POINT BORO – The No. 4 Point Boro baseball team is heading to its first Ocean County Tournament [OCT] title game in program history after defeating No. 9 Toms River East at home 8-4 on Saturday, May 11.
The Panthers blanked the Raiders until a seventh-inning, two-out rally that produced three of their four runs, with the first of four coming in after a walk with bases loaded. But even with the shutout taken away at the last second, Boro is still celebrating its historic win, all while preparing for the third matchup with Jackson Liberty, this time for a tournament title.
“We’re in the history books as the first team to get to the Ocean County Tournament final for Point Boro, but we want to win the whole thing,” junior pitcher Nick Guzzi said. “We’re not content with making it to the final, we want the whole thing for sure … [and] I’m sure we all feel the same way, we want to get a little bit of revenge on them [Jackson Liberty].”
The Panthers found their bats early in the game with the top of the order, Sam Collins, producing an RBI single in the second inning for the 1-0 lead. Boro followed up by driving in three more runs in the third, thanks to Ryan Jasaitis’ RBI base hit and Frankie Dominici’s two-run double 4-0.
Adding to their total in the fourth and fifth innings were two sacrifice flies, a run that was walked in and another RBI double coming from Dominici.
Also contributing to the heavy-hitting offense, along with Collins, Dominici and Jasaitis, were Guzzi, Sam Young, Paul Franceschini and Christian Aurin. All either reached first off a base hit or were responsible for a driving in a run.
“Our offense shined today and it’s just going to come out more and more as the year goes on,” Dominici said. “We’re really prepared for the final and we’re going to make history.”
Guzzi started on the mound for the Panthers and threw five innings, just enough to keep the junior ace eligible to pitch against No. 2 Jackson Liberty in the OCT final. Collins relieved Guzzi in the sixth and made sure to cap-off his pitch count in order to also be an option for the final title game.
The Panthers’ ace struck out eight and allowed the Raiders just one hit, while Collins struck out three.
Boro advanced to the OCT final against No. 2 Jackson Liberty, a matchup that played out twice during the regular season. The Lions claimed both contests, but the first seemed to be a Panthers win until late in the seventh.
The two will meet for the third time on Thursday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. for the OCT final at Toms River North.
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