title - the Crusaders won crowns in 1972, 1978 and 1982.

No. 5 Cherry Hill West (Group 3) and unranked Kingsway (Group 1) will be aiming for their first state crowns. Those teams will play their games at 10:30 a.m. - on adjacent fields. Eustace will play at 3:30 p.m.

Here is a rundown on the three finals:

GROUP 1

Kingsway (17-7) vs. Roselle Park (22-5), 10:30 a.m.

Kingsway junior righthander Frank Temean (7-3, 3.72 ERA) will be matched against senior righthander Gene Mirabella (9-1, 1.38).

Looking for some comparisons?

Well, Temean has struck out 51 and allowed 42 walks in 67 1/3 innings.

Mirabella, Roselle Park's best pitcher, has struck out 74 and walked only 12 in 56 1/3 innings.

Kingsway's ace - Dennis Burlingame, a fifth-round selection of the Atlanta Braves last week - pitched a complete game in Wednesday's 7-1 state-semifinal win over Hoffman and will be available for a few relief innings, if needed.

North Jersey champion Roselle Park played its state semifinal (a 6-5 win over New Milford) on Tuesday; Kingsway's semifinal was postponed because of rain Tuesday, causing the Dragons to play Wednesday.

Hence, the extra day of rest has enabled Roselle Park to line up its No. 1 pitcher tomorrow.

"They'll have an extra day of rest and their No. 1 (pitcher) going against our No. 2," Kingsway coach Jack Russell said, "but Hoffman was 19-2 and they

sent out their No. 1 - and look what happened to him. So who knows?"

Hoffman starter Dave Gumprecht, who took a 9-1 record into the game, yielded eight hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Roselle Park, a Union County school, is gunning for its second state title - the Panthers won the 1972 crown.

Roselle Park, which dropped an 8-1 decision to Florence in last year's state final, scored a dramatic win over New Milford in the semifinals.

Entering the fifth inning, New Milford pitcher Rich Eagleston had a no- hitter and his team had a 5-0 lead. When the inning ended, Roselle Park had scored six runs and was headed back to Princeton.

Roselle Park's offense is led by lefthanded-hitting rightfielder Dennis McCaffery (.423, 22 RBIs, 19 steals, 28 runs); second baseman Nick Gasorek (.360, 20 steals), the team's leadoff hitter; catcher Lenny Zennario (.350, 31 RBIs), and shortstop/pitcher Dave Hartzler (.329, 21 RBIs).

The Panthers have won six straight.

Kingsway's offense is led by Burlingame (.519, 29 RBIs, 4 HRs, 7 doubles), Temean (.400, 25 RBIs, 3 HRs, 9 doubles), shortstop Steve Musumeci (.347), third baseman Ed Matthews (.317), second baseman Chris Everwine (.300) and Shawn Donnelly (.287, 20 RBIs), one of the area's best defensive catchers.

Kingsway, which finished second (behind Glassboro) in the Tri-County Conference Classic Division race, has won five straight.

Kingsway reached the state final in 1981, when Burlingame's older brother, Greg, dropped a 3-1 decision to Glen Ridge.

GROUP 3

Cherry Hill West (19-6) vs. Pascack Hills (27-5), 10:30 a.m.

Pascack Hills, like Cherry Hill West, has never won a state title.

The Cowboys will send sophomore righthander Bill Kanwisher (13-1, 1.65 ERA) to the mound. West coach Tom Trotman said he was undecided on his starter. Senior righthander Scott Cohen (2-3) or senior righthander Len Viccharelli (2-1) will probably get the nod.

Sophomore righthander Chris Murphy (9-1), the Lions' ace, pitched seven innings in Wednesday's 6-5 state-semifinal win over Ewing and will probably be available for only an inning or two.

Kanwisher - whose brother, Brian, is pitching in the Milwaukee Brewers' minor-league system - gets most of his outs with a nasty sinking curve.

In pitching Pascack Hills to a 5-2 state semifinal win over Hanover Park, 18 of the losers' 21 outs were on ground balls.

Kanwisher yielded eight hits and three walks in the state semis. He struck out two.

Pascack Hills, a Bergen County school that boasts a highly touted defense, won despite being outhit, 8-3. One of those hits, however, was a 320-foot, three-run homer by junior second baseman Tony D'Ambrosio.

D'Ambrosio, junior third baseman John Millard and senior shortstop Steve Yatko are the leaders of an offense that has produced 47 runs in the last four games.

West is on a roll. The Lions - making their first appearance in a state final - have won 15 of their last 17, including consecutive one-run wins over Highland (South Jersey final) and Ewing (state semifinal).

West overcame a 4-0 deficit against Ewing on Wednesday. The Lions won on a two-run homer by centerfielder Dave Yanstick with one out in the top of the seventh. The homer gave West a 6-5 lead.

Auburn-bound shortstop Andy Albrecht, who triggered the seventh-inning rally with a leadoff single, Yanstick (three hits vs. Ewing), designated- hitter Viccharelli and third baseman John Eissler have been the Lions' top hiters.

PAROCHIAL B

Bishop Eustace (24-6) vs. St. Anthony (22-5), 3:30 p.m.

Two pitchers with contrasting styles - but similar results - will face each other in the most intriguing matchup of the day.

Banks (11-2, 0.60), the heralded St. Anthony star who has been consistently clocked in the 88 to 94 m.p.h. range, will be matched against Joe Achey (8-3, 1.90), a soft-throwing senior righthander who was clocked in the low 70s against Gloucester Catholic on Tuesday.

To help Eustace get acclimated to Banks' pitching, Chuck Ricci, the hard- throwing senior from Shawnee, threw batting practice against the Crusaders yesterday.

Offensively, St. Anthony is led by - who else? - Banks (.460, 3 HRs). Centerfielder Dion Butler (.400, 4 HRs) and leftfielder Mark Smith - who has been hitting over .500 since earning a starting job during the second half of the year - are also tough outs. Shortstop Mike Carlsen, second baseman Rubin Rodriguez and designated-hitter Angel Zayas - each of whom is hitting over .300 - are among the Friars' other leading hitters.

St. Anthony, which will use an all-righthanded-hitting starting lineup, has a .305 team batting average. Eustace has a .297 team average.

Eustace's offense revolves around sophomore centerfielder John Rivers (.404, 24 steals in 27 attempts), shortstop Steve Budd (.383, 16 steals in 17 attempts), third baseman Steve Rydzewski (.388, 28 RBIs) and first baseman Keith Williams (.374, 5 HRs, 25 RBIs).

Eustace coach Joe Galliera says his team - which stole seven bases in eight attempts in Tuesday's 4-2 sectional-final win over Gloucester Catholic - plans to run at every opportunity tomorrow.

"We expect that," said St. Anthony coach Mike Hogan, whose team scored a 1-0 win over Immaculata in the North Jersey final. "Immaculata was like that - real aggressive on the base paths."

Immaculata stole two bases in two attempts Tuesday. It had three runners picked off - two by Banks and one by junior catcher Mark Everett.

St. Anthony hasn't been in a state final since 1973, when it won the championship in the now-defunct Parochial C bracket.

"We know about Eustace's reputation. They come highly regarded," Hogan said. "It's an honor to face them."

The feeling is mutual.

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