Baseball: EHT beats Kingsway in SJ 4 opener

Drew Hickman said his best pitch was a two-seam fastball.

Acutally, his best pitch was strike one.

Hickman got ahead, stayed ahead, worked quickly and pounded the strike zone in a masterful performance for Egg Harbor Township in Wednesday's weather-delayed South Jersey Group 4 playoff opener.

A senior right-hander, Hickman needed just 79 pitches to hurl a three-hit complete game as second-seeded Egg Harbor Township beat 15th-seeded Kingsway 4-0 in a game played at Atlantic City's turf field off Filbert Avenue in the Chelsea Heights section of the city.

"To throw a complete game with 79 pitches -- that was incredible," EHT coach Bryan Carmichael said of Hickman's performance. "He threw strikes. He commanded the strike zone. He was very efficient."

Senior first baseman Connor Agostino rapped two doubles for EHT (19-4), which advance to play seventh-seeded Clearview in Thursday's quarterfinals, weather permitting.

Clearview eliminated EHT from the tournament in the sectional semifinals last season.

"We've been waiting to play them again since the beginning of the season," Agostino said.

The game was played at Atlantic City's turf field because of the condition of EHT's field after heavy rains on Monday.

Carmichael said the quarterfinal game vs. Clearview on Thursday is tentatively scheduled for EHT's home field, although the forecast is for steady rain.

The win was EHT's sixth in a row and 11th in the last 12 games.

"We're so hungry this year," Hickman said. "We've all been playing together since we were 6 or 7 in T-ball. We're best friends."

Said Agostino: "We're all pulling on the same rope."

Senior righthander Mike Biasiello was the hard-luck loser for Kingsway (11-12).

Biasiello worked a complete game, allowing seven hits and just one earned run.

EHT scored three unearned runs in the third inning, two of which scored on Kyle Transue's two-out double.

"That team has been averaging around eight runs a game," Kingsway coach Ian Enders said. "If you told me we would hold them to four, I would have thought we would win the game. Mike (Biasiello) did a great job. He pitched around trouble."

Hickman, who improved his record to 5-1, struck out four, including the game's final batter. He walked just one and induced nine ground-ball outs.

"He lived down," Enders said.

Kingsway 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1

Egg Harbor 103 000 x -- 4 7 3

WP: Drew Hickman. LP: Mike Biasiello.

2B: EHT-Connor Agostino 2, Kyle Transue.

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