All 3 OCHS teams advance today in NJSIAA play

By TOM WILLIAMS

Three Ocean City High School teams played in NJSIAA tournaments on Monday and all three advanced.

The most exciting was the rally by Girls Lacrosse (19-2) for a 17-13 win over Seneca that moved Alyssa-Rae Morrison’s team into the South Jersey Group 3 final.

Sophomore Gannon Brady pitched a three-hit shutout and Baseball (18-3) defeated Gloucester Township Tech, 2-0.

And sophomore Hailey Neville scattered six hits and Softball (16-5) defeated Hammonton, 3-1.

In girls lacrosse, Ocean City trailed Seneca most of the first half before tying the score at halftime. The Raiders had a 9-5 advantage in the second half. Danielle Donoghue was a major force with six goals and two assists. Anna Devlin was right behind, adding five goals and two assists with Ashley Devlin and Emily DiMarino each scoring twice.

The win moved the Raiders into the South Jersey Group 3 final on Thursday at Moorestown. The Quakers defeated Mainland, 20-5, in the other semifinal and are ranked No. 5 in the state by NJ.com. Ocean City, ranked No. 10, lost to Moorestown, 19-11, in the season opener in March.

In baseball, Brady struck out nine and walked two while improving his record to 6-0, tying teammate Brandon Lashley for the best won-lost record among Cape-Atlantic League pitchers. Jared Millstein led off the fourth inning with a double and scored on a two-out single by Tom Breazeale. The Raiders got an insurance run in the fifth when Shane Ferry led off with a single, courtesy runner Ben Hoag was bunted to second by M.J. Ginn and eventually scored on a balk and an error.

Andrew Bristol’s team is right back in action tomorrow when freshman Tom Finnegan (4-1, 1.04) takes the mound at 5th & Bay against Absegami in the final regular season game. The winner will tie Mainland for the CAL’s National Conference title.

Today’s win moved OCHS into the second round of the Group 3 Baseball Tournament. The Raiders will host Toms River East (9-13) on Thursday with Lashley (6-0, 0.48) getting the start.

The Ocean City softball team seems determined to keep John Bruno around as long as possible. Bruno will retire as softball coach after 20 seasons at the end of the season. But these girls just won’t let it end.

Neville struck out three and walked one in notching the win. Alex Vitola had a pair singles for the Raiders, producing two runs. But the blast that got the Raiders on the board was a home run by Christina Barbella in the third inning. Ocean City scored in the fourth inning when Lindsey Konick got a one-out single and scored on Vitola’s single. Vitola singled in the seventh inning and eventually scored on a Hammonton error.

Today’s win at Hammonton marked the first time an OCHS softball team has won back-to-back NJSIAA games in 30 years. The Raiders will travel to Moorestown on Thursday in a South Jersey semifinal. Moorestown defeated Mainland, 2-0, in the other quarterfinal today.

The interesting thing about this Group 3 Tournament is that the four semi-finalists are No. 4 seed Delsea, No. 6 Moorestown, No. 7 Ocean City and No. 8 Cherry Hill West. The top three seeds have been eliminated, including No. 3 Hammonton by the Raiders.

Joe LaTorre’s boys lacrosse team (19-2) plays an NJSIAA game at Carey Stadium on Wednesday. The Raiders will play Shawnee (14-3) in a South Jersey semi-final. OCHS is ranked No. 12 in the state and Shawnee is No. 13. The winner will face the Moorestown-Clearview winner in the South Jersey final on Saturday. Moorestown, despite its 8-9 record, is ranked No. 11 in the state.

This is a big week for OCHS sports teams and it started impressively today with three big wins.