Saturday, May 20, 2006
By Vincent Lewis
The 33rd Annual Joe Hartmann South Jersey Diamond Classic was in its final weekend as the sixteen team field would be narrowed down to four teams by the end of the day. Two of the teams advancing to today's quarterfinal round played at Washington Township High School would be the Fighting Clan from Vineland taking on the Buena Chiefs. Vineland would score twice in the third inning, but it would be the bottom of the fourth that decided this game. When that inning was completed, sixteen batters came up to the plate scoring twelve runs off of nine hits which included a three run homer by shortstop Jared Gruccio for Buena. The Chiefs would advance to the next round against Seneca with their 13-3 victory in this event presented by the South Jersey Baseball Association.
This tournament which began last week found Buena advancing with their win over Florence and Vineland upsetting Absegami. The other teams that moved on to the next round were Moorestown defeating Sacred Heart, West Deptford winning over Eastern, Delsea downing Woodstown, Bishop Eustace getting by St. Joseph, Gloucester Catholic beating St. Augustine and Seneca advancing past Cherokee. This well organized event will end tomorrow with the championship game being played at Campbell’s Field in Camden, New Jersey.
Buena got on the scoreboard first when Mike Hinrichsen led off the second inning with a homerun to left. Vineland’s starting pitcher Sean Kennedy would get out of that inning just giving up that lone run as he would record his fourth strikeout of the game. The Clan would respond during the top half of the third scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. But during the bottom of the fourth inning, Wade Battelini started off the inning with a single and then scored the first of twelve runs. Gruccio had two hits during the inning that included a two run double and his homerun. Kyle Morgenweck also picked up two of his three hits during the deceive inning. Vineland’s Justin Menzoni connected with a solo homer during the fifth inning, but Buena would end this game early with the ten run lead after five innings.