Kyle Gerace was nearly unhittable for Atlantic Shore on Monday, a performance his team needed badly to stay in contention in the Babe Ruth World Series.

Gerace pitched a complete-game, seven-inning shutout for a 1-0 win over Twin Cities, Wash., giving Atlantic Shore its first win of the tournament in Loudoun County, Va. Atlantic Shore consists of players ages 13-15 from Atlantic and Cape May counties.

“Kyle was in complete control the whole game,” coach Bill Rauzzino said by telephone. “He went through the lineup once — the leadoff guy got on in the fourth.

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“He was simply in total control. ... Even though we were only up 1-0, it felt like 5-0 or 6-0 because he was pitching. It was just a great job by Kyle.”

Gerace allowed only two hits and a walk, striking out five.

“Once the first inning was over and I got through the first four guys, I started to feel good,” Gerace said. “I got my groove and did what I do best — work the zone, throw strikes and keep my breaking ball down and get them chasing.”

In the second inning, Atlantic Shore got a double from Stephen Myers, who advanced to third on Jack Loefflad’s single. Nick Droboniku followed up with a sharp grounder to short, hitting into a double play that scored Myers and gave Atlantic Shore the 1-0 lead.

That one run was all Atlantic Shore needed to get its first win of the tournament after having lost two one-run games over the weekend.

“It’s a relief,” Rauzzino said. “It’s nice being on the other side of a one-run game.”

Atlantic Shore now controls its fate.

If it beatsTallahassee/Leon, Fla., in their 11 a.m. Wednesday game, they will be guaranteed at least third place in the division. The top three teams from each division will advance to the single-elimination round that begins Thursday.

“That’s huge to control your own destiny at this point after being only 1-2,” Rauzzino said.

Rauzzino told his players after Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to Greater Loudoun, Va., that it’s single elimination from this point on.

“It’s a little scary, but also it gives us something to focus on,” Gerace said. “We have one more game to win. Like Coach said, it’s single-elimination now, so we have to stay focused and do what we do best.

“We’re a very solid team overall. We can beat any team out there. I have all the confidence in my teammates and they have it in me. I know we can play to our full ability the next couple of games.”

Note: Atlantic Shore’s Matt Morgan was scheduled to compete in the World Series home-run derby Monday night. The derby included one player from each of the 10 teams.

Contact John Russo:


Twin Cities 000 000 0—0 2 1

Atlantic Shore 010 000 X—1 4 0

2B—Myers, A.

WP—Gerace. LP—Tereski.

Records—Twin Cities 0-2. Atlantic Shore 1-2.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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