WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — Jack Peacock made some clutch contributions Saturday afternoon, but the sophomore and the rest of his St. Augustine Prep baseball teammates walked away disappointed.
The third-seeded Hermits suffered a 4-3 loss to sixth-seeded Shawnee in the second round of the 46th annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic at Washington Township High School.
The game went eight innings after the Renegades’ Dom Frigola scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh to make it 3-3. Conner Coolahan drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to cap the scoring.
“The name of the game today was that we didn’t execute,” St. Augustine coach Mike Bylone said. “We didn’t make good decisions out in the field. We didn’t get the ball down when we needed to.
“And that’s baseball. It happens, but I told them, ‘Go home, this is going to hurt a little bit and get back at it’ (at 3:45 p.m. Monday at Millville).”
Shawnee, ranked No. 9 in The Press Elite 11, improved to 15-5. The Hermits, ranked second, fell to 19-3.
Shawnee followed up with a 3-1 win over Bishop Eustace in the semifinals. The Renegades will play Haddonfield in the championship game Wednesday at Eastern Regional.
Last season, St. Augustine won the state Non-Public A title.
“It’s always nice to advance in this tournament because it prepares us for the playoffs,” Bylone said, “but the real prize starts two weeks from now in the state playoffs.”
With bases loaded in the sixth inning, freshman Kyle Neri singled in Kenny Levari, who previously doubled, to tie the game 2-2.
Peacock then singled in Matt Kousmine to give the Hermits a 3-2 lead.
The Hermits had bases loaded with one out but did not continue to capitalize on the opportunity.
“I was seeing the ball real good today,” said Peacock, 17, of Williamstown. “He gave me a change-up, and I just sat back and poked it to left field to put the team ahead.
“But that doesn’t really mean anything because we lost.”
With two outs in the second inning, Peacock had another RBI single that drove in Neri to give the Hermits a 1-0 lead.
The Renegades scored in the fourth inning on a passed ball to tie it 1-1.
Peacock’s brother, Gerry, also plays for the Hermits. But Gerry, one of their top pitchers, had Tommy John surgery last month and will miss his senior season.
Gerry said he should be ready for his freshman season next spring at the University of Notre Dame.
“I think we just had a rough time,” Jack Peacock said, “and we didn’t really pick up our pitchers.
“We have playoffs coming up, and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully we will make a good run and win a championship.”
Jay Hoopes went four innings, struck out six and walked two for the Hermits. Levari, the losing pitcher, struck out four and walked two.
The Renegades’ Dylan Parker, the winning pitcher, threw two no-hit innings and struck out five to finish the game. The senior was cleared Friday to pitch after a hand injury kept him out the last three weeks.
“It felt awesome,” said Parker, 18 of Medford. “They are a tough team, always have been. They can be scary and intimidating. But just stay composed, and the rest is history.”
Cole Vanderslice doubled, and Brian Furey singled. Levari also singled in the first inning.
St. Augustine starts some underclassmen, such as sophomores Peacock and Ryan Weingartner, and freshman Neri.
“I told them, ‘Everyone, look themselves in the mirror, and that I look everyday to think of things I could do better,’” Bylone said. “Win or lose, every game is a learning experience. We will see how we bounce back. This team has always been resilient that way.”
Shawnee 000 110 11 — 4
St. Augustine 010 002 00 — 3
2B—Dalsey, Frigola S; Vanderslice, Levari SA.
Records—Shawnee 15-5, St. Augustine 19-3.