Cinnaminson tops Holy Cross

Cinnaminson's Marty McDonald pitches against Holy Cross. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff

With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth inning and a runner on second, Cinnaminson's Christian DeLuca sent a towering shot to center field.

DeLuca hit the ball very well, but it looked catchable. Then Holy Cross' centerfielder fell. The ball fell, too, allowing Jimmy Dever to score the go-ahead run and DeLuca to coast into third base.

"When I was rounding second, I saw him trip, and I was like: 'Well, I definitely have third now,' " said DeLuca, a senior centerfielder. "I was looking for four, but he got up and threw it in pretty well."

The triple turned out to be enough, as the Pirates topped the Lancers, 4-2, Friday in a Burlington County Patriot League baseball matchup in Cinnaminson.

"Every year, they always seem to edge one out on us," DeLuca said. "No matter who's better, who's not, it doesn't matter. It's always a good game. Senior year, didn't want them to get this one on me."

Marty McDonald pitched a complete game for Cinnaminson, striking out five and walking two. Coach Kevin Merrill described McDonald as "our bull" and said McDonald would never want to come out of a game.

The game was played in windy, cold conditions. Despite that, a small group of parents and students cheered on the Pirates.

"The wind made it interesting in the outfield - that's for sure," Merrill said. "You don't expect these type of weather games ever, but hey, it was equal for both teams. I don't think the weather decided the game in any way, shape, or form."

Cinnaminson is the reigning Group 2 state champion. Although the team lost some key performers from last season, Merrill is confident. DeLuca said he believes the team can win the state title again.

Merrill said DeLuca, who led off against Holy Cross, batted third last year.

"He's got good speed," Merrill said. "He's got good power. He could bat three still, but with the lineup we had, I felt, 'Let's let him bat leadoff.' He does have a good eye, and he can get on base."

Holy Cross 000 011 0 - 2 5 0

Cinnaminson 100 012 x - 4 6 1

WP: Marty McDonald. LP: Vincent Naurath. 2B: HC-Ryan Valentine, Brandon Simmons; C-Christian DeLuca, Travis Pewar. 3B: C-DeLuca.