James Schroth pitched three scoreless innings of relief and drove in the winning run as Audubon beat Haddon Township, 3-2, Friday in the South Jersey Group 1 title game.
Andrew Schorr and Boomer Wickersham also had RBIs for Audubon (22-6), the defending state champion which advanced to face the Florence-Pt. Pleasant Beach winner in Tuesday's state semifinals at TCNJ.
It was a strange game. Schorr, Audubon's ace starter, pitched four-plus innings and did not allow a hit. But he walked nine and was replaced by Schroth with no outs and a runner on first on the fifth.
Schroth shut down Haddon Township, which managed just one hit in the game. The Hawks walked 11 times and scored on a wild pitch and a fielder's choice -- both times after walking three times to load the bases.
With the score tied, 2-2, Audubon senior Keith Michalski led off the bottom of the sixth with a double. Doug Young laid down a sacrifice bunt and Schroth, who said he had batted seven times all season, delivered an RBI single on a 3-2 pitch.
"I was just trying to make contact," Schroth said.
Tyler Easterday led off the seventh with HT's first and only hit, a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Schroth retired the Hawks' No. 3 and No. 3 hitters on flies to centerfield with the tying run on second.
"It's one of the strangest (games) I've been around," Audubon coach Rich Horan said. "But it's baseball. You're around baseball enough, you're going to see strange stuff."
-- Phil Anastasia