Phil Anastasia: Buena wins Diamond

Buena shocked the world.

Well, the South Jersey baseball world anyway.

The Chiefs completed a remarkable weekend with a 9-8 victory over St. Augustine in the Diamond Classic final Sunday night at Eastern.

Buena executed a textbook, 9-6-2 relay to nail the potential winning run at the plate for the final out.

Before beating the No. 2 Hermits, Buena beat No. 1 Gloucester Catholic 4-3 in the semis.

"We looked at it as David vs. Goliath," Buena coach George West said.

St. Augustine beat Eastern, 13-12, in 10 innings in a wild semifinal. Before that, the Hermits' seniors graduated Sunday morning.

Junior Justin Geri had the key hit, a two-run single, in Buena's three-run sixth against Gloucester Catholic.

Geri started the relay for the final out in the final, bare-handing the ball in the right-center gap, firing to shortstop Anthony Lopez, who whirled and fired to catcher Manny Colon.

"Perfection," West said of the relay.

Final
St. Augustine 020 113 1 -- 8 14 1
Buena 001 530 x -- 9 7 2
WP: Chris Capriotti. LP: Kevin Baxter.
2B: SA-Carlo Randazzo, Cory Dick, Ed Charlton.

Semifinals
Gloucester Catholic 000 120 0 -- 3 9 1
Buena 100 003 x -- 4 6 0
WP: Jarred Corniell. LP: Bill Mendek
2B: GC-Brooks, Alessandrine, 2.

Eastern 030 010 700 1 - 12 10 2
St. Augustine 143 000 300 2 -- 13 12 1
WP: Cory Dick. LP: James Santore.
2B: E-Matt Lawson, Sean Hunter, McCoy Bean, Mike Marchitto, Tyler Love; SA-Barry Buchowski.
HR: SA-Carlo Randazzo, Ed Charlton, 2.

-- Phil Anastasia

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