TOMS RIVER, N.J. - Cody Brown pitched another gem and Gloucester Catholic overpowered Newark Academy on Saturday in the Non-Public B state championship baseball game at Toms River North.
The Rams won, 14-2, in a game stopped after 41/2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. They had the double-digit lead after three innings.
Thus, Gloucester Catholic defended the state crown it won last season, and with six juniors in the starting lineup, the Rams are in a good position to win another next year. Saturday, they won their 15th state title overall, more than any other team in New Jersey.
Ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, the Rams concluded the season with a 31-2 record. Newark Academy finished 16-13.
The Minutemen struggled from the beginning, when they committed two errors and Gloucester Catholic took a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Newark Academy starter Adam Seltzer left after two-thirds of an inning.
In all, Newark Academy used four pitchers to try to stem the tide, but the Rams kept doing what they do best: bunt, run, hit, and score.
"Anytime you get to the state championship, you're playing a team that is pretty good," Gloucester Catholic coach Dennis Barth said. "We played well. We bunted good. We got timely hits. Cody pitched another awesome game. So we put it all together. It's a good way to go out."
Brown rolled to his 12th straight victory this season with no losses. The Central Connecticut State-bound senior gave up two hits, struck out seven, and walked one.
He was sailing along with a no-hitter and a 14-0 lead in the fourth inning when second baseman Steven Catena singled to center field. Centerfielder David Webster followed with a triple to the same location, and the Minutemen had their first run.
"It was a fastball out over the plate," Webster said. "He threw me a change-up on the pitch before, so I thought he might come in with a fastball.
"I was hoping for a rally at that point, but we fell a little bit short."
Webster scored from third when Brown was called for a balk, and the score was 14-2.
Brown had gone 10 straight innings without giving up a hit. Still, he didn't seem too concerned about losing the no-hitter or shutout.
"We like to jump on them early," Brown said. "Put a hurtin' on them, keep that in the back of their heads.
"The score was lopsided, but they made it here. We're going to play our ball."
The Rams pounded 11 hits, including two-run doubles by Joe Brooks, John Brue, and Rob Alessandrine, as well as a home run by Brown.
Brown ended the scoring for the Rams in a nine-run third inning in which 14 batters came to the plate, blasting a homer that drove in Brue and Brett Tenuto.
Newark Academy 000 20 - 2 2 2
Gloucester Catholic 509 0x - 14 11 1
WP: Cody Brown. LP: Adam Seltzer. 2B: GC–Joe Brooks, John Brue, Ron Alessandrine. 3B: NA–David Webster. HR: GC–Cody Brown.