Alex Soriano, Dan Sullivan pitch Clearview to Diamond Classic win

Clearview’s Ryan Gioia (18) and Daniel Sullivan (11) celebrate after Robert Gallagher (17) made the final tagout to end their game against Gateway at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, N.J., on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Clearview won 7-1.

Alex Soriano and Dan Sullivan combined to keep Clearview’s season alive.

And to extend their careers as well.

The senior pitchers led Clearview to a 7-1 victory over Gateway in a long-delayed Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic opener on Wednesday.

“We don’t want to hang it up just yet,” Sullivan said. “We’re going to go into the weekend and play some more baseball.”

The victory in a game that originally was scheduled to be played May 12 and was postponed twice by rain advanced Clearview (13-8) to Saturday’s quarterfinals. The Pioneers will meet Eastern at 1 p.m. at Deptford.

The 45th annual Diamond Classic semifinals and final are scheduled for Sunday.

Gateway (18-5) will look for a quick turnaround as the Gators, the No. 1 seed, host Colonial Conference rival Audubon in the second round of the South Jersey Group 1 tournament on Thursday.

“I was hoping we’d get good at-bats,” Gateway coach Frank Alloway said. “We hit the ball, they made some nice plays. We have to put it behind us.”

Senior Ryan Teschko went 3-for-4 for Gateway and registered his 100th career hit.

Junior Brandon Drapeau was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and senior Brett Yurgin was 2-for-4 and scored two runs for Clearview.

But the key for the Pioneers was the work on the mound by Soriano and Sullivan.

A righthander, Soriano went four innings, allowing one run on five hits.

“Everything was working,” Soriano said of his pitches. “Change-up, slider. I was able to keep the batters off balance.”

Sullivan, a righthander with a sidearm delivery, pitched the final three innings. He allowed four hits and no runs, with three strikeouts.

“They both did a great job,” Clearview coach Rolando Gautier said. “They threw strikes, pitched to contact, didn’t walk a lot of guys and we played good defense behind them.”

It was senior day for Clearview and the Pioneers honored their 12th graders and families before the game. There were flowers for the mothers and poster-like photos of the players on stands in front of the dugout.

But the biggest prize for the upperclassmen was the continuation of the season, and their careers.

After Monday’s 8-2 loss to Howell in the first round of the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, the Pioneers knew a loss would mean it was time to pack up the bats and balls until next spring.

“That was a tough ‘L,’” Soriano said of Monday’s setback. “We came out and played hard and that’s really all you can ask after a tough loss.”

Gautier said seniors such as Soriano, Sullivan, Yurgin and Rob Gallagher, who was 2-for-4 and scored a run, were determined to extend their careers.

“I knew how much it meant to the seniors to keep playing,” Gautier said. “Now the Diamond is our priority. It’s all we have left.”

Sullivan said the seniors were grateful for another opportunity after the first-round playoff loss as a No. 2 seed.

“It was deflating,” Sullivan said. “But we all wanted to keep playing. This is a great group of guys. We all wanted to come out here and give it our best shot.”

Clearview 060 000 1 – 7 9 1

Gateway 100 000 0 – 1 9 1

WP: Alex Soriano. LP: Chris Roethke.

2B: C-Mike Decker, Rob Gallagher. G-Ryan Teschko, Ryan Dipper, Kevin Teschko.