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High School Baseball:
Gloucester Catholic Slams Home Another Classic Victory

Sunday, May 28, 2000

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Finally, the championship game for the 2000 South Jersey Baseball Coaches Association Diamond Classic Tournament was played. The familiar home of the tournament, Union Field in West Deptford, saw the Cherokee Chiefs hosting the Gloucester Catholic Rams. Brad Reed highlighted the eight run third inning with a grand slam, as Gloucester Catholic cruised to the 16-5 Classic victory.

Add another statistic to the "Diamond Classic Tournament Firsts," which are compiled by Charlie Schick from the South Jersey Baseball Historical Society. First five time champions go to the Gloucester Catholic Rams. Add 2000 to the years that the Rams have won this Annual Joe Hartmann Tournament. The Rams, coached by Dennis Barth, witnessed their victories in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000.

The Rams jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the game off. The lead did not last long when the Chiefs batted in the bottom of the second inning. Pat O'Brien drew a walk on four straight pitches. The next batter, Dustin Roach took a one and one pitch over the centerfield fence to tie the game. Starting Rams' pitcher Jeff Mazzola settled down and recorded the next two outs with strikeouts and got out of the inning.


The top of the third inning started out with shortstop Brad Reed getting on base and reaching second. Next he stole third base and scored on Matt Ryan's single to left. Ryan would later steal home on a pickoff play at first base. In the same inning, Reed stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He slammed a fast pitch over the fence for a grand slam to cap an eight-inning run.

Cherokee would make a run in the bottom of the fourth when Mike Scanzano's single to right loaded the bases with one out. John Sutton pinch hitting came through with a seeing eye single for a RBI. Ed McDonnell and Phil D'Alonzo each received RBIs with bases loaded walks to bring the score to 10-5. That's when a pitching change was made and the Rams' coach brought in shortstop Reed. Yes, the same person who cleared the bases with a homerun. Well, he slammed the door shut to end the Cherokee threat.

Gloucester Catholic ended the game in the fifth inning when they scored six more runs to establish the 10-run rule. When the game ended, Gloucester had captured their fourth Diamond Classic title in five years. Coach Barth was able to save his starting pitching rotation for the group A playoffs, plus come away with the victory.

Both of these teams are still involved in their group championship titles. The Rams next opponent in the South Jersey Group A tournament is Bishop Ahr. Cherokee's next familiar opponent is the Shawnee Renegades in the quarterfinals for the South Jersey Group 4 tournament. The Chiefs are the defending champions.

Photos by Art Redd

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