High School Baseball:
Audubon Captures South Jersey Group 2 Title Against Sterling
Friday, May 31, 2002
By Art Redd
Nate Schill and Rich Horan had to feel good about their performances in the South Jersey Group 2 championship game against the Sterling Knights. Good pitching, solid defense and clutch hitting was what gave Audubon a 2-1 victory at Cherry Hill High School. Schill never got into any real trouble during this game as he recorded five strikeouts through seven innings and watched his defense back up his two hit performance. Horan's clutch two out hitting accounted for both Audubon runs to go with his 3 for 3 performance at the plate.
It was a match up that many came to see. The number one seeded Sterling Knights were battling their Colonial Conference opponents and third seeded Audubon Green Wave. All season long, these two teams have been rolling through their schedule picking up win after win. When the two did meet one another during the regular season, Sterling was the successful team defeating Audubon. But during the post season, all records are cleared and one game decides the fate of the losing team.
Sterling trek to this game watched them defeat sixteen-seeded Northern Burlington (5-0), eighth-seeded Pt. Pleasant Boro (7-1) and thirteenth-seeded Moorestown (10-0). Audubon got past fourteen-seeded Pinelands (10-0), eleventh-seeded Manchester Twp. (6-5) and second-seeded Buena (5-1).
Audubon went right to work in the top of the first inning when they put together a two out rally. After Nate Schill walked and Tyler Inkster singled, Rich Horan dropped a single down the left field line. Schill crossed home plate for the first run of the game. Sterling would even the score at one apiece in their bottom half of the second inning when that all important lead off batter got on base. Dave Cogan lined a 1-0 pitch to right field for a single. He would eventually score on an error and the Sterling Knights were right back into this game.
The Green Wave responded right away in the third when John Bellis reached base on an error. After Schill was hit by a pitch, Horan again was up with two outs and a runner in scoring position. Again, Horan singled to center to regain the lead. Horan would also single in the fifth inning with two out. Joe Flacco and Brandon Boyd kept the inning alive with singles. Boyd's hit sent Horan rounding third base, but Sterling's right-fielder Karl Beckett's throw was right on the mark to catcher Joe Pipitone ended the inning.
Schill watched his infield record the last 12 outs of this game. The last out of the game of course sent the Green Wave rolling out of the dugout to congratulate their starting pitcher for picking up the win and the title.
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