By TOM WILLIAMS
Ocean City High School’s baseball team finally got back on the field today.
After playing just one game in 12 days and none in a week, Andrew Bristol’s team pushed across three unearned runs in its final two at bats and rode the two-hit shutout pitching of Dan Nunan to a 3-0 win over Delsea in the opening round of the NJSIAA Group 3 Tournament. Check out Bristol’s exclusive post-game interview, below.
The win advanced the Raiders (16-4) to the second round of South Jersey Group 3 tomorrow (4pm) against Seneca (16-5) at 5th & Bay. Junior Brandon Lashley (4-2, 1.73 ERA) will get the start for Ocean City. Seneca has a strong hitting team, led by left-handed hitter Nick Decker, who is batting .500 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs. Decker has committed to Maryland but Baseball America ranks him as the 76th top high school prospect in the country. Seneca was a 5-4 winner this month over Bishop Eustace, the team that knocked OCHS out of the Diamond Classic.
Nunan (5-0, 1.83) struck out the side in the first two innings and struck out at least one batter in each inning, including the final out of the game. He now has 74 strikeouts and 21 walks in just over 37 innings of work. This was his second complete game shutout this year. He beat Holy Spirit, 1-0, last month.
Delsea senior Jimmy Kimmel, who played on the Cusaders’ football team that eliminated the Raiders from the playoffs, pitched four shutout innings.
In the fifth, Lashley and Syd Unsworth both walked and advanced to second and third with stolen bases. They scored when Parker Bristol’s ground ball was mis-played.
Ocean City, the No. 2 seed in South Jersey Group 3, added another run in the sixth when Issac Robertson reached on an error, stole second and scored on a double by Shane Ferry.
Delsea, the No. 15 seed, finished the season 6-13.
The winner of tomorrow’s Ocean City-Seneca game will play the winner of tomorrow’s game in Runnemede between Triton (14-8) and Mainland (14-5). That game will be played on Tuesday in the semifinals and if the Raiders win tomorrow, it will also be played in Ocean City. In the other half of the South Jersey Group 3 bracket, Timber Creek (12-11) is at Central Regional (15-7) and Cherry Hill West (11-9) at Highland (14-7).
The OCHS regular season game at Oakcrest, scheduled for tomorrow, will be played next week. Bristol’s team needs to beat either Oakcrest or Cedar Creek to win the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference championship.
Follow OCHS spring sports day-by-day at the Raider Sports Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.