RVL Action Thursday, June 8, 2017

Newill hurls shutout in Burlington victory

Max Newill pitched a five-hitter for Burlington in a 10-0 decision over Burlington Township.  Newill worked all seven innings, struck out four and walked none. He contributed an RBI single during a four-run third inning that put Burlington in control.  Marshall Harden had two hits and two RBIs. The Mets took the lead on a two-run double by Mark Stumpf in the second inning, widened the gap to 6-0 in the third and pulled away.

RVL Action: Monday, June 5, 2017

Burlington Mets slip past Riverside

Mark Stumpf had two hits and two RBIs for the Burlington Mets in an 8-7 win over Riverside.  Burlington boosted its record to 4-0 when an error allowed the Mets to score the winning run in the bottom half of the sixth inning.  Marshall Harden also had two RBIs for Burlington. Shaun Babula reached base three times (single, two walks) and scored three run.  John Harvey was the winning pitcher in relief, working two scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked one.

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Guckin, Youngberg in control for Burlington Mets' victory

Sam Guckin and Zach Youngberg combined on a two-hitter for Burlington in a 10-0 decision over Delran.  Guckin threw four hitless innings, getting the win as Burlington improved to 5-0. He struck out seven and walked one. Youngberg worked the final three frames with six strikeouts and no walks.  Matt Fischer and Ben Youngberg had three RBIs apiece. Mark Stumpf had two hits and Scott Carcaise scored three runs.  Vince Gares and Josh Newton singled for Delran in the seventh inning before Zach Youngberg ended the game with a strikeout.

RVL Action: Sunday, June 11, 2017

Krankowski leads Pine Barrens

Ronnie Krankowski struck out 11 in a six-hitter for Pine Barrens in a 4-3 win over Cinnaminson.  Krankowski and Tyler Kaiser hit doubles for Pine Barrens (2-3) in the game. Billy Dove doubled for Cinnaminson, which lost for only the second time in seven games.

Vincentown 15, Delran 0

Kyle Cichy worked the first four innings for the win, allowing one hit as the Merchants improved to 8-0.  Darren Fisher pitched the final three innings and struck out six. Fisher also contributed two hits and three RBIs while Cichy had four hits.  Jim Best had four hits, scored three runs and batted in a pair. Stefan Kancylarz had three hits and three RBIs.


RVL Action: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Burlington remains undefeated with win over DelranFive runs in the first inning propelled Burlington to a 13-0 win over Delran.  Marshall Harden batted in the first run with a single, one of his three hits that helped Burlington to its seventh win without a loss. Vinny James had two hits and two RBIs.  Mark Stumpf and Ben Youngberg had two RBIs each, and Kyle Semmel had two hits. Mets starter Ryan Bell worked four innings (five strikeouts) for the win.  Joe Cashman and Tyler Malia each had two of Delran's six hits.

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fast start propels Burlington past Cinnaminson

Three runs in the first inning launched Burlington to a 6-0 decision over Cinnaminson.  Sam Guckin pitched the first five innings for the win, allowing four hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Zach Youngberg finished it with two hitless innings.  Shaun Babula, who had two hits, raced home on an error to put Burlington (8-0) on the board. Mike Kerns doubled the second run home and Jon Wetzel's single made the score 3-0.  Matt Fischer and Mark Stumpf also had two hits each, and Marshall Harden had two RBIs. Cinnaminson received two hits from Mark Wickersham.

Pine Barrens defeats Burlington Township

Connor Arsenault had three hits, scored three runs and batted in three for Pine Barrens in a 17-8 win over Burlington Township at Patty Bowker Field.  Mike Follet also had three hits and three RBIs in support of winning pitcher Alec Marconi in the victory. Trent Fiori was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and scored three times for Pine Barrens.


RVL Action: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pine Barrens edges Vincentown

Pine Barrens scored twice in the eighth inning for an 8-6 win over Vincentown.  Jeff Schick doubled home the go-ahead run in the top half of the eighth. Phil Shallenberger's RBI single made it a two-run lead.  Shallenberger, who took the mound to get the last two outs in the home seventh, worked a scoreless eighth to preserve the win.  Ronnie Krankowski had three hits and Tyler Cunningham had three RBIs for Pine Barrens (4-4). Sam Pepper and Stefan Kancylarz hit home runs for league leader Vincentown (9-1).


RVL Action Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dan Hill, Matt Fischer spark Burlington victory

Dan Hill was 3-for-3 for Burlington in a 9-2 win over Riverside.  Matt Fischer had three RBIs to help Burlington remain undefeated with the victory. Shaun Babula and Mark Stumpf each had two hits and scored three runs for the Mets (9-0).  Babula pitched five innings for the win, allowing four hits while striking out eight and walking one. Jeff Dixon worked the last two frames and struck out five.  Tommy Gamble and Brendon Pell batted in the runs for Riverside (6-3-1).


RVL Action Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Burlington tops Cinnaminson, improves to 10-0

Scott Carcaise hit a two-run double in the first inning, igniting Burlington to an 11-2 win over Cinnaminson.  Burlington (10-0) scored four times in the first and cruised to its 10th win without a loss. Carcaise finished with two hits and three RBIs.  Max Newill went all the way on the mound for the win. He struck out eight and walked one while scattering seven hits.  Shaun Babula had three hits and two RBIs. Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Stumpf and Ben Youngberg had two hits apiece.  Cinnaminson (5-5) received two hits each from Kyle Ballay and Billy Dove.

Vincentown 5, Burlington Township 0:

Corey Feigenbaum singled two runs home in the fifth and the Merchants (10-1) added three more in the inning. Dave Gibson struck out 10 and walked three in a five-hitter.


RVL Action: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Burlington gets past Burlington Twp.

Mark Stumpf had three hits and three RBIs for Burlington in a 5-1 win over Burlington Township.  Stumpf doubled two runs home in the bottom of the sixth inning, expanding a 3-1 lead. Shaun Babula had two hits, scored three runs and stole three bases.  Kyle Semmel had two hits and three steals. Ryan Bell pitched six innings for the win, struck out six and walked one as the Mets improved to 11-0.  Mike Audet had two hits for Township. Dave Torres' single scored Brett Hoffman, who'd led off the top of the sixth inning with a double.


RVL Action: Monday, June 26, 2017

Joo leads Riverside to baseball triumph

Winning pitcher Kevin Joo went the distance for Riverside in an 11-1 victory over Burlington Township.  Joo allowed two hits and struck out 10 as the Patriots improved to 8-3-1. Joo also had two hits and two RBIs.  Brendan Pell had two hits and three RBIs for Riverside. Paul Bako doubled twice with one RBI and Henry Chou had two RBIs.

Burlington 7, Pine Barrens 3:

Vinny James batted in three runs, and Matt Fischer had two hits and scored two runs for the first-place Mets (12-1).  Sean Gusrang also had two hits and Shaun Babula went the distance for the win, allowing 11 hits but walking none.  Mike Follet, Joey Markee, Tyler Powell and Phil Shallenberger had two hits apiece for Pine Barrens (5-6).


RVL Action: Sunday, June 25, 2017

Burlington Township 'walks off' with win over Delran

Mike Audet's two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Burlington Township to a 4-3 victory over Delran.  Delran had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh when Stevie Stevenson singled and later scored on a passed ball. Chase Thomas pitched a three-hitter for the win. Matt Million had two hits and Dennis Stewart scored three times for BT, which improved to 1-12. The Steelers fell to 0-13-1.

Pine Barrens 1, Burlington 0:

Alec Marconi tossed a two-hitter and batterymate Connor Arsenault had two hits and scored the only run as Pine Barrens (5-5) defeated Burlington (11-1) at Patty Bowker Field.  Arsenault led off the bottom of the fifth with a single; he had doubled earlier. He was sacrificed to second by John Swajkowski and scored when Matt Fenton's two-out single skipped past the outfielder.  The Mets had the potential tying run on second in the seventh, but Marconi got the final out for his league-leading fourth victory. The right-hander struck out two and walked none, throwing just 67 pitches (51 strikes).  Sam Guckin was the tough-luck loser, falling to 2-1. He combined with Jeff Dixon on a four-hitter.

Cinnaminson 4, Vincentown 1:

Jim Goodwin (6 IP) and John Bednarek (save) combined to lift the Reds (7-5) over the Merchants (10-2).  Kyle Ballay and Mark Wickersham each had two hits for the winners, while Dan Mackafee knocked in two runs.  Kyle Cichy collected two hits and scored a run for V-town.


RVL Action: Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vincentown 2, Cinnaminson 1:

Veteran Matt Weaver's two-run single in the first inning proved the difference.  Corey Fiegenbaum pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out nine.


RVL Action: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Riverside defeats Burlington

Winning pitcher Dan Reese threw five strong innings and Riverside upset first-place Burlington 10-4 at Bob Kenney Field.  Shane Pastore had three RBIs and two hits for the winners (8-3-1), while Jonnie McGugan had a two-run single and Devin Connelly a two-run double. Veteran Donnie Strain also had two hits.  Casey Donahue and Matt Fischer each had a pair of hits for the Mets (12-2), who were hurt by four errors.  The teams meet again Thursday, 6:15, at Life Center Academy.

Cinnaminson 9, Delran 2:

Brothers Joe and Frank Sirolli each had two hits, as did Bill Dove, as the Reds got back on the winning track.  Lefty John Bednarek pitched five strong innings for the win.  Tyler Malia had three hits for Delran.


RVL Action: Thursday, June 29, 2017

Newill, Harden lift Burlington past Riverside

Max Newill won his third straight complete-game effort as the Burlington Mets defeated Riverside 13-5.  Newill allowed six hits and struck out four as the first-place Mets improved to 13-2.  Marshall Harden had three hits and four RBIs to lead the offense. Mark Stumpf scored three runs, Kyle Semmel and Dan Hennigan had two RBIs, and Ryan Bell added two hits.  Dan Fischer and Devin Connelly each had two hits for Riverside (9-4-1).


RVL Action: Friday, July 7, 2017

Babula shutout paces Burlington

Shaun Babula went all the way for the win in Burlington's 3-0 decision over Pine Barrens.  Babula allowed three hits, walked no one and struck out nine. Kyle Semmel had two hits for Burlington and batted in a run. Vinny James and Ben Youngberg had the Mets' other RBIs.  Pine Barrens pitcher Nick Henderson helped keep the Phantoms in it, allowing one run through five innings before Burlington tallied twice in the sixth. 

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Best's HR powers Vincentown over Riverside

Jim Best hit a home run for Vincentown in a 13-5 decision over Riverside.  Best's blast was a three-run shot and John Bujanowski Jr. had three hits as V-Town improved to 12-2.  Winning pitcher Dave Gibson worked five innings, gave up six hits, struck out eight and walked none.  The teams' second holiday week meeting is scheduled for Saturday, 9 p.m., at Harry Thompson Field in Southampton.

Stratus ip to sponsor 2017 RVL Scholarship

July 9, 2017

The Rancocas Valley League (RVL) and league sponsor, Stratus ip, are pleased to announce a scholarship to be awarded to an active RVL player attending college in 2017-2018. Stratus ip, founded by former RVL player and manager Mike Dlug, is a regional sales and support organization specializing in providing and managing voice, data, and cloud services and solutions to small, medium and large-scale businesses. Stratus ip has generously donated a $2,000 scholarship to a deserving student-athlete.  Any current RVL player who will be attending college during the Fall 2017 semester is eligible to apply.  The application deadline is August 1, 2017.  The scholarship will be awarded during the 2017 RVL Championship Series at Harry S. Thompson Memorial Field in Southampton, NJ.  The RVL Championship is a best-of-five series tentatively scheduled to begin on August 13, 2017.  

Dlug, the founder and CEO of Stratus ip, played for Delran from 1999-2005 and was player-manager from 2006-2009.  During Dlug’s tenure Delran won 3 RVL championships (2002, 2007, 2008) and a Colonial York Tournament Championship (2003). Dlug was also named league MVP in 2007.  Dlug retired at the end of the 2009 season to focus on developing and expanding his business.

The RVL Scholarship Program was first established in 2004 and two awards each year were given to RVL players enrolled in a collegiate undergraduate program.  Dlug was also instrumental in organizing and operating various fundraisers to support the RVL Scholarship Program during his years as a player and manager. 

Winners will be chosen by a Committee of RVL alumni organized by Stratus ip and based on the applicant’s character, scholarship, need, and baseball achievements.  The $2000 scholarship represents the largest single award given to an RVL student-athlete since the inception of the program.

RVL Scholarship Application

RVL Action: Monday, July 10, 2017

Vincentown 5, Pine Barrens 3:

John Bujanowski Jr. had a double, triple and two RBIs in the Merchants' victory.  Sam Pepper was 2-for-2 for V-Town and Dave Gibson pitched 6⅔ innings for the win. Gibson struck out nine, walked two and gave up five hits before Kevin Boswick got the final out to save it.  Mike Follet and Phil Shallenberger each had two hits for the Phantoms, and Matt Fenton scored twice.

RVL Action: Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pine Barrens tops Cinnaminson

Brad Machinski reached base four times and aided Pine Barrens in an 8-5 win over Cinnaminson.  Machinski was 2-for-2, walked twice and scored three runs in the Phantoms' victory.  Machinski and Joey Markee had doubles in an attack that supported winning pitcher Alec Marconi, who worked the first five innings. Ronnie Krankowski saved it with two hitless frames.

RVL Action: Tuesday July 11, 2017

Yanick helps Cinnaminson to victory

Matt Yanick had a home run for Cinnaminson in a 6-1 win over Delran.  Yanick had three hits in the victory, Cinnaminson's 10th in 17 games.  Jim Goodwin was the winning pitcher.  Dylan Butler's double was a Delran highlight.

Hennigan's hustle puts Burlington in line for victory (Courtesy of Joe Tansey, Burlington County Times)

Hustling down the first base line isn’t appreciated all the time, but it is when it makes a difference.  Dan Hennigan’s hard running produced the first run in the Burlington Mets’ 3-0 win over the Vincentown Merchants in Rancocas Valley League baseball Tuesday.

With Shaun Babula on third base and two outs, Hennigan busted his tail down the line and produced a run after being called safe.  “I was just upset that I didn’t hit it the way I wanted to, so I ran as hard as I could,” Hennigan said.

Babula singled with one out, and stole second and third to put himself in position to score.  “Shaun did a great job starting it up for us,” Hennigan said. “I was just trying to get him in. Shaun hustled so it would be messed up if I didn’t hustle too. It matters. Our pitcher pitched so well that I didn’t want to not hustle and not help him.”  “That’s great stuff,” winning pitcher Sam Guckin said. “Our older guys are out here still hustling and making plays and having fun.”

By that point in the game, Guckin had started to find a rhythm on the mound. Guckin (3-1) threw seven shutout innings as Burlington improved to 15-2 with the win at Life Center Academy.  “The first couple innings I was struggling to throw strikes,” Guckin said. “I felt good after the fourth inning, throwing strikes and moving quicker trying to get the quick outs.”

Burlington produced two more runs by way of small ball in the sixth to provide a little insurance for Guckin. Babula singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Fischer. After getting his second hit, Hennigan scored on Jon Wetzel's second single. “Any way you can get a run, you try to get a run,” Hennigan said. “There have been games where we’re hitting the ball hard. Today we weren’t so we have to do what it takes to manufacture the run and Shaun was doing it. We were trying to bunt. We had a lot of small ball going on and that’s how we won the game.”

By record, the Mets are a half-game ahead of Vincentown (15-3) but the Merchants' 31.5 points in the standings is a half-point more than Burlington.  “I think that’s pretty much the best team other than us,” Guckin said. “The best two teams in the league. It’s good to come out and beat them quickly.”


Matt Weaver had two of Vincentown's four hits. ... The Mets' Kyle Semmel had two hits off Corey Feigenbaum (2-1). ... The teams will meet four more times during the regular season: July 18, 20 and 27 at Vincentown, and July 24 at Life Center Academy.

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Burlington 14, Delran 4: 

Shaun Babula, Casey Donahue and Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and two RBIs apiece for the winners.  Sean Gusrang (home run) and Dan Hennigan also had two RBIs each. Paul Guerrieri had three hits and scored three runs. Winning pitcher Zach Youngberg had 10 strikeouts and one walk in six innings, allowing one earned run.  Dylan Butler hit a two-run double for Delran. Tyler Malia had an RBI double and Ryan Albertson's groundout plated the fourth run.

Pine Barrens holds off Burlington Twp.

Pine Barrens used a four-run third inning on its way to a 6-4 win over Burlington Township.  John Swajkowski's two-run single capped the rally that gave the Phantoms the lead for good.    Nick Henderson had an RBI double, following a double by Tyler Cunningham. Mike Follet and Tyler Kaiser contributed singles in the inning.  Township had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a home run by Nigel Gray that also scored Ben Harris, who'd doubled. Harris had three hits on the night and Gray finished with two hits and three RBIs.  Pine Barrens extended its lead to 6-2 with two runs in the fourth. Ronnie Krankowski threw five innings for the win, Shane Young got five outs and Brad Machinski got the final out after Township closed to within 6-4.

2017 RVL Playoffs: 1st Round, Game 1

August 5, 2017
Burlington Township's RVL playoff win one for the record

Records mean nothing when they are erased before the postseason.  After winning just three of their 27 regular-season games, the Burlington Township Pirates opened the Rancocas Valley League postseason Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Cinnaminson Reds in the first game of their best-of-three series.

Connor Thomas twirled a complete game on the mound and Stephen Cotoni scored on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning to hand the Pirates a rare victory. They were 0-5 against the Reds during the regular season.  “It’s awesome,” Thomas said. “This is the first game we won in the playoffs since I’ve been on this team. It’s a great feeling. Getting the six seed over Delran with three wins is huge because we get to see these guys instead of Vincentown. It’s just a great feeling to get this one off our back.”  Five innings of scoreless ball with very few runners in scoring position turned into a thrilling sixth inning where margins for error were incredibly small.

BT leadoff hitter Cotoni struck out, but the ball skirted away from the box and allowed him to reach first base. Cotoni then scurried over to second on a passed ball and reached third on a single by Eddie Eifert. “I struck out ... I chased the pitch away, and as soon as I strike out all I could do is run to first," Cotoni said. "I saw how far the ball went so I sprinted as fast as I could and got there. I was going to steal, but the first pitch got away so I just ended up at second. Those plays are huge, especially reading those little things.”

Two batters later, Cotoni crossed the plate for the game’s lone run as he was brought in by Chase Thomas’ fielder’s choice. “(Plays like that are) huge, especially with the wind blowing like it was,” Connor Thomas said. “It’s a station-to-station ballgame and it’s huge for your team especially that late in the game. Steve did a great job reading and we got a couple of fielder’s choices to get him across. We’ll take runs any way we can get them.”

Connor Thomas then shut down a Cinnaminson rally in the bottom of the sixth. The Reds loaded the bases, but the Pirates were bailed out by a fielder’s choice off the bat of Dan Mackafee.  That led for an easy seventh for Thomas, who retired the side before a celebration broke out around the mound.  “I was working all day,” he said. “The final out isn’t what gets me. Once I got the first guy flying out to right in the last inning it kept my mind in the zone and I did what I was doing all day.”

“He did phenomenal,” Cotoni said. “Connor doesn’t bring too much, but he brings what you need. He brings good pitches in good spots. He doesn’t overpower anybody. He knows what his curveball can do and his fastball has a little tail.”

Now the Pirates actually have some momentum going into Sunday’s Game 2. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Harry Thompson Field.  “I’ve been telling them the whole year we’re going to run the table in the playoffs,” Cotoni said. “Don’t fall asleep on us. We’ve played everyone five times this season. We’ve lost to each team a lot of times, but we’re keeping them close every time we play them. I knew as soon we got our shot in the playoffs we could make a run.”


Thomas' shutout was just the second in Pirates' six-year history. The last one came on July 27, 2012, when T.J. Lovenduski blanked Pine Barrens 3-0. ... Mark Wickersham had two hits for the Reds. ... Player-coach Frank Sirolli just missed a home run for Cinnaminson when he doubled off the top of the fence in right field, just beyond the reach of Dennis Stewart, who made several outstanding catches. ... Steve Bowley pitched well for the Reds, who were 17-10-1 during the regular season. They were 5-0 vs. the Pirates, winning 6-2, 6-2, 7-2, 3-0 and 6-3.

Riverside, Vincentown win with late rallies

Riverside pushed across two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Pine Barrens 3-2 in the opening game of their Rancocas Valley League quarterfinal series Saturday.  Trailing 2-1 against tough reliever Phil Shallenberger, Paul Bacco singled and scored on a double by Eric Oliver. Phil Stiles then delivered the game-winning single.  Dan Reese was the winning pitcher, throwing a complete game. He dueled with Phantoms ace Alec Marconi for 5⅔ innings.  Tyler Kaiser hit a home run for Pine Barrens, while Nick Henderson had two hits.

Game 2 will be Sunday at 4 p.m. at Harry W. Thompson Field.

Vincentown 2, Delran 1:

Ian Thomas singled and scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Merchants avoided what would have been the day's second major upset.  Thomas was bunted to second by Kevin Boswick, then took third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild throw.  Thomas, the grandson of V-town's legendary manager Harry Thompson, also singled earlier to score Johnny Bujanowski, who had doubled.

The Steelers scored in the second inning when Trent Eastman doubled and later scored on a ground out.  Vincentown's Ryan Kulik and Delran's C.J. McNutt both pitched complete games. Kulik struck out eight.  "That McNutt is a nice little pitcher," Thompson said. "He threw a lot of junk and my team is a fastball hitting team."

Game 2 will be Sunday night at 7.





Time Change for RVL Playoffs

August 5, 2017

Today's RVL playoff games start times have been changed.  The first game, Burlington Twp vs. Cinnaminson, will now start at 12pm.  The Pine Barrens vs. Riverside game will start at 3pm and the Delran vs. Vincentown game will start at 6pm


2017 RVL Playoffs: 1st Round, Game 2

August 6, 2017

Cinnaminson, Pine Barrens force third game; V-town sweeps  

Cinnaminson rolled past Burlington Township 8-0 Sunday afternoon to force a Game 3 in their best-of-three quarterfinal of the Rancocas Valley Baseball League playoffs at Harry Thompson Field.  After being shut out 1-0 on Saturday the Reds jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one inning. A single by Frank Sirolli, a double by Kyle Ballay and back-to-back walks to Matt Yanick and Mike Wasco produced one run.  Billy Dove then slugged a grand slam home run just inside the left-field fair pole. It was 5-0 before many of the fans had settled into their seats.  Conall Roberts had three hits for the Reds and scored two runs.  Chase Thomas, Township's ace, settled down after that first inning, allowing just two runs (one earned) over the next six innings.

The Reds used three pitchers — winner John Bednarek, Matt Kelty and Steve Melchiorre — and they combined on a four-hitter with eight strikeouts. Bednarek went the first four to earn the win.  Steve Cotoni, Dennis Stewart, Matt Million and Dennis Aupperle had Township's hits. Aupperle also walked twice. Cotoni had the defensive play of the game, ranging from deep right-center to deep left-center to rob Wasco of an extra-base hit with a diving catch.

Game 3 is tentatively scheduled for Monday night at 6:30, weather permitting.

Pine Barrens 10, Riverside 3:

Lefty Tommy Giunta pitched six-plus strong innings as the Phantoms evened the best-of-three quarterfinal at 1-1.  After losing Saturday's opener when Riverside rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, Pine Barrens came out swinging Sunday, taking an early 3-0 lead against starter Clinton Hart and expanding that to 8-0 after five.  Tyler Kaiser was 4-for-4 and scored three times; Phil Shallenberger was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Nick Henderson was 2-for-3 and got the final three outs in relief of Giunta.  Riverside's runs came in the top of the seventh on a three-run home run by Phil Stiles.

Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night (weather permitting), following the Cinnaminson-BT showdown.

Vincentown 13, Delran 0:

Veteran left-hander Dave Gibson pitched a two-hit, 10-strikeout shutout as the Merchants swept their quarterfinal matchup. The defending champions had won the opener 2-1 in eight innings on Saturday.  V-town advances to the semifinals later this week against an opponent to be determined.  The Merchants broke the ice in the fourth with a run on a sacrifice fly, then scored three times in the fifth. Kevin Carty had a two-run single and Ian Thomas continued his hot hitting with an RBI single.

Matt Weaver had two hits and three RBIs, John Bujanowski Jr. had two hits and two RBIs, Pat Donnelly and Thomas each had two hits. Stephan Kanzylarz also knocked in a pair.

RVL Playoffs Postponed Due to Weather

August 7, 2017

Both games will be played tomorrow, Tuesday, August 8th, weather permitting.

2017 RVL Playoffs: 1st Round, Game 3

August 8, 2017

Pine Barrens accelerates into RVL semifinals  Courtesy of Joe Tansey, Burlington County Times

The Pine Barrens Phantoms had plenty of experience blowing leads during the Rancocas Valley League regular season. That’s why they made sure not to let up on Tuesday night, no matter how large the margin was. Pine Barrens dominated Riverside 14-0 in the deciding Game 3 of their quarterfinal series on Tuesday at Harry W. Thompson Field.

Pine Barrens will face Burlington in the semifinals that begin Wednesday night back at Harry W. Thompson Field. In the other semifinal, Vincentown will play Cinnaminson, which scored twice in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 win over Burlington Township in Tuesday's late quarterfinal.  The Phantoms were led by a tremendous performance on the mound and at the plate from Ronnie Krankowski.  “We’ve blown a lot of leads this year so that’s why we never took the foot off the pedal today," Krankowski said. "We made sure of it.  “That’s one good thing about blowing leads during the year, especially to Riverside. We blew a lot of games against them. One thing we’ve learned is to not let up so that actually may have helped us even though it wasn’t good. I think it helped us today because we had to realize we had to keep scoring.”

Krankowski, the cleanup hitter, started the barrage of hits with a solo home run to center field in the second inning. He ended 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs.  “Hopefully that got us going, but we put up 14 so it was everybody who had a piece in this one,” Krankowski said.

The floodgates started to open in the third, when Ryan Valentine and Krankowski put together back-to-back RBI hits. Valentine drove in Connor Arsenault and Tyler Kaiser on a two-run single, while Krankowski plated Joey Markee on a single.  Pine Barrens trotted a pair across the plate in the fourth and the fifth. RBI singles from Jeff Schick and Markee brought in John Szwajkowski and Arsenault.  “That’s what we have to do more of going forward, just making sure we get guys on base first and get the hits,” Krankowski said. “If we get runners on with no outs, we’re scoring runs."

Szwajkowski did all the damage in the fifth as he blasted a two-run homer over the right field fence.  The first six batters sent to the plate in the sixth scored for the Phantoms. A two-run double by Ryan Kelly was the highlight of the inning. Krankowski also pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and striking out eight.  “I haven’t pitched in probably two weeks so I felt fresh,” Krankowski said. “Confidence is key. It means we have momentum. Hopefully we didn’t use all the runs up. I think we’re finally clicking at the right time.”

2017 RVL Semi-Finals, Game 1

August 9, 2017

Six-run rally lifts Burlington past Pine Barrens in RVL series opener   Courtesy of Joe Tansey, Burlington County Times

Never count the old men out of the game.  That was the saying that reverberated from the first-base dugout at Harry W. Thompson Field Wednesday night after the Burlington Mets defeated the Pine Barrens Phantoms 6-5.  The Mets scored all six of their runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three semifinal series in the Rancocas Valley League playoffs.

    Dan Hennigan started and ended the six-run, 10-batter rally, doubling to start the seventh and hitting a walk-off single to left field to win it.  “Down five, we just needed a lot of base runners,” Hennigan said. “I didn’t matter in terms of scoring in the beginning. I mattered in terms of keeping the cycle going as long as possible until we got a fifth guy on base. That’s really all we were trying to do.”

The first two Burlington runs came off the bat of Ben Youngberg, who drilled a double to deep center field to score Hennigan and Sean Gusrang. “Early I was looking a fastball to be able to drive,” Youngberg said. “I saw that fastball and I knew I really wanted to capitalize on that, really let my hips work and drive it to the biggest part of the field.”

Kyle Semmel followed with a two-bagger of his own that brought home Matt Fischer and Youngberg.  After an infield single by Shaun Babula and an error that put Mark Stumpf on base, Hennigan stepped to the plate again, this time against Nick Henderson, who had relieved starter Alec Marconi.  Hennigan fouled off two pitches and finally took a 2-2 pitch into left field to score Babula with the winning run.  “(Henderson) had just come in,” Hennigan said. “He threw a couple good sliders in warmups. He was throwing fastball and slider and we were trying to time him up while he was warming up. I knew I was getting one of those two pitches. I didn’t think I could get beat on the fastball so I was sitting on slider and I finally got one and put a barrel on it.”

Pine Barrens had built its lead in the middle innings against Babula, as Ryan Kelley produced RBI singles in the third and fifth, while Connor Arsenault knocked in one on a single in the fourth.  John Szwajkowski provided the Phantoms with what appeared to be a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run single, but that didn’t prove to be enough to stop the top-seeded Mets.  Babula was the winning pitcher despite allowing 11 hits (three by Henderson). He struck out eight and walked two.

The veteran lefty had gotten the pitching decision in Burlington's three wins — two by shutout — over Pine Barrens during the regular season. The Phantoms beat the Mets once, when Marconi prevailed 1-0 in a duel with Sam Guckin.  The teams will return to the diamond on Thursday at 6:45 for Game 2. Despite carrying all the momentum, the Mets expect the Phantoms to come back ready to tie up the series.  “I’m sure they’re a little bummed, but they’re going to come ready to play,” Hennigan said. “It’s just natural. Clearly they have had some good at-bats and I’m sure they’re going to do the same thing tomorrow.”

Vincentown 4, Cinnaminson 2

Kevin Boswick's three-run double in the bottom of the fourth broke a scoreless tie and lifted the Merchants to a win in the opener of their best-of-three semifinal. Game 2 is Thursday night following the second game of the Burlington-Pine Barrens series.  Kyle Cichy's RBI single provided the final V-town run.

Corey Feigenbaum, who was 3-2 during the regular season, earned the pitching win. Jim Goodwin, the league's winningest pitcher during the season at 7-2, took the loss.

2017 RVL Semi-Finals, Game 2

August 10, 2017

Burlington edges Pine Barrens, advances to RVL finals

They made it a little more interesting than it should have been, but the Burlington Mets still got their sweep.  Burlington advanced to the Rancocas Valley League finals with a 5-4 win over Pine Barrens in Game 2 of their best-of-three series on Thursday night.  The Mets survived a pair of late rallies by the Phantoms to advance to the best-of-five finals against Vincentown, which defeated Cinnaminson 10-6 late Thursday night to complete their own sweep.

Unlike Game 1 on Wednesday night, Burlington jumped out to an immediate lead on Thursday.  Scott Carcaise drove in Mark Stumpf on with a single in the top of the first inning and Dan Hennigan crossed home on the same play after an error.

Pine Barrens got one back in the bottom of the first when Ronnie Krankowski drove home Tyler Kaiser with a sacrifice fly to right field.  After that, the Mets started tacking on runs. Ben Youngberg's double to left in the third plated Carcaise. Two more runs scored in the fourth.  "Right now I'm real confident in my swing. I'm getting good reps before the game," Youngberg said. "At this point, I just try to stay consistent through everything."

Following a balk by Krankowski, in relief of starter Tom Giunta, that pushed runners to second and third, Matt Fischer dropped a two-run single into short left that scored Hennigan and Carcaise.  "I'm not sure if it was a fastball or changeup but I got it off the end of the bat and got it down the line," Fischer said.

Pine Barrens made it a tight ballgame in the sixth, tacking on three runs after loading the bases. Tyler Powell's sacrifice fly brought in the first run and John Szwajkowski plated two more with a line drive single to center.

Sam Guckin tossed 5 1/3 solid innings on the mound for the Mets before Ryan Bell closed out the sixth. Prior to the game, the league presented its scholarships to Bell ($2,000 Stratus ip/RVL) and Guckin ($500 RVL).  Lefthander Max Newill entered in the seventh to close the game out for the top seed. Pine Barrens loaded the bases thanks to consecutive errors. Newill finished the game by retiring Krankowski on a groundout.  "Max was throwing the ball real well. He didn't make a bad pitch," Fischer said. "There were a couple infield singles and an error, but he's a bulldog and he's out there to battle. He makes pitches when he needs to."

Now the focus turns to the finals that will begin Saturday night at Harry W. Thompson Field.  "We'll be ready to go," Fischer said.

Vincentown 10, Cinnaminson 6

Kyle Cichy hit a three-run double to spark a second-inning outburst that lifted the defending champions back into the final.  Cichy also came into the game in relief and ended a fifth-inning threat.  Billy Dove hit a two-run home run for the Reds.

Stratus ip and RVL Award Scholarships

August 10, 2017

Prior to the second games of the RVL semi-finals, Stratus ip and the RVL presented scholarships to two deserving scholar-athletes.  Ryan Bell, a three-year member of the Burlington Mets and senior at Rowan University, was awarded the Stratus ip Scholarship in the amount of $2000.  Stratus ip, a regional sales and support organization specializing in voice, data, and cloud services and solutions to small, medium and large-scale businesses, was founded by CEO Mike Dlug, a former player/manager of the Delran franchise (pictured right with Bell).  Bell application was selected based on the criteria of character, scholarship, basis of need, and baseball achievements by a selection committee of RVL alumini including Dlug and former Delran players, Tom Shank, Joe Olivo, Chris Reinas, and Bruce Bohem.

Sam Guckin, a three-year player for the Burlington Mets and junior at Mt. Olive University, was selected as the RVL scholarship winner.  Guckin, pictured right with Executive Secretary Steve Kolwicz, received $500 towards college expenses.  Since 2004, The RVL has presented two $500 scholarships to any RVL player enrolled in college on the basis of need, character, scholarship, and baseball achievements.  Bell and Guckin are the sixth and seventh Burlington Met player to receive a scholarship.  Five players from Vincentown and four players from Cinnaminson have also won past awards. 


Photos courtesy of Dave Hernandez, Burlington County Times


2017 RVL Championship: Game 1

August 12, 2017

Vincentown powers its way to 1-0 lead  Courtesy of Jarrad Saffren, Correspondent, Burlington County Times

It is becoming an August tradition at Harry W. Thompson Field: The Vincentown home run derby in the Rancocas Valley Baseball League championship series. In Game 2 of the 2016 title series, Vincentown blasted seven home runs in an 18-0 win. In Game 1 of the 2017 series on Saturday night, the Merchants cranked three homers in a 9-1 victory over top-seed Burlington. 

Vincentown is two wins away from a second consecutive title. Game 2 is Sunday night at 7 back at Harry W. Thompson Field.  This year’s team features many of the same players as last year. Frank Cerami hit three of the seven home runs in the 18-0 win last year. Matt Weaver bopped one of them. Both also homered Saturday night, an equally humid, equally windless evening as the one last August.   “I just love playing in August, I guess,” Cerami said, laughing. “Whenever it’s the championship or playoffs, you lock in a little more. I have a little more focus.”  “We haven’t even been hitting as many home runs this year,” said Vincentown manager Harry Thompson. “We’re a powerful team but we just haven’t been hitting them.”

All three bombs came in one inning, the top of the fifth. They turned a 1-1 tie into a 5-1 Vincentown lead and “It put them out of the game,” Thompson said.  Burlington starter Max Newill had been keeping the ball down all game. But with Weaver at the plate, Newill finally left a pitch up. Weaver, a right-handed batter, reached out and slammed it over the right-field fence into a tree.  “When I used to play all the time, most of my home runs were center field or the other way,” Weaver said. “I like to get my hands extended. I’m not a big fan of the inside pitch.”

Newill did not make the same mistake twice. He kept the ball down the rest of the inning. But Johnny Bujanowski and Cerami still golfed balls over the left-field fence.  Bujanowski rocketed a two-run tape-measure into a tree trunk. Cerami barreled a solo moonshot into the parking lot. “It was a 2-0 pitch so I was just sitting on something good over the plate,” Cerami said. “It was low but I could get the barrel to it and golf it out of here.”

Vincentown made Newill throw a lot of pitches. By the fifth, his pitch count was already in the 80s. “And it was humid out here,” Thompson said.   Vincentown starter Ryan Kulik also threw a lot of pitches, 81 in five innings. But he avoided the blowup inning. Kulik, a short, solid, bearded left-hander, used a looping curveball to strike batters out with men on. “I worked down in the zone and made pitches when I had to,” said Kulik said, who allowed one unearned run. “I pitched well enough to win.”


2017 RVL Championship: Game 2

August 13, 2017

Best-case scenario has Vincentown one win from RVL repeat  Courtesy of Joe Tansey, Burlington County Times

Jim Best's patience was tested Sunday night.  The Vincentown Merchants cleanup hitter drew the game-winning walk with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom half of the seventh inning.

The Merchants' 5-4 win over the Burlington Mets handed them a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Rancocas Valley League championship series. Vincentown can clinch its second straight league title with a victory Monday night in Game 3.  Best swung at a 3-0 pitch from Ryan Bell, then remained patient to draw the base on balls.  "Real tough. I definitely shouldn't have swung at that 3-0 pitch," Best said. "They've been throwing me soft all night so I thought they were going to keep doing that and staying away. I was surprised they did it with the bases loaded."

The Merchants started where they left off Saturday — a 9-1 win in the series opener — as the bats came alive to produce three first-inning runs.  Stefan Kancylarz and Matt Weaver reached base on a walk and single. Best knocked both in with a single.  "They've been on fire," Best said. "We've had a lot of opportunities with guys getting on base early."

Ryan Kulik then plated Best with a single to right field.  Burlington chipped away at the lead in the top half of the third, when Scott Carcaise drove in Shaun Babula with a single.

Vincentown (25-6-1 record) countered right away in the home half of the third with a solo shot to deep left off the bat of John Bujanowski Jr.  The back-and-forth action continued as Burlington (25-7) leveled the contest with a three-run rally in the fourth.  Marshall Harden scored on an error, Kyle Semmel came across on a Mark Stumpf single and Dan Hennigan's sacrifice fly plated Casey Donahue.

The bats remained dormant until the seventh. Kancylarz struck a one-out single to right and Matt Weaver tagged a double down the left field line. An intentional walk to Kyle Cichy loaded the bases for the Merchants.  "He was coming hard in and mixing in his offspeed pitches," Weaver said. "I was able to put my eggs in one crate and I was seeing the ball well off him all night."

The game-winning walk was then delivered to Best to set up the scenario for Game 3, scheduled for 7 p.m. back at Harry W. Thompson Field."It's big. We want to get it over with," Weaver said. "We feel like we're a better team than them. It's going to come down to who's got the ball and how many arms are on the bench."

2017 RVL Championship: Game 3

Vincentown's second straight Rancocas Valley League crown now on the record  Courtesy of Jarred Saffren, BCT

Vincentown manager Harry Thompson said it after his team's Game 1 win on Saturday night: “We have the best team in this league ... just don’t print that.”  Two nights later Vincentown beat Burlington 4-1 in Game 3 of the best-of-five Rancocas Valley Baseball League finals, completing a series sweep. As Thompson’s players doused him with champagne on the field that bears his name, the 87-year-old, true to form, kept right on talking through foamy lips.   “I told the reporter … the other … night," Thompson said. “We have the best team in this league.” Then he turned to said reporter, smiled a knowing smile and said, “You can print that now.”  

Vincentown finished second in the regular season, then went 7-0 through three postseason rounds. The Merchants were 26-6-1 overall.  Last August, during their blowout win in the RVL championship series, a Vincentown player called his team, “The Yankees of this league.”   But the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2009. And Vincentown has won two straight RVL titles, and 15 since the league started in 1947. Only Cinnaminson, with 18, as won more.   The Yankees wish they were the Vincentown of Major League Baseball.   “We have a dynasty,” Thompson said. “And it’s gonna continue. These guys are coming back.”

“I’ll most likely be back,” said first-year Vincentown pitcher Corey Feigenbaum, the winning pitcher Monday night. “It’s been a fun season. I love playing with these guys.”   “This is my third championship. I gotta catch my dad. He has like 10,” said Vincentown center fielder Johnny Bujanowski Jr., whose dad, John Sr., has played or coached for Vincentown since 1990.  

In the first inning Monday night, regular-season champion Burlington stroked four straight singles and took a 1-0 lead. The Mets looked ready to put up a crooked number and stave off elimination.  They appeared to go up 2-0 on a diving catch by right fielder Kyle Cichy. But after a throw to third base, the umpire raised his fist, calling the runner out for leaving too early. Burlington questioned the call.  “Why would he need to leave early with the outfielder on the ground?” hollered one Burlington player. The ump just looked straight ahead and ignored them.   Burlington (25-8) was never heard from again. 


Feigenbaum allowed no runs over the next six innings.  “I just kept throwing,” Feigenbaum said. “Those hits were little bloops and flares.”

Vincentown catcher Jim Best is built like a catcher: short and stocky. He is also not a fast runner and opponents know this.  So after his double in the sixth inning Monday night, his third hit of the game, Burlington did not hold him on. The pitcher and middle infielders did not even look at him, even though he represented the go-ahead run.   As the pitcher kicked his leg, Best took off for third. Bujanowski smoked the ball over the glove of leaping third baseman Marshall Harden. Best raced home and scored standing up.   It was the go-ahead run, the championship-winning run.   “My legs are kind of dead right now. I was hauling,” Best said, laughing. “That was my call. Harry gives us that kind of freedom.”

Shortstop Matt Weaver, who had doubled earlier, sealed the win with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh.

RVL Action: Monday, June 5, 2017

Burlington Mets slip past Riverside

Mark Stumpf had two hits and two RBIs for the Burlington Mets in an 8-7 win over Riverside.  Burlington boosted its record to 4-0 when an error allowed the Mets to score the winning run in the bottom half of the sixth inning.  Marshall Harden also had two RBIs for Burlington. Shaun Babula reached base three times (single, two walks) and scored three run.  John Harvey was the winning pitcher in relief, working two scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked one.