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Baseball: Eustace sent home early

05/28/2014, 8:15am EDT
By Dan Angelo, SJSD

Crusaders title march stopped short by St. John Vianney

PENNSAUKEN — The two, three and four-hole hitters of St. John Vianney’s combined for seven RBIs off of one of South Jersey’s winningest pitchers, and its pitcher, Justin Chin, shut out one of the best lineups in South Jersey.  

The result?

Eighth-seeded St. John Vianney upset the top seed in the South Jersey Non-Public A bracket, Bishop Eustace, 10-0.

The scoring opened in the top of the third when St. John senior two-hole hitter, Chris Loney, popped a two-run homer over the short porch in right field.

“I chased a fastball, then I saw his slider.  I saw another one, and that’s the pitch I took out,” recalled Loney.

The home run was his first of the year.  

In the fifth inning, St. John Vianney put together a five-run outburst to stretch the lead to 7-0.  Loney knocked in the first run, then St. John’s No. 3 hitter, Joe Rotelli, launched a two-run double deep over the center fielder’s head.  Up next, clean up man Evan Pietronico hit a two-run homer to straightaway center.

“I thought it was a pop up off the bat,” admitted Pietronico. 

Meanwhile, on the mound, St. John senior southpaw Justin Chin pitched a solid game in a complete game effort.  

When asked what the game plan was going in against Eustace, Chin said, “I was supposed to bust right-handers in and keep the ball away from their lefties,” a strategy Chin confirmed was to stay away from Eustace’s short right field fence.

Chin said he got tired in the fifth inning but assured his coach he wanted to finish what he started.  He benefitted from great defense behind him.  His team made just one error.

Vianney coach Mike Morgan said they had played one other game like that this season defensively, but that the Eustace game was as good one as he thinks his team can play on defense.

“The team has 15 seniors, so I told them to leave it all out there in these playoffs,” said Morgan.

St. John Vianney moves on to play fourth-seeded Christian Brothers Academy on Friday in a South Jersey Non-Public A semifinal.  The other Non-Public, South A semifinal will see No. 3 seed St. Augustine visit No. 2 seed Gloucester Catholic at 4 p.m. Friday.

St. Augustine slipped past 11th-seeded Immaculata 3-0 Tuesday and Gloucester Catholic ousted 7th-seeded Camden Catholic 4-1.

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