A closer look at South Jersey baseball playoffs' final fours

Bryan Dobzanski and Delsea will take on Ocean City in South Jersey Group 3 on Tuesday.The winner will face the winner of Central vs. Hammonton.
Bryan Dobzanski and Delsea will take on Ocean City in South Jersey Group 3 on Tuesday.The winner will face the winner of Central vs. Hammonton. (CURT HUDSON)
Posted: May 28, 2012

A No. 16 seed, a pair of No. 12 seeds, and a No. 9 seed are still alive in the South Jersey public school tournament.

Just two of the four No. 1 seeds have survived to reach Tuesday's sectional semifinals.

Here's a closer look at the final four in each South Jersey group:

South Jersey Group 4

No. 12 Lenape (15-8) at No. 9 Williamstown (16-9): These teams have turned this tournament on its ear. Lenape has won nine of 10 after a slow start, and the Indians cracked four home runs in an 8-6 victory over Pennsauken in Friday's quarterfinals.

Niko Celiz and Bobby Isopi each have four home runs for Lenape, and lefty Kevin Milley has earned tournament victories over Millville and Pennsauken.

Williamstown is another hot team. The Braves beat Cherry Hill West, 9-1, as junior Jordan Rizzo cracked two home runs, then stunned top-seeded Washington Township, 6-5, as Rizzo delivered a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning.

Righthander Mike Mosley has both tournament victories, and John Brady has six doubles in the Braves' last five games.

No. 3 Toms River South (22-5) at No. 2 Cherokee (21-5): Form held on this side of the bracket. Cherokee won its quarterfinal over rival Eastern in dramatic fashion as shortstop Shane Garrett's two-out, three-run game-ending homer proved the difference in a 6-4 victory.

The Chiefs have pitching depth led by senior Colin Perro and junior Sean Kelly. Garrett and centerfielder Jordan Glover led the offense.

South Jersey Group 3

No. 12 Central (9-11) at No. 1 Hammonton (18-6): The top-seeded Blue Devils have won five of six and have gotten great work from sophomore lefty Justin Smith, who is 8-1 and has both tournament victories. The addition of Tim Gallagher, who transferred from Holy Cross, has helped an attack that also features catcher A.J. Scibilia and Alex Padovani.

No. 7 Delsea (19-9) at No. 6 Ocean City (16-9): One of these surprise teams is headed to the finals. Delsea has gotten a big lift from sophomore Bryan Dobzanski, who has not allowed a run in both tournament wins. Dobzanski, who shut out Toms River South, 1-0, on May 11, did not pitch in the season's first five weeks while resting a shoulder injury sustained in his drive to a third-place finish at 195 pounds in the state wrestling tournament.

Ocean City, which stunned Moorestown by 7-5 in Saturday's quarterfinals, has an ace in Beau Hall and a top hitter in centerfielder Juston Healey.

South Jersey Group 2

No. 4 Haddonfield (18-6) at No. 1 GCIT (18-5): The Bulldogs have won 10 in a row and 15 of 16. Junior righty Jason Cavanaugh has emerged as an ace with an 8-1 record, including both tournament wins by a combined 16-3 score. Mat Bhaya has a double in each tournament game. The Cheetahs have an ace in Jake Danner, who has won both tournament games, and a heavy-hitting lineup led by Zach Funk (six triples), Mike Macaluso (10 doubles), and Danner (eight doubles).

No. 3 Sterling (20-4) at No. 2 Buena (22-6): The Silver Knights have won eight of nine behind pitchers Connor Walsh and C.J. Hertz and a balanced, productive lineup that has gotten some great work from senior Eric Teesdale and junior Andrew Mottola. The Chiefs had won 12 of 13 before losing 5-0 to Gloucester Catholic on Saturday. Senior shortstop Anthony Lopez has 17 extra-base hits, senior catcher Manny Colon has five homers, and senior righty Justin Geri is a top pitcher.

South Jersey Group 1

No. 16 Maple Shade (6-17) at No. 4 Haddon Township (16-6): The lowest remaining seed in the tournament has upset No. 1 Salem and No. 9 Glassboro behind pitcher Mike Maerten. Haddon Township is riding high after a dramatic, 6-5 victory over Gateway in the quarterfinals. The Hawks rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh as senior Kevin Griese delivered a two-run double. Junior Pat Burns is a 6-1 on the mound.

No. 3 Pennsville (17-5) at No. 2 Audubon (19-6): The Eagles have won four in a row as Connor Dilks has earned both tournament victories and Ridge Hermann (11 doubles) and Josh Shimp (seven homers) led the attack.

Audubon, the defending state champion, has a productive lineup led by senior catcher Boomer Wickersham (15 doubles). But the key for the Green Wave has been the pitching of senior lefty Andrew Schorr, who is 8-1 and has 31 strikeouts in his last two games.

Non-Public South A

The best matchup in Tuesday's quarterfinals features No. 5 Gloucester Catholic (23-4) at No. 4 Holy Cross (22-4): The Rams have won six in a row and eight of nine with good pitching from freshman John Murphy and big hitting from seniors Elliott McCummings, Pat Kane, and Brett Tenuto. The Lancers have won five of six behind senior John Adryan, who has 24 extra-base hits, and junior righty Jon Mackie, who is 7-0 on the mound. These teams played a taut game in Gloucester Catholic's 3-0 win in last year's Non-Public South B final.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, panastasia@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

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