|VIDEO: St. Joe's blanks Bergen Catholic to claim sectional title|
St. Joseph got a second chance in its baseball sectional final with rival Bergen Catholic. And the Green Knights seized the opportunity handed to them by the weather.
A day after rain washed away a 3-1 deficit, pitcher Mike Warren fired a four-hitter as St. Joe's won the North Non-Public A sectional title with a 4-0 win over the Crusaders. The Knights played tremendous defense on the turf at Breslin Field in Lyndhurst.
Offensively, St. Joe's put together two rallies all day, and managed to score twice in each opportunity. A pair of double steals helped the Knights take a 2-0 lead in the first, and they scored two more in the sixth, after loading the bases, thanks to a walk and a hit batsman.
The third-seeded Knights ended up with just six hits on the day; Isaias Quiroz and Dom Paiotti had two apiece.
Warren was far from dominating on the hill, with just one strikeout, but he issued no walks and allowed few hard-hit balls. The St. Joe's defense turned everything it could into an out, short-circuiting potential rallies in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Sonny Ulliana had two hits for Bergen Catholic, the top seed in the North Non-Public A bracket. Pitcher Jared Verebey was strong through the middle innings after a rough start. The Crusaders finish the season 21-5-1.
St. Joe's is now 23-5-1 and will face St. John Vianney in the state final, Saturday afternoon at Toms River East High School.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey state tournament high school boys' baseball game, click play in the box at left.