EATONTOWN: The Memorial School boys baseball team (the Hawks) won the Coastal Intermediate Baseball League championship on May 27 with a 7-2 victory over Little Silver.
The victory marked the first baseball championship for the school which added the sport in 1998.
Based on a 4-5 regular season record, the Hawks were seated 5th going into the playoffs. In the first round, Eatontown defeated Fair Haven by the score of 2-0 on the strength of a no hitter pitched by Ricky Voss. Voss struck out six including the last batter of the game where he threw his favorite pitch which he calls a thumb ball, which froze the batter on a strike three call by the umpire.
In the second round of the playoffs, Eatontown defeated Tinton Falls by a score of 5-4 in 8 innings. A key moment in that game occurred with the score tied 4-4 in the top of the 8th inning. Eatontown had the bases loaded and no outs. Danny Smith hit a ground ball to third base. The third baseman threw it home for the first out. The catcher then threw to first base for the second out. While those plays were going on, Evan Mahns was on second base and was sent home by Coach Guiliano in which he slid into home plate safely which gave the Hawks a 5-4 lead. Mahns then came out to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning and the Hawks advanced to the championship game.
In Tuesday’s game versus Little Silver, Eatontown led 1-0 going into the 5th inning when they would score six additional runs and take a 7-0 lead behind the strong pitching of Evan Mahns. Little Silver rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. Ricky Voss replaced Mahns on the mound and secured the final outs of the game and the Eatontown victory. Ricky Voss was nominated by his teammates as the team MVP and Danny Smith was nominated for the sportsmanship award.
Head Coach Rob Guiliano commented that, "Before the game vs. Tinton Falls, I was thinking how can I add some extra motivation and focus towards our ball club."
"In our pregame talk, I asked the players to think about someone in their life that they wanted to dedicate this game to," Guiliano said. "I reminded them that several of the boys wear certain numbers on the back of their jersey in honor of their dad or grandfather. I looked into their eyes and they accepted that challenge throughout the playoffs. The players all made the commitment to win this championship for their families, school and community.”
Even though all of Eatontown’s games where played on the road, there were strongly supported with a large turnout of parents, teachers and other members of the community. Assistant Coach Gary Woloshin noted that "I'm very proud of these boys for coming together as a team in order to achieve a common goal.
"As a first year coach, it was refreshing to witness a young team show as much heart and pride as they displayed," Woloshin said.