Roselle Catholic baseball advances in Non-Public, South B; Cranford, Roselle Park reach sectional finals

Dayton will try to host New Providence again Thursday in a North 2, Group 1 quarterfinal

Ryan Sheekey delivered another strong performance on the pitcher’s mound in the state tournament Wednesday to help propel ninth-seeded Roselle Catholic past top-seeded St. Rose of Belmar 9-2 in a Non-Public, South B baseball quarterfinal in Wall Township.

Roselle Catholic, which has won four in a row, will play fifth-seeded Rutgers Prep in a sectional semifinal on Friday in Somerset.

Sheekey, a senior left-hander, scattered five hits, struck out 12 and walked only two St. Rose players. Sheekey fired strikes on 67 of his 99 pitches on a warm afternoon at the Edward I. Brown Athletic Complex.

Junior shortstop and leadoff batter Matt Rembish singled twice, walked twice, scored two runs and collected an RBI against the Purple Roses. With the bases loaded n the top of the seventh inning, and RC holding a 6-2 lead, Rembish lined a single that, with the help of an outfield error, cleared the bases –plating Ryan Van Vliet, Michael Van Der Veken and John Kowalski – to give the Lions a seven-run lead.

Rembish and Sheekey both walked, singled and scored twice to help stake Roselle Catholic to a 4-0 lead when it took the field for the bottom of the second inning.

Catcher Matthew Marques, who singled and doubled and left fielder Isiah Echevarria also scored runs for the Lions, who came to bat in the top of the seventh with a 4-2 lead.

It was the second straight strong state tournament start for Sheekey, who pitched a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and two walks to lead Roselle Catholic to a 6-0, road victory against eighth-seeded St. Joseph of Hammonton in a Non-Public B first-round game on May 24.

Against St. Joe’s, center fielder Chris O’Malley finished 2-for-4 with two runs, and Rembish added an RBI single in the third inning to open a 3-0 Roselle Catholic lead. Marques had a sacrifice fly, and Van Der Veken had an RBI sacrifice bunt for Roselle Catholic.

With the win vs. St. Rose, which entered the tournament with a 19-5 record, Roselle Catholic improved to 9-17 under the direction of head coach John Schmitt, who’s assisted by Billy Murphy, John Miccio and Michael Patricco. Earlier this season, Rutgers Prep defeated RC at Nomahegan Park in Cranford.

 

CRANFORD, ROSELLE PARK REACH SECTIONAL FINALS

Cranford will host South Plainfield in Friday’s North 2, Group 3 final. The Cougars last won the section in 2010 and 2012 and then went on to win the Group 3 state championship both seasons.

Roselle Park will play in the North 2, Group 1 final on the road against one of these three teams – Harrison, New Providence or Dayton. That game may not be played until next week. The Panthers last captured the section in 2011.

 

UNION COUNTY BASEBALL SCOREBOARD AND REMAINING

 

NORTH 2, GROUP 4:

Semifinal

Thursday, May 30

14-Perth Amboy at 10-Westfield

 

NORTH 2, GROUP 3:

Semifinal

Wednesday, May 29

Cranford 3, Mendham 2

Final

Friday, May 31

2-South Plainfield at 1-Cranford

 

NORTH 2, GROUP 1:

Quarterfinal

Thursday, May 30

5-New Providence at 4-Dayton

Semifinal

Wednesday, May 29

Roselle Park 8, Ridgefield 4

Final

Opponent and date to be determined.

Roselle Park, the 14th seed, will play on the road.

CENTRAL JERSEY, GROUP 2:

Semifinal

Wednesday, May 29

Monmouth 5, Johnson 1

 

NON-PUBLIC, NORTH A:

Quarterfinal

Wednesday, May 29

St. Peter’s Prep 5, Union Catholic 0

 

NON-PUBLIC, SOUTH B:

Quarterfinal

Wednesday, May 29

Roselle Catholic 9, St. Rose 1

Semifinals

Friday, May 30

9-Roselle Catholic at 5-Rutgers Prep

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