2106 RVL Schedule Officially Released!

The RVL has officially released the 2016 schedule and it has been posted on the website.  The first game of the season will be played on May 10th and feature the return of the Delran franchise taking on the Vincentown Merchants at Harry W. Thompson field.  The league has expanded to 8 teams for the first time since 2014, after the exit of the Mt. Laurel franchise.  Each team will play a 28-game schedule until the season's end on July 28th.  The annual playoff tournament will begin on Saturday, July 30th at Harry Thompson Field and return to the traditional 4-game format featuring all 8 teams.  Cinnaminson will take the field on May 11th against Willingboro, looking to defend its 2015 title.   

RVL Action: Thursday, May 12, 2016

Burlington Township wins its season opener in RVL

Dave Torres batted in the go-ahead run and Burlington Township went on to a 5-2 win over Willingboro.  Torres' single followed three straight walks and broke a 2-2 tie. Burlington Township later extended the lead to 5-2 and withstood a Willingboro run to hold on. By winning their season opener, the Pirates matched last summer's win total.  Chase Thomas was the winning pitcher, working five innings with six strikeouts.

Willingboro received two hits from veteran Jamie Schwantes. It was the Townsends' second loss, having dropped a nine-inning 1-0 decision to Cinnaminson on Wednesday night.

Vincentown 3, Delran 2

Kevin Carty squeezed home the winning run in the bottom of the sixth, enabling the Merchants to pull out their opener.

Jim Best's single batted in the previous two runs and Vincentown pitcher Ryan Kulik struck out 12 to prevail in his duel with Delran's Anthony Coniglio (13 Ks). Tyler Malia and Shane Pastore had two hits apiece for Delran.

RVL Action: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Burlington Township tops Cinnaminson in RVL

Chase Thomas went the distance for Burlington Township in a 5-3 win over Cinnaminson.  Thomas struck out eight as Township picked up its second win of the season. Brian Romani hit a two-run double for Burlington Township and Mark DuBree had a two-run single.  The Pirates have won twice this season after finishing last year with one win.

Vincentown 5, Delran 0:

Dave Gibson pitched a two-hitter and the Merchants were ignited by a two-run double from Mike Ferrara in the second inning. Kevin Carty had two hits for Vincentown.

RVL Action: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chris Rollins in control in Willingboro RVL triumph

Winning pitcher Chris Rollins struck out 10 and pitched a two-hitter for Willingboro in a 6-1 decision over Delran.  Rollins worked all seven innings and walked none.  Brett Kuchera was 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Isaiah Lewis had two hits and scored two runs.

Stephan Kancylarz, Ryan Kulik lead Vincentown

Stephan Kancylarz scored three runs and collected a pair of hits including a two-run game-winning home run as Vincentown outlasted Riverside 7-5. Southpaw Ryan Kulik notched the win with 13 strikeouts.

RVL Action: Friday, May 20, 2016

Burlington posts RVL victory

Paul Guerrieri was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, forcing in the winning run as the Burlington Mets edged the Burlington Township Pirates 4-3.
Zach Youngberg reached on a misplay of his infield pop to start the winning rally. After Casey Donahuge singled and Dan Hennigan walked, pitcher Tyler Diaz got Sean Gusrang, who had drilled a long three-run home run earlier, to ground into a force at the plate. But the next pitch plunked Guerrieri.
The much-improved Pirates, who won only one of their 31 games last year, came into the game with a 2-0 record and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Adam Quaranta led off with a home run off John Harvey and two more runs scored on an overthrow at third base.
Harvey and Youngberg threw blanks for the final six-plus innings. Diaz pitched a complete game.

RVL Action: May 23, 2016

Pine Barrens opens with RVL baseball win

John Franchi was 4-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored Monday as Pine Barrens won its opening game, 9-2 over Burlington Township.  Matt Curry was also solid for the Phantoms, going 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs. Alec Marconi picked up the win.

Burlington 7, Vincentown 4

Vinny James had two hits, including a solo home run, and Matt Fisher had three hits as the Mets topped the Merchants in a battle of unbeaten.  Sean Gusrang and Matt Jolly each added two hits, while Garrett Mull had a two-run double for the Mets. Ryan Bell picked up the win, with help from two relievers.  Mike Weaver had two hits for V-town, which was aided by four errors.

RVL Action: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Burlington Township picks up third RVL triumph

Chase Thomas struck out 10 in a four-hitter for Burlington Township in a 3-2 win over Willingboro.  Thomas improved his record to 3-0 this season with support from Adam Quaranta and Ben Fadool. Quaranta doubled, singled and batted in a run while Fadool tripled, singled and scored two runs.

RVL Action: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cinnaminson 7, Pine Barrens 0

Jim Goodwin was the winning pitcher and Frank Sirolli had three hits and two RBIs.  Dockins also had two RBIs and Greg Gilbert reached base in all three plate appearances (double, walk, hit by pitch).  Pine Barrens' Ronnie Krankowski was 1-for-2 with a walk

RVL Action: Thursday, May 26th

Newill in control on mound as Burlington goes to 4-0 in RVL

Winning pitcher Max Newill struck out nine in the Burlington Mets' 7-1 decision over Riverside.  Newill issued no walks, allowed three hits and the Patriots' run was unearned.  Matt Fischer and Shaun Babula had two hits apiece as Burlington improved to 4-0.

Cinnaminson 5, Willingboro 1

Pat Graham picked up the victory on the mound and the Reds improved to 4-1.  John Dockins and Kyle Higgins had two hits each for Cinnaminson.  Willingboro received two hits from Isaiah Hall.


RVL Action: May 31, 2016

Burlington Township defeats Delran

Chase Thomas went the distance for Burlington Township in a 17-1 victory over Delran.  Thomas went the five-inning distance, struck out seven and allowed four hits in his fourth victory of the season.  Ben Fadool had a three-run triple and scored three runs for Burlington Township (4-3). Dennis Stewart tripled, singled, scored two runs and batted in two.

Vincentown 13, Pine Barrens 1

Frank Cerami had three hits and three RBIs for Vincentown in a 13-1 win over Pine Barrens. Ryan Kulik was the winning pitcher.


RVL Action: June 1, 2016

Riverside wins first game

Phil Stiles doubled in the tying run and the winning run scored on a bases-loaded walk as Riverside defeated Pine Barrens 4-3.  Devin Connelly was 2-for-2 and Tyler Wolf earned the pitching win. The victory was the first for Riverside in four games this season.  Shane Jarrett had a triple for the Phantoms, and Brett Lyons took the loss.

Vincentown 3, Burlington 2:

Mike Ferrara singled the winning run home in the sixth inning, helping Dave Gibson to the mound decision.  Gibson struck out eight, allowed two hits and one earned run. Matt Weaver's two hits helped the Merchants hand the Mets their first loss.


RVL Action: June 2, 2016

Cinnaminson, Burlington keep pace in RVL

Three players combined for six hits in the Cinnaminson Reds' 6-4 victory over Delran.  Joe Sirolli was 2-for-3, and John Dockins and Mike Wasco each went 2-for-4 as Cinnaminson won for the fifth time in six games this season. Brett Miller was the winning pitcher.  Chris Covington was 2-for-4, both doubles, for Delran.

Burlington 10, Willingboro 6

Matt Fischer's grand-slam home run in the bottom of the seventh enabled the Mets to improve to 5-1.  Sean Gusrang singled to start the winning rally, was sacrificed to second by cleanup hitter Vinny James (who had doubled his previous at-bat) and took third on Matt Jolly's hit before a walk filled the bases for Fischer.  Jolly had three hits, while Gusrang, Dave Viselli and Paul Guerrieri (two-run HR) added two each.  The Townsends had 14 hits, including home runs by Matt Speckman and Brett Kuchera, who both had three hits. Rich Stronski, Dan Hill, Isaiah Hall and Mark Stumpf each had a pair of hits.

RVL Action: Monday, June 6, 2016

Pine Barrens 6, Vincentown 5:

The Phantoms scored the winning run when Duncan Balara's ground ball resulted in an errant throw home in the top of the eighth.  Winning pitcher Ronnie Krankowski then held the lead in the bottom of the frame, finishing a complete game in which he struck out 13. Austin Kurey had a double and two RBIs for Pine Barrens.  Vincentown forced extra innings when Stefan Kancylarz hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. Jim Best had a double and two RBIs for the Merchants.

RVL Action: Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Shane Pastore in control as Delran prevails

Shane Pastore pitched the shutout in Delran's 3-0 decision over Pine Barrens.  Pastore, who played for Pine Barrens the past two summers, went the distance and struck out eight as Delran boosted its record to 3-6. Tyler Malia had two hits and two RBIs, and Ed Salkowski had two hits.

Cinnaminson 3, Vincentown 2:

Two runs in the sixth inning lifted the Reds past the Merchants. Wasco's home run tied the game and Greg Santora tripled home the winning run.  Santora also had an RBI single in the fourth inning. John Dockins had two hits and winning pitcher Jim Goodwin worked all seven innings and allowed four hits.   Vincentown pitcher Ryan Kulik also went the distance and had 11 strikeouts. Sam Pepper doubled and walked three times in four plate appearances, and Matt Weaver doubled for the Merchants (6-3).

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cullen Carter has the key hit in Riverside RVL triumph

Cullen Carter batted in the winning run for Riverside in a 4-1 victory over Burlington.  Pitchers Devon Hedgepath and Kevin Joo, who got the decision, combined for six strikeouts as Riverside won for the second time in five games.  Hedgepeth's stint consisted of four scoreless innings and Phil Stiles contributed a double for Riverside.  The Mets lost for the second time in seven games.

Cinnaminson 5, Pine Barrens 1 

Troy Hunter pitched a six-hitter and went the distance in a victory that boosted the Reds (7-1) into first place.  Mike Wasco walked three times and scored twice. Bill Dove stole four bases and had an RBI single. Cody MacNair and Frank Sirolli had RBI doubles.  The Phantoms (2-6) received two hits from Mike Follet and an RBI double from Matt Curry.

RVL Action: Thursday, June 9, 2016

Big sixth inning leads Willingboro to RVL triumph

Willingboro broke open a 6-all tie with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat the Burlington Mets 12-8.  The Townsends (2-6), ending a three-game skid, combined three hits, a couple of walks and a bases-loaded error for the six-spot.  Jon Wetzel and Conner MacFarlane each had three hits for the winners, while Mark Stumpf and Zack Van Meter had two each.  Sean Gusrang had a single and a three-run homer, while Casey Donahue added a pair of hits for the Mets (5-3), who have dropped two straight and three of four.

Burlington Township 3, Pine Barrens 1 

Winning pitcher Chase Thomas boosted his record to 5-0 with a six-hitter as the Pirates topped the Phantoms.  Thomas worked all seven innings, struck out 11 and walked one. Eli Mireles' RBI single in the third gave Burlington Township a 3-0 lead on the way to their fifth win in eight games overall.

Vincentown 4, Riverside 2

Mike Ferrara had two hits and two RBIs, and Pat Donnelly also had two RBIs as the Merchants rebounded from two losses earlier in the week.  Scott Wilhelm pitched the first four innings for the win and Kyle Cichy worked the last three, allowing no runs and fanning five. Vincentown is 7-3 overall.

RVL Action: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Burlington 8, Delran 0

John Harvey (5 innings), Jon Wilkins and Brian Armour combined on a one-hitter as the Mets rolled. Dave Viselli had three hits, while Matt Jolly and Sean Udris each had a pair.

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cinnaminson wins in RVL behind Jim Goodwin

Jim Goodwin pitched a three-hitter for Cinnaminson in a 3-0 win over Burlington Township.  Goodwin worked all seven innings and struck out nine while the Reds did enough to hand Township pitcher Chase Thomas his first loss after five wins. Goodwin is 4-0 and Cinnaminson is 9-1.  Kyle Higgins had two hits, including an RBI double, for Cinnaminson. Billy Dove hit a home run and Joe Sirolli hit a sacrifice fly for the Reds' other run.  Ben Fadool's double was a Pirates highlight.

RVL Action: Thursday, June 16, 2016

Riverside defeats Pine Barrens

Devon Hedgepeth had two hits and two RBIs for Riverside in a 5-2 decision over Pine Barrenst.  Cullen Carter also had two RBIs as Riverside improved to 3-4. Kevin Gadowski was the winning pitcher, working 1 1/3 innings in relief of Clinton Hart (six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings).

Cinnaminson 11, Willingboro 5

John Dockins and Billy Dove were both 3-for-3, and Joe Sirolli 3-for-4 in a victory that lifted the Reds (10-1) into first place.  Dove doubled twice, as did Kyle Higgins. Troy Hunter was the winning pitcher.  Dan Hill had two hits for Willingboro and Jamie Schwantes doubled.

RVL Action: Sunday, June 19, 2016

Riverside 11, Cinnaminson 1:

Devon Hedgepeth worked six innings for the win and Cullen Carter had three hits for Riverside. Donnie Strain (three RBIs), Kevin Joo and Phil Stiles had two hits apiece.

RVL Action: Monday, June 20, 2016

Viselli's triple lifts Burlington over Cinnaminson

Dave Viselli tripled the winning run home for Burlington in a 7-6 win over Cinnaminson.  Sean Udris singled with one out in the bottom half of the seventh inning, then scored on Viselli's triple to lift the Mets to their ninth win in 12 games. Shaun Babula worked 6 2/3 innings before Kevin Gunter got the final out in the top of the seventh on his way to picking up the win.  Sean Gusrang had three hits for Burlington. League leader Cinnaminson (10-3) received a grand slam from Cody MacNair and an RBI double from Bill Dove in a five-run third inning.

Vincentown 12, Riverside 2:

Kyle Cichy had three hits and scored three runs for the winners.  Matt Weaver also had three hits. Dave Gibson went the distance for the win and struck out nine.


RVL Action: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Burlington tops Vincentown

Sam Guckin pitched the shutout and Sean Gusrang led the offense in Burlington's 3-0 win over Vincentown.  Guckin worked all seven innings and struck out five as the Mets won a meeting of two of the top three teams in the RVL standings. Burlington is 10-3, as is Cinnaminson, and Vincentown is 10-5.    Gusrang had three hits and one RBI. Anthony Perez and Sean Udris added two hits apiece.  Udris and Casey Donoghue had the other RBIs. Vincentown pitcher Kevin Boswick had seven strikeouts in his five innings on the mound.

Pine Barrens 14, Delran 3:

Joe Paolini led off the fourth inning with a home run to break a 3-3 tie in the Phantoms' favor. Paolini had two hits and scored two runs.  Austin Kurey doubled twice and finished with four RBIs. Winning pitcher Alec Marconi worked five innings and struck out seven.  Delran had tied the game when Wilson Seville tripled with the bases loaded in the second inning.

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stewart helps Burlington Township to triumph

Dennis Stewart had three hits and led Burlington Township to a 3-2 decision over Delran.  Connor Thomas was the winning pitcher, scattering nine hits. He struck out three and issued no walks in going all seven innings as Township evened its record at 6-6.  Brian Romani's RBI double in the top of the seventh gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead, enabling them to withstand a Delran run in the bottom of the final frame.  Frank Bilancio doubled twice and had an RBI for Delran. Tyler Malia doubled and singled. 

Burlington 8, Cinnaminson 0: 

Jon Wilkins struck out two of the three batters he retired to finish a victory that boosted the Mets (11-3) into first place. Max Newill went the first six innings and fanned four in picking up the win.  Casey Donahue had three hits and three RBIs. Sean Udris had three hits — all doubles — and two RBIs. Burlington scored three runs in the second inning and added five in the third.

RVL Action: Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stiles helps Riverside edge Burlington Twp.

Phil Stiles was 3-for-3 for Riverside in a 6-5 win over Burlington Township.  Stiles had two singles, a double and two RBIs before the game was halted in the top half of the sixth inning due to darkness. Including a 7-0 win over Willingboro in its previous game, Riverside is 7-2 in its last nine.  Stevie Stevenson doubled and singled. Jeff Briggs also had two hits. Donnie Strain got the final two outs in the fifth to save a win for Clinton Hart.  Mark Demko had a two-run triple and Eddie Eifert an RBI double for Burlington Township.

Burlington 9, Delran 3:

Matt Jolly had three RBIs and league leader Burlington improved to 12-3.  Sean Gusrang and Anthony Perez had two hits each for the Mets. Ryan Bell got the win with relief from Justin McFadden and Kevin Gunter.  Trent Eastman had two RBIs and Wilson Seville had two hits for Delran.

Cinnaminson 2, Pine Barrens 0: 

Frank Sirolli hit a two-run single in the top of the eighth and Troy Hunter pitched all eight innings for the win.

Vincentown 11, Willingboro 0:

Ryan Kulik struck out 11 in a two-hitter and Dom D'Alessandro had three hits and four RBIs. Kyle Cichy, Pat Donnelly and Sam Pepper combined for six hits.

RVL Action: Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mets down Pirates behind Guckin, Youngberg

Sam Guckin and Zach Youngberg combined on a five-hitter with 14 strikeouts as the Burlington Mets defeated the Burlington Township Pirates 4-0 at Viereck Field.  Guckin, improving to 2-0, fanned 11 in his five-inning stint.  The first-place Mets (13-3) did all their scoring in the top of the third inning. Kyle Semmel singled, stole second and Twocas Elliott reached on an error. Consecutive singles by Shaun Babula, Sean Udris, Sean Gusrang and Matt Jolly, along with a sacrifice by Justin McFadden, brought in all four runs.  Adam Quaranta had two hits for the Pirates (6-8), while Eddie Eifert, Dennis Stewart and Brian Romani each had one. Chase Thomas fell to 5-2.

RVL Action: Monday, June 27, 2016

McGugan home run lifts Riverside past Burlington

Jonnie McGugan hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning for Riverside in a 4-1 win over Burlington.  Kevin Joo pitched all seven innings for the win as Riverside improved to 8-5 overall, 8-2 in its last 10 games. Burlington, which had won eight straight, is 13-4.  Sean Gusrang's home run in the fourth inning put Burlington on the board. The Mets took their lead into the sixth and had two outs when McGugan connected on an 0-2 pitch.  Riverside added insurance in the seventh when Phil Stiles walked with the bases loaded. Taylor Zachman had two of Riverside's four hits.  Joo struck out three in a three-hitter. He issued one walk, in the home seventh, and a single by Casey Donahue gave Burlington two baserunners with one out. Joo then got a strikeout and fly out to end it.

Pine Barrens 2, Burlington Township 1:

Keith Jacobs' sacrifice fly in the sixth broke a 1-1 tie, scoring Ronnie Krankowski, who pitched a four-hitter and struck out 11.  Mike Follet tripled, singled and had the other Phantoms' RBI.  Eli Mireles batted in the Township run with a single in the fourth inning. Adam Quaranta doubled and singled for the Pirates.

RVL Action: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wasco has two RBIs, leads Cinnaminson

Cinnaminson scored early and the runs held up for a 4-2 victory over Burlington Township.  Mike Wasco had two RBIs, the first coming when he was hit by a pitch during the Reds' three-run first inning. Wasco hit a home run in the third to make it 4-0.  Four straight singles began the game for Cinnaminson, which tied idle Burlington for first place with the victory. Both are 13-4, with Vincentown third at 12-5.  Bill Dove batted in the first run and Mark Wickersham hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Steve Melchiorre started the game and got the win, Steven Bowley provided middle relief and Jim Goodwin saved it.Township scored its two runs in the sixth inning. When Eli Mireles doubled to lead off the seventh, Goodwin relieved and retired three batters on fly balls.  Dennis Stewart had two hits and batted in the first Township run. Ben Fadool hit into a fielder's choice to score the second run.

Riverside 7, Delran 1: 

Winning pitcher Clinton Hart had 13 strikeouts and Jonnie McGugan homered for the second straight night as Riverside won for the ninth time in its last 11 games.  McGugan also doubled among his three hits, scored twice and batted in two runs. Devon Hedgepeth doubled and singled for Riverside (9-5).  Christopher Corea doubled to score the Delran run.

RVL Action: Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cinnaminson edges Vincentown, takes first place in RVL

Cinnaminson scored four runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning for a 10-9 decision over Vincentown.  Joe Sirolli's single with two outs in the sixth brought in the tying and winning runs. Jim Goodwin relieved in the seventh and retired Vincentown in order to save the win for Mark Wickersham.  The victory lifts Cinnaminson's record to 14-4, just ahead of idle Burlington (13-4) with Vincentown next at 12-6. The Mets host red-hot Riverside Thursay evening at The Spleen.  Sirolli had three hits and totaled four RBIs. Bill Dove, whose single began the Cinnaminson sixth, had three hits and two RBIs. Wickersham's infield single scored Dove to make it 9-7 and Greg Gilbert hit into a fielder's choice to score John Dockins to bring the Reds within a run.  Cinnaminson withstood a power display that helped Vincentown take its 9-6 lead. Matt Weaver hit a grand slam and the Merchants also had home runs by Kyle Cichy and Dom D'Alessandro. 

RVL Action: Thursday, June 30, 2016

Donahue leads Burlington past Riverside

Nothing cures a skid against a team better than a hit parade.

The Burlington Mets downed Riverside 12-5 behind three big innings at the start of the contest at Life Center Academy.  The win was the first in three meetings with Riverside this season for the Mets, who moved to 14-4 overall and joined Cinnaminson in a tie for first place.

Burlington got off to a fast start against righthander Devon Hedgepeth. Casey Donahue, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, started the first rally of the game with an RBI single that brought in Shaun Babula.  “Just go with the pitches,” Donahue said. “If they’re pitching that way, go with it. Just take what they gave you. They 3-hit us the other night. We came out tonight and had better bats. Ryan Bell (winning pitcher) did a good job getting ahead and shutting them down. It was the key to the game.”

The Mets racked up four hits in the first, the final one from Matt Jolly plating Donahue.  More of the same followed in the second as the Mets sent nine batters to the dish and scored four runs.  Donahue brought in Ben Youngberg with his second RBI base knock to open the floodgates. Jon Wetzel, recently picked up after the Willingboro Townsends team folded, followed with an RBI single out of the cleanup hole, scoring Babula.  The other two runs in the second came on walks to Jolly and Matt Fischer.

Burlington’s best inning was the third as six runs were scored on just three hits. David Viselli and Youngberg started the rally with singles to flip the order back to the top with no outs.

Babula’s single to deep short brought in Viselli, while Donahue continued his strong night play two batters later as he plated Youngberg and Babula.  “They beat us earlier in the year, me personally booting a ball on a routine double play. Once again it was a game Ryan started well and we just didn’t hit,” Donahue said. “The other night Max (Newill) is throwing a gem up until the sixth, made one mistake, and gave up a home run in the sixth. But once again, we didn’t hit. It’s nice to get a win against these guys to get back into the swing of things.”

Jolly’s sacrifice fly and Fischer’s RBI groundout brought in the final two runs of the game for Burlington, who gifted Bell with plenty of run support.  “I felt pretty good,” Bell said. “The run support early put us where we wanted to be. I was mainly throwing to contact to try and get the game over quick. I was focused on trying to hit the zone.”

Riverside (9-6) got two back in the fourth on a two-run home run to left off the bat of Jon McGugan, who went deep in all three Riverside games this week. Tyler Wolf smashed a solo homer to the same part of the field an inning later.

The visitors put two more runs on the board in the seventh against reliever John Harvey but the rally was squashed before it threatened Burlington’s advantage.  “Very good team win,” Bell said. “Nice to bounce back right way. They’re a pretty good team. It’s fun playing them all the time, too. It makes the game better.”

RVL Action: Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Close one goes Delran's way

Delran got the win it was looking for.  Delran used two runs in the top of the seventh inning to knock off Riverside 5-4 in Rancocas Valley League baseball action at Notre Dame Field.  With the score at 3, Harry Cicale drove in the go-ahead run on a double in the top half of the final frame. Trent Eastman knocked in Cicale to provide an insurance run for reliever Shane Pastore.  Pastore conceded one run in the bottom half of the seventh but closed out the game without further damage.  “It means a lot,” Pastore said. “We’ve struggled a little bit in a lot of close games this year. Coming through, getting the win, means a lot.”

Delran improved to 5-12 and handed Riverside only its fourth loss in its last 13 games. Riverside is 9-7 overall.  The visiting team although the game was held at its home field, Delran jumped into the lead in the first inning after Vince Gares’ single to center knocked in Tyler Malia.  Delran added two more in the fourth as Eastman scored on a balk and Pastore brought in Eddie Salkowski with a single.  Riverside collected its first three runs in the bottom of the fourth off Delran starter Jimmy Cicale.

Henry Chou brought in the first Riverside tally with a single and Devin Connelly added an RBI hit. Phil Stiles was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game.  Pastore, who took the mound in the fifth, faced some trouble in the sixth, but got out of first-and-third jam with a strikeout of Stiles.  Jimmy Cicale started the Delran rally in the seventh with a single to left. After advancing on a wild pitch, Cicale was in perfect position for Harry Cicale to bring him home on a double to left center.  “I was just trying to put something in play,” Harry Cicale said. “He was throwing fastball all the way so I had to find a pitch to groove. He put it right there and I let the hands do the work.”

Eastman extended the Delran lead when he knocked in Harry Cicale from second. The extra run would turn out to be huge.  “It never hurts you,” Harry Cicale said. “Once you get that one run across, you always want more, especially in the later stages of the game.”

Riverside tried to jump on Pastore right away in the bottom of the seventh. Tommy Walters reached on an error and Devon Hedgepeth’s double put two runners in scoring position with one out.  Tyler Wolf brought in the speedy Walters on a sacrifice fly to close the gap to one but the final out would be recorded before the tying run was scored.  “I just had to keep hitting corners and my spots,” Pastore said. “It’s a tough way to start off my last inning but I was able to pitch around it.”  “It’s a good momentum builder,” Harry Cicale said. “We’re a bunch of relatively young guys. It’s a good momentum builder going into the back end of the season.”

D'Alessandro turns up power in Vincentown

Dom D'Alessandro had an inning — and a night — to remember for Vincentown in a 17-6 win over Pine Barrens at Patty Bowker Field.  D'Alessandro hit two home runs during an 11-run third inning that powered the Merchants (13-6) to the victory. Dalessandro had a grand slam and a three-run blast.  He also doubled to finish with three hits to go with the seven RBIs, and scored three runs. Sam Pepper also had three hits and scored three runs. Kyle Cichy had three hits, Jim Best added two hits and Frank Cerami scored three runs.

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pine Barrens 8, Burlington Township 0: 

Matt Curry pitched a two-hitter and struck out 10 in his shutout.  The Phantoms scored six runs in the third inning, the first two coming on a home run by Tyler Powell. John Gavura had two RBIs and Nick Catullo had one.

RVL Action: Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dove, Bowley help Cinnaminson to triumph

Bill Dove batted in four runs for Cinnaminson in a 6-0 win over Pine Barrens.  Dove had two hits, as did Kyle Higgins and Joe Sirolli. Both of Higgins' hits were doubles and Sirolli hit a triple.  Steven Bowley pitched the first six innings and earned the win as Cinnaminson boosted its record to 16-4. The Reds hold first place by a half-game over Burlington.  Shane Garrett led Pine Barrens with two singles and a triple.

Burlington 16, Burlington Township 1:

Sean Gusrang batted in four runs, and Marshall Harden and Sean Udris had two RBIs apiece as the Mets improved to 15-4.  Harden, Paul Guerrieri and Mark Stumpf had two hits apiece. John Harvey pitched the first four innings (five strikeouts) for the win.

Cinnaminson 4, Delran 2:

Cody MacNair had two hits and two RBIs in support of winning pitcher Jim Goodwin.  Another run scored for the Reds when Mark Wickersham walked with the bases loaded. Delran's Joe Cashman was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

RVL Action: Saturday, July 9, 2016

Vincentown 6, Riverside 2:

Jim Best's three-run home run in the first inning sparked the Merchants over the Patriots.  Lefty Ryan Kulik pitched a complete game, allowing six hits, striking out 12 and allowing just one earned run.

RVL Action: Sunday, July 10, 2016

Wolf, Briggs propel Riverside to win

Tyler Wolf pitched six strong innings and Jeff Briggs had a three-run triple to lift Riverside to a 6-3 win over Burlington Township.  Devon Hedgepath was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Riverside, which bounced back from a 6-2 loss at Vincentown late Saturday night. Eddie Eifert had a 1-for-3 night for the Pirates.

RVL Action: Monday, July 11, 2016

Burlington uses simple tactic to blank Delran

When you’ve been pitching in the Rancocas Valley League as long as Max Newill has, you know how easy success can come on the mound.  Newill’s simple approach during his five-inning pitching stint helped Burlington cruise to a 10-0 win over Delran.  The Burlington trio of Newill, Dan Hill and Justin McFadden gave up one hit over seven innings.“I was just trying to throw strikes, command the baseball, get ahead and just pitch,” Newill said.

The lone hit conceded by the Mets' pitching staff came in the top of the first inning when Tyler Melia’s pop up dropped on the right side of the infield.  After that bloop fell into the infield, Newill went to work on the bump for the Mets.  “I was just trying to execute my pitches,” Newill said. "I’ve been pitching in this league longer than some of these kids have been alive so just go at them and see what they can do. We have guys that play some good defense so just let them hit the ball and make plays and we’re fine.”

Newill induced eight flyouts, five strikeouts and one double play against the young Delran team before Hill and McFadden closed out the contest.  The Mets created more run support for Newill in each inning as five of their six at-bats produced at least one run.  Dave Viselli crossed the plate for the first run in the second on a passed ball. Matt Jolly brought in a run on an RBI single and scored on an error in the third.

In the fourth inning, Sean Gusrang received a second chance during his third plate appearance of the night.  “I check swung on the pitch before, it could’ve went either way,” Gusrang said.  With new life from the check swing and a missed catch in foul territory, Gusrang drilled a three-run shot over the right-center fence to open up the advantage.  “I was just trying to stay back,” Gusrang said. “You just try to get a good pitch to hit. Just trying to be aggressive and I was lucky enough to get one over the plate and able to hit one out.”

Two more runs were plated in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, for the Mets.  Mark Stumpf provided two runs on a single in the fifth, and Vinny James and Paul Guerrieri knocked in runners on a single and sacrifice fly, respectively, in the sixth.  “We have a great lineup and now with the addition of Stumpf, (Jon) Wetzel and Hill along with the guys we already have, we have a strong team,” Gusrang said.

Riverside 9, Burlington Twp. 0:

Devon Hedgepeth came within two outs of a perfect game as Riverside (11-9) defeated Burlington Township (6-13). He allowed just a one-out single by Wayne Feret in the seventh inning and struck out eight.  Chaz Briggs was 3 for 3 with two doubles and four RBIs. Tommy Walters was 3 for 4 and Donnie Strain added a two-run triple.

RVL Action Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Riverside 2, Pine Barrens 1:

Kevin Joo pitched a one-hitter and struck out 13 as the Patriots won. The lone run against the lefty was unearned.  Tom Walters was 2 for 2 and had the winning RBI. Phil Stiles and Tyler Wolf were both 2 for 3 with a stolen base.

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stiles drives in 8 as Riverside romps

Phil Stiles went 3 for 3 with two doubles, a triple and eight RBIs to lead Riverside to a 12-2 victory over Delran.  Tom Walters was 2 for 2 with a single and triple for Riverside (13-9), which has won seven of its last 10 games. Alex Humes, in his first start of the season, went three innings, allowing no runs and striking out four. Clinton Hart finished up.

Regular season winds down, heats up

July 17, 2016

The final 10 days of the regular season will decide who finishes first and gets a first-round bye when the Rancocas Valley League playoffs start July 30.

Right now, Burlington and Cinnaminson are tied for first with 36 points, both with 17-4 records. They play Monday night at Life Center Academy and again Wednesday at Memorial Field.

Vincentown is one point behind at 16-6, and plays the Reds twice this week, Thursday at V-town and Sunday at Cinnaminson.

Riverside (14-9, 32.5 points) has an outside shot, and hosts Cinnaminson next Monday and Wednesday in the final game of the regular season.

Burlington 11, Pine Barrens 4:

The Mets erupted for six runs in the top of the seventh inning, breaking open what had been a 5-3 game. Sam Guckin pitched six innings and fanned eight, outlasting Ronnie Krankowski, who whiffed eight. Sean Gusrang had two hits and five RBIs, including a two-run homer. Shaun Babula, Mark Stumpf, Sean Udris and Matt Fischer (two RBIs) each had a pair of hits.

Krankowski had three hits and two RBIs, and Mike Follett added two hits and Joe Paolini had a seventh-inning solo home run.

Vincentown 8, Delran 0:

Dave Gibson (11 Ks in 5 IP), Sam Pepper and Steve Volpe combined on a one-hitter, Jim Best hit a home run and the Merchants scored seven times in the third inning.

RVL Action: Monday, July 18, 2016

Reds down Mets, take over top spot

The Cinnaminson Reds scored three times in the top of the seventh, then held off the Burlington Mets in the bottom of the inning to post a 6-5 victory.  The win improves the Reds to 18-4, with games the next three days at Burlington Township, home Wednesday against 17-5 Burlington, then on the road at 17-6 Vincentown on Thursday night.  Cody Macnair hit a solo home run for Cinnaminson, and Kyle Higgins had two doubles and Frank Sirolli two singles. Conall Roberts' base hit started the seventh-inning rally, and Mike Wasco's sacrifice fly finished it.  Jim Goodwin pitched five innings for the win.

Sean Gusrang had three hits and three RBIs for the Mets (17-5), and Mark Stumpf and Matt Jolly each had two hits. The Mets had the tying run on third with two outs, but Kyle Ballay struck out the final batter.

Vincentown 11, Burlington Twp. 0:

Matt Weaver was 5-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs to lead the Merchants. Jim Best added a solo home run, and Ryan Kulik and Kyle Cichy each had three hits. Steve Volpe (5 innings) and Sam Pepper combined on a two-hitter.

RVL Action: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Riverside continues to winRiverside got three hits from Tommy Walters Tuesday night to post a 10-4 victory over Pine Barrens. Henry Chou and Taylor Zackman each had two hits, while Chou and Phil Stiles each knocked in two runs. Alex Humes earned the pitching win in relief of Devon Hedgepeth.  Riverside improved to 15-9, setting a team record for one-season victories. Pine Barrens is 8-17.

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cinnaminson rides five-run first inning to triumph

Cinnaminson scored five runs in the bottom half of the first inning on the way to a 7-3 win over Burlington. The first five Cinnaminson batters walked and all scored to ignite the Reds to their 20th win in 24 games. Cinnaminson leads the league with Burlington second at 18-6.  Following two walks with bases loaded, Cody MacNair hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead and Joe Sirolli hit a two-run single. Zach Youngberg, who replaced John Harvey for Burlington after four batters, allowed one more hit the rest of the way -- a two-run single by Greg Gilbert in the third inning to make it 7-0.  Burlington scored twice in the fifth on a single by Matt Fischer and Vinny James' fielder's choice. Sean Gusrang singled a run home with one out in the sixth before winning pitcher Troy Hunter got a strikeout and flyout. Hunter, who went the distance, induced three fly balls in a 1-2-3 seventh to finish it.

Pine Barrens 8, Delran 2:

Cameron Bahr had two singles, a double and two RBIs for the winners (9-17). Mike Follet tripled, doubled, scored twice and had three RBIs.  Winning pitcher Matt Curry worked five innings, struck out eight and allowed no earned runs. Tyler Malia doubled and had an RBI for Delran.

RVL Action: Thursday, July 21, 2016

Burlington Township picks up a key win

Two runs in the fifth inning lifted Burlington Township to a 6-4 decision over Delran.  Joe Parzyck had two hits and batted in Eli Mireles to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the fifth. Mireles had led off with a double.  Adam Quaranta's double scored Mark Demko with the sixth run, giving the Pirates and winning pitcher Connor Thomas some insurance. Thomas took the mound in the top of the fifth, got the third out and then worked the remaining two innings.  Burlington Township improved to 8-16 and moved into sixth place. Shane Pastore doubled and scored two runs for Delran (7-19). 

Vincentown 10, Cinnaminson 4: 

Stefan Kancylarz led off the bottom of the first with a home run on his way to three RBIs in a win that enabled the Merchants to tie Burlington for second place. Both are 18-6, with league leader Cinnaminson 20-5.  Scott Wilhelm was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Kyle Cichy and Dom D'Alessandro combined for five hits. Winning pitcher Kevin Bostwick struck out nine and pitched six hitless innings after allowing four in the first.

RVL Action: Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vincentown tops Cinnaminson to tighten 3-team race

Sam Pepper hit a leadoff home run and Dave Gibson pitched Vincentown to a 5-3 victory over Cinnaminson.  he Reds lead the league with a 20-6 record, but the Burlington Mets and V-town are right behind at 19-6. The regular season ends Wednesday night.  ibson went 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine and allowing four hits, including a seventh-inning home run by Kyle Higgins, and three singles by Frank Sirolli. Pat Donnelly had two hits for the Merchants.

Burlington 7, Pine Barrens 3:

Reliever Shaun Babula struck out two batters with the winning run on third base in the bottom of the seventh, then sparked an eighth-inning rally with his third hit as the Mets stayed in the hunt for first.  Bulington struck for three runs in the top of the first against Ronnie Krankowski, scoring on Mark Stumpf's double, an error and Sean Udris' single. But Krankowski then retired 21 of the next 23 batters.

The Phantoms (9-18) got an unearned run in the fourth and used singles by James Schick, Mike Follett, Austin Kurey, Krankowski and Shane Garrett to score again in the fifth. Follett reached on an error and scored on Kurey's single in the seventh. But after a double by Krankowski, his fourth hit, Babula came in to shut the door.  Held to  four hits through seven innings, the Mets got five hits and four runs in the eighth, including RBI hits by Sean Gusrang, Dave Viselli and Ben Youngberg.

Burlington Twp. 7, Delran 2:

Connor Thomas pitched a complete game and Matt Klish, Dave Torres, Dennis Stewart and Brian Eifert each had two hits for the Pirates (9-16). Eddie Eifert scored twice.  Vince Gares,John Swajkowski and Tyler Malia had two hits apiece for Delran (7-20), while Trent Eastman added a double.

Starting times for this weekend's opening round of the RVL playoffs -- Saturday and Sunday at Harry Thompson Field in Vincentown -- are 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The regular-season champion gets an opening-round bye. The still-to-be-decided matchups will be second place vs. seventh place, third vs. sixth, and fourth (Riverside) vs. fifth.

RVL Action: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Race for first place remains tight

Nine runs in the first three innings boosted Burlington to an 11-3 win over Burlington Township.  The victory, coupled with a forfeit over Willingboro, gives Burlington a 21-6 record. The Mets are in first place by a half-game over Cinnaminson and Vincentown, both 20-6.  Sean Gusrang had four RBIs for Burlington, three on a double in the second inning. Mark Stumpf and Sean Udris combined for another four RBIs.  Shaun Babula was 2-for-2 and scored three runs. Stumpf scored three runs.  Ryan Bell worked the first five innings for the win. Dan Hill got two strikeouts to finish it after Township put men on first and second with one out in the sixth.  Matt Klish put Township on the board with a home run in the third inning. Ben Fadool was 2-for-2.

Vincentown 15, Delran 1: 

Sam Pepper and Matt Weaver were 3-for-3, and Johnny Bujanowski 3-for-4 as the Merchants kept pace.  Bujanowski, Weaver and Kevin Bostwick hit home runs, with Bostwick's blast a grand slam in the fifth inning. Winning pitcher Scott Wilhelm worked 6 2/3 innings, allowed five hits, struck out four and walked one.

Wednesday, the final night of the regular season, has Cinnaminson hosting Riverside in a douleheader starting at 6:30. Burlington visits Pine Barrens at 7:30 and Vincentown welcomes Burlington Township at 8. 

RVL Action: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Burlington clinches first place, playoff bye

Sam Guckin and Shaun Babula combined for 10 strikeouts in Burlington's 3-0 decision over Pine Barrens.  The victory enabled Burlington to finish the regular season with a 22-6 record. Due to tiebreakers, the Mets finished first and earned the No. 1 seed — and first-round bye — in the RVL playoffs that start Saturday.  Guckin struck out the side in the first inning and finished with eight Ks in five frames. Babula came on in the sixth and retired all six batters he faced.  Casey Donahue's sacrifice fly in the fourth scored Sean Udris, who had doubled and taken third on a wild pitch. Burlington added its other runs in the sixth, when a misplay on Sean Gusrang's single allowed Mark Stumpf to come home. Anther error moved Gusrang to third, from where he scored on a wild pitch.  Pine Barrens (9-19) got six hits, two each by Matt Curry and Cameron Bahr. Curry pitched five innings in relief of Brian Marconi, who worked a scoreless first. Curry permitted four hits and two of the runs were unearned.

Vincentown 8, Burlington Township 3:

Stefan Kancylarz hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, when the Merchants scored three times on their way to victory.  Johnny Bujanowski had three hits and scored two runs, and Scott Wilhelm had two hits and three RBIs. Vincentown, which will receive a forfeit Thursday from Willingboro, is also 22-6. 

Cinnaminson 11, Riverside 2:

Steven Bowley pitched six innings for the win and Kyle Ballay worked a perfect seventh as the Reds took the first game of a doubleheader.

RVL Playoff Preview

Courtesy of:  Bruce Johnson, Burlington County Times

'August in V-town' comes early

It's called "August in V-town" — the late summer playoffs of the Rancocas Valley Baseball League at Harry Thompson Field in Southampton.  But this summer "August in V-town" arrives two days early, on July 30-31, with tripleheaders Saturday and Sunday at "The Harry."

The Burlington Mets, Cinnaminson Reds and Vincentown Merchants each finished 22-6 during the regular season — the first time in the league's 70-year history that's happened! The Mets earned the tiebreaker (head-to-head competition) for first place and the first-round bye that comes with it.

Saturday's games in the best-of-three quarterfinals are: Delran vs. Cinnaminson at 11 a.m., Burlington Township vs. Riverside at 2 p.m. and Pine Barrens vs. Vincentown at 5 p.m. Sunday's games will be at noon (Cinnaminson vs. Delran), 3 p.m. (Riverside vs. Burlington Township) and 6 p.m. (Vincentown vs. Pine Barrens).

If any of the series goes to a third game, it will be played Monday at 6:30.

The semifinals will begin either Tuesday or Wednesday with nightly doubleheaders at 6:30 and 8:45.

Here's a look at Saturday's opening-round matchups:

Cinnaminson (22-6) vs. Delran (7-21):

The Reds won the season series 4-0, but three of those wins were by 6-1, 4-2 and 6-4 scores.  The defending RVL champions (also 2011 and 2009) are a veteran team, led by player-coach Frank Sirolli, Kyle Ballay, John Dockins, Kyle Higgins, Greg Gilbert, Bill Dove, Mike Wasco, Cody MacNair, Joe Sirolli, Mark Wickersham, Jeff Vitale and Greg Santuro. Jim Goodwin has become the team's ace, aided by Troy Hunter, Steve Melchiorre and Steve Bowley, with Ballay as the closer.

Delran returned to the RVL this summer after being absent several years. Wayne Steele's club is led offensively by Tanner Clifford, John Swajkowski, Shane Pastore, Vince Gares, Tyler Malia and Trent Eastman. Eastman, Ryan MacNeill, Anthony Coniglio, Pastore and Clifford are the mound mainstays. 

Riverside (17-11) vs. Burlington Twp. (10-18):

Another interesting matchup, despite Riverside's 4-0 domination during the season. After a 9-0 win, the other three games were 6-3, 6-5, 4-1.  Riverside set a team record for wins this season, led by Phil Stiles, Jonnie McGugan, Jeff Briggs, Stevie Stevenson, Donnie Strain, Devon Hedgepeth, Taylor Zackman, Henry Chou, Cullen Carter, Tom Walters and Devin Connelly. Lefty Kevin Joo gives Riverside a shot in any game, while Hedgepeth, Clinton Hart and Tyler Wolf give coach Mike Hynes three more strong pitchers.

Township had more wins this season than it had posted in its previous four seasons combined. Chase and Connor Thomas, Tyler Diaz and Steve Loney give coach Ed Eifert four guys who can pitch. Dennis Stewart and Adam Quaranta have led the offense, with help from Wayne Feret, Dave Torres, Eddie and Brian Eifert, Ben Fadool, Matt Klish, Mark DuBree, Joe Parzyck, Eli Mireles, Brian Romani and Mark Demko.

Vincentown (22-6) vs. Pine Barrens (9-19):

An intriguing matchup, although the Merchants won the regular-season series 3-1, winning by scores of 15-1, 17-6 and 13-1, while dropping a 6-5 decision.  Vincentown, which last won the title in 2012, has a fearsome lineup, featuring Stefan Kancylarz, Matt Weaver, Sam Pepper, Jim Best, Scott Wilhelm, Dom D'Alessandro, Kyle Cichy, Frank Cerami, Johnny Bujanowski, Pat Donnelly, Kevin Carty and Mike Ferrara. The Merchants' pitching could be the difference this summer, with Dave Gibson, Cichy, Kevin Bostwick, Wilhelm, Cerami, Pepper, Damon Valloreo and Steve Volpe.

Pine Barrens has Ronnie Krankowski, Matt Curry and Alec Marconi to throw this weekend, and that trio combined for nearly 140 strikeouts. Joe Paolini, Cameron Bahr, Krankowski, Austin Kurey, Mike Follet, Curry, Tyler Powell, Shane Garrett, John Gavura and James Schick provide the attack.

Burlington Mets (22-6):

The RVL champions in 2010, 2013 and 2014 won't play until the semifinals begin on Tuesday or Wednesday. They have pitching — Shaun Babula, Max Newill, Sam Guckin, Ryan Bell, Dan Hill, John Harvey, Jon Wilkins, Zach Youngberg and Brian Armour. And they have a deep lineup that includes Sean Gusrang, Mark Stumpf, Casey Donahue, Justin McFadden, Dave Viselli, Sean Udris, Matt Fischer, Vinny James, Paul Guerrieri, Matt Jolly, Marshall Harden, Jon Wetzel, Ben Youngberg, Kyle Semmel and Anthony Perez.

RVL Playoffs: 1st Round Results (Game 1)

Cinnaminson edges Delran

There was only one certainty following Mike Wasco’s sixth-inning at-bat. The ball landed beyond the outfield fence.  Whether it was truly fair or foul, well, that might be something that Cinnaminson and Delran could be debating for quite some time.  The home run was the winning run for Cinnaminson in a 2-1 decision Saturday in Game 1 of a best-of-3 Rancocas Valley League playoff series at Harry W. Thompson Field. The teams meet again Sunday at noon.

When the ball initially went over the fence in right field, the base umpire called it foul, stating it was to the right of the foul pole. Cinnaminson contested the call.  The base umpire conferred with the home plate umpire, and it was ruled a home run. Delran contested the reversal but it stood.  “It was definitely fair, that’s what the umpires said,” Wasco said. “It was a tough call for both umpires but they finally got it right and it all worked out for us. Nobody was really hitting today, and to be able to hit a shot like that to get us on top is a good way to go into tomorrow.”

The solo shot was the second Cinnaminson run of the inning. The first came on an error at third base that allowed Frank Sirolli to essentially walk 90 feet and cross home plate.  Delran scored when pitcher Trent Eastman hit a no-doubter over the fence in left-center to put his team up 1-0 in the fifth.  “It’s been a while since I hit a ball that well,” Eastman said. “That was the first time I ever hit one that I knew right off the bat.”

Before Eastman put the first run on the board, he was in a pitchers’ duel with Cinnaminson starter Troy Hunter. Eastman finished with a line of six innings pitched, three strikeouts, one walk, five hits and one earned run.  “I was hitting a lot of corners and keeping the ball low,” Eastman said. “I need to keep it low since the fence is so short, if you get it up, they’re going to get it out.”

Hunter pitched seven innings and struck out four with no walks. He allowed just five hits.  “He’s just been getting more and more confident each game,” Wasco said of Hunter. “At first, he was pitching versus the lower-end teams in the league, now he’s going to be pitching against some of the better teams in the league and he’s definitely been showing that he can take care of those teams.”

Both pitchers had excellent defense behind them throughout the game as well.  In the second, Cinnaminson third baseman Jeff Vitale started the inning with a fielding error when a hard-hit ground ball went right through his legs and into the outfield. Four batters later, he redeemed himself with a full-out diving stop before delivering a perfect throw to first base to beat the runner, end the inning and prevent a run from scoring  “I would have felt really lousy if they had scored that inning, especially with the way the game was going,” Vitale said. “I pride myself on my defense more than anything, so being able to do that helped out a lot.”

Delran center fielder Shane Pastore gunned out a runner at home in the fourth with a perfectly placed throw on a rope for a bang-bang out at the plate.  “The defense really had my back out there,” Eastman said. “Shane’s throw was fantastic. I was backing up home so I saw the whole thing and it was a great play.”

Eastman also said that, because he was on the mound, he didn’t have the best angle on Wasco’s home run.  “In my opinion, you can’t really change the call whether it was fair or foul, it just didn’t go our way today,” Eastman said. “But we played a great game. I want to come back out tomorrow and play the same.”

Riverside, Vincentown take RVL series openers

Devon Hedgepeth pitched six innings and Kevin Joo finished the shutout for Riverside in a 5-0 win over Burlington Township in a Rancocas Valley League playoff game Saturday.  Riverside took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series at Harry Thompson Field in Southampton. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m.  Hedgepeth allowed four hits, three in the sixth inning, and struck out seven. Three of his four walks issued came in the fifth. Township had bases loaded with two outs in each of those frames.

Phil Stiles was 2-for-2, walked twice, scored twice and stole three bases for Riverside. Jeff Briggs hit a pair of RBI singles. Tom Walters batted in a run on a squeeze bunt and Henry Chou hit a sacrifice fly. Josh Sabol's double was another highlight.  Chase Thomas was on the hill for Burlington Township and pitched the first five innings. He allowed seven hits and four runs (two earned).

Vincentown 10, Pine Barrens 2: 

Jim Best had two solo home runs among his three hits that helped the Merchants win the final game of the day at Harry Thompson Field.  Best scored three runs. Stefan Kancylarz had two hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBIs.  Dom D'Alessandro's two hits featured an RBI double, and Johnny Bujanowski had an RBI double. Kevin Bostwick went six innings for the win, allowed three hits and one run, and struck out eight.  Tyler Powell of Pine Barrens hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m.


RVL Playoffs: 1st Round Results (Game 2)

Cinnaminson 12, Delran 0:

The defending champions put away the first-year club and advanced to the semifinals with a two-game sweep. The Reds (24-6) will face the Vincentown Merchants in a best-of-three semifinal beginning Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Harry Thompson Field.  Brett Miller pitched five shutout innings, allowing just three hits. Brett Bowles and Greg Santuro each tossed a 1-2-3 inning.

Kyle Ballay had two hits and two RBIs, while Frank Sirolli and Mark Wickersham each had two hits and scored twice. The Reds led 4-0 after the first six batters had a double (Sirolli), a walk and four straight RBI singles.  Cinnaminson had 14 hits, drew nine walks and had two hit batters.

Delran (7-23) turned double plays in the second and fourth inning, both started by shortstop Eddie Salkowski. He also had one of Delran's hits — the other two were by Joe Cashman and Trent Eastman. 

Stiles powers Riverside into the semifinals

Phil Stiles has been a very tough out in the Rancocas Valley Baseball League this season.  During the regular season Riverside's second baseman led the league with a .532 batting average (33-for-62), that included a league-best 13 doubles.  And in the RVL playoffs, he hasn't made an out yet.  After going 2-for-2 with two walks and three stolen bases in Saturday's opening win, Stiles was 4-for-4 and drove in five runs on Sunday as Riverside outscored Burlington Township 14-8 to advance to the semifinals. Riverside will face Burlington (22-6) in a best-of-three series starting Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Ed Viereck Field, Burlington Township.  Stiles had two singles plus two home runs, a two-run shot and a three-run blast. They were his first dingers of the season.

Josh Sabol added a double to the winners' attack, while Cullen Carter had a two-run single.  Clinton Hart earned the pitching win in relief as Riverside improved to 19-11.  Teams representing Riverside have won four RVL titles in the past -- 1957, 1961 and 1963 as the Bombers and 2001 as the Pirates Inn.

For Township (10-20) Ben Fadool had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs. Brian Eifert had two hits and three RBIs, while Adam Quaranta was had two hits and two RBIs. 

Vincentown 6, Pine Barrens 1:

Kyle Cichy hit a two-run home run and added a two-run double as the Merchants (24-6) advanced to the semifinals. They will take on defending champion Cinnaminson in a best-of-three matchup starting Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Harry Thompson Field.  Frank Cerami and Sam Pepper each contributed two hits for the Merchants.  Steve Volpe pitched a five-hitter with six strikeouts to earn the victory.

Tyler Powell hit his second home run in two games for the Phantoms (9-21). He also robbed Cichy of a second home run with a great catch.

RVL Semi-Finals: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August 2, 2016

Taylor Zackman sparks Riverside past Burlington in RVL semifinal opener

Taylor Zackman and all of his Riverside teammates needed patience.  Zackman’s 11-pitch at-bat in the top the sixth inning started the first of two rallies for Riverside in its 8-0 win over the Burlington Mets in the Rancocas Valley League semifinals.  Zackman drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out against Burlington ace Shaun Babula in the scoreless game.  “I know Babula is a great pitcher so I just wanted to see the ball well,” Zackman said. “I knew he pitches backward so I would expect his curveball. I was just sitting on it and trying to make contact and stay alive.”

“That was a great at-bat,” Riverside starting pitcher Stevie Stevenson said. “Without that at-bat, I don’t think the score would be the same. The whole lineup, everybody did their part at least once.”

One batter later, Phil Stiles poked a double down the right-field line that scored Tommy Walters for the first run of the contest.  Zackman scored on Jeff Briggs’ sacrifice fly to left and Jon McGugan plated Stiles on an RBI single to right to open up an advantage for Stevenson, who was the starter for Riverside.  “We had to get behind Stevie in some way,” Zackman said. “Once we start rolling, it’s good things from there.”

The trio of runs came at the perfect time for Riverside after Stevenson and Babula dueled for five innings with little worry.  Riverside added more crooked numbers to the scoreboard in the top of the seventh as it scored five thanks to a few errors and clutch hitting.  Zackman’s two-run single that followed Walters’ RBI base knock opened the floodgates for the visitors.

Stiles brought in Walters on a sacrifice fly and Zackman scored after an error on the throw in from center field.  Stevenson’s masterful work on the mound continued in the bottom half of the final frame as he retired the Mets in order on three fly outs.  “Trusting my defense is all I had to worry about,” Stevenson said. ”I knew they could make the plays.”

Despite the big victory Tuesday, Riverside is aware there are two more games left on the series schedule.  “It’s only one game, though,” Stevenson said. “You still have to win two out of three to go on to the next one. It’s nothing right now. Just a win.”

Riverside has a chance to close out the series in Game 2 on Wednesday. A potential Game 3 on Thursday would be played at Memorial Park in Cinnaminson.

Cinnaminson 3, Vincentown 1:

Jim Goodwin outdueled Dave Gibson as the defending champion Reds took the first game of their best-of-three semifinal. Game 2 is Wednesday night at Thompson Field; if Vincentown wins, then Game 3 would be Thursday night.

The Reds scored two unearned runs in the top of the first. Frank Sirolli started things with a double. After Kyle Higgins walked, a couple of errors allowed the runs to score. Dom D'Alessandro got one back in the bottom of the first with a V-town home run.  The Reds added a run in the fourth on singles by Kyle Ballay, Mike Wasco and Cody Macnair, and a bases-loaded walk to Mark Wickersham. Goodwin, who won six games during the regular season, allowed five hits and struck out nine. Gibson allowed just four hits.

RVL Semi-Finals: Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Courtesy of:  Kevin Kolodziej, Burlington County Times


Vincentown pulls even with Cinnaminson

One loss away from elimination, Vincentown had to be at its best on Tuesday night.  Cleanup hitter Jim Best led the charge as Vincentown shut out Cinnaminson 8-0 at Harry W. Thompson Field during the Rancocas Valley League playoff semifinals. The win evened the best-of-three series at 1 win each. The deciding Game 3 is Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Best finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBIs, two doubles and a run scored.  “I’ve been locked in for the last few games,” Best said. “They’ve been throwing pretty much everything at me and you’re not going to be able to throw a whole lot to get me out right now. We were very determined to get this win. We’re a close-knit group of guys and we were talking about all day.”

Best’s biggest hit came in the bottom of the fifth inning when his bases-loaded, bases-clearing double to deep left-center put Vincentown up 4-0.  “I came up with the bases loaded looking for something to hit and drive to the outfield,” Best said. “I was just hoping for a sac-fly and luckily it got down.”

Vincentown pitcher Kyle Cichy was also at his best, hurling a complete-game, two-hit gem with one walk and one hit-batter. Cichy struck out four and didn’t face more than four batters in any inning.  “I was attacking early with the fast ball and tried to keep them off-balance with the changeup, that was big pitch for me tonight,” Cichy said. “I was absolutely trusting my defense tonight, especially with a team like Cinnaminson. They’re not going to go away.”

Best is Vincentown’s catcher and had a front-row seat for Cichy’s dominant performance.  “Cinnaminson is a tough team to strike out, so the big thing was pitching to contact,” Best said. “Just throw something with movement, let them hit it, but miss a barrel.”

Cichy said that he didn’t feel much pressure despite taking the mound down with his team down 1-0 in the best-of-three series.  “We have a great group of guys on this team,” he said. “Now we just have to get ready for game three and try to take the series.”


Vincentown put the icing on the cake in the sixth inning when left fielder and leadoff man Sam Pepper hit an opposite-field home run that sailed just over the fence in left field. The Merchants added their eighth and final run on a fielding error in the sixth.  “This win was big. I wish we could’ve gotten it yesterday, but the pressure was on us,” Pepper said. “If you lose this game, it’s over. Next game is going to be a dog fight. I see a low-scoring game, a pitcher’s duel and you can’t make errors. I’m really excited.”

Burlington 9, Riverside 0:

Sam Guckin, Justin McFadden and Jon Wilkins combined on a four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts as the Mets evened their semifinal.  The deciding third game will be played Thursday, 7 p.m., at Memorial Field in Cinnaminson.

Guckin allowed three hits in five innings, while McFadden (three k's) and Wilkins (two k's) went one each.  Shaun Babula and Jon Wetzel each had two hits for the Mets, while Babula, Casey Donahue and Matt Fischer each knocked in two runs. The Mets scored four unearned runs in the first inning off Kevin Joo.

Stevie Stevenson, who pitched a two-hit shutout in Tuesday's opening game, had two hits for the Patriots.

RVL Semi-Finals: Thursday, August 4, 2016

Riverside and V-town to meet in RVL finals

It will be upstart Riverside against perennial power Vincentown in the best-of-five championship round of the Rancocas Valley League playoffs.

All games are at Harry Thompson Field in Southampton. Saturday's and Sunday's games will be at 7 p.m. The weeknight games will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Riverside 6, Burlington 2  

Alex Humes got through a shaky first inning as the Patriots (21-12) eliminated the Mets (23-8) in one semifinal at Ed Viereck Field. After allowing three hits and two runs to the first five batters, he pitched shutout ball and gave up just two more singles.  Jon McGuggan had a two-run double in the first for Riverside and drove in what proved to be the winner with a sacrifice fly in the third that scored Phil Stiles, who had doubled.  Taylor Zachman singled in a run and Jeff Briggs added a two-run single during a three-run third inning.  Stiles, Briggs and Donnie Strain each had two hits for the winners.  Shaun Babula and Mark Stumpf doubled in the first and Jon Wetzel singled in the other run.

The teams had split four games during the regular season.

Riverside is seeking its fifth RVL title, and first since 2001. The Riverside Bombers won titles in 1957, 1961 and 1963.

Vincentown 12, Cinnaminson 5

The Merchants (26-7) smacked four home runs and got solid pitching by Kevin Bostwick to oust the defending champion Reds (25-8) at Harry Thompson Field.  Frank Cerami had a solo home run in the second and an RBI double in the third for V-town.  Sam Pepper blasted a 425-foot home run in the fourth inning and added a two-run single in a five-run sixth.  Jim Best hit a solo home run in the sixth and Johnny Bujanowski delivered a two-run shot in the seventh.  Cody Macnair had a two-run home run and Frank Sirolli added an RBI single in the second, when Cinnaminson took an early 3-2 lead.

The Merchants, who split the regular-season series with the Reds, will be seeking their 14th RVL title, and first since 2012. Their first was in 1953.



RVL Finals: Game 1, Saturday, August 6, 2016

Vincentown wins opener

The Vincentown Merchants came to play Saturday night against the Riverside Patriots as the Rancocas Valley Baseball League championship round started.  While Riverside's pitchers were unable to slow down the Merchants, Mother Nature was, at least temporarily. A heavy thunderstorm forced a delay in the third inning.  Manager Harry Thompson's club took the opener 16-0. Game 2 of the best-of-five finals will be Sunday, 7 p.m., at Thompson Field.

Designated hitter Frank Cerami, who once played for Riverside, and Kyle Cichy were the big mashers.  Cerami delivered four hits, including a two-run single in a four-run first inning, and later slugged a home run.  Cichy, who played at Virginia Tech, blasted a grand-slam homerun in a five-run second inning, and later added a solo dinger.  Lefty Damon Valloreo, who struck out an RVL-record 20 batters in a game several years ago, was the winning pitcher.

Vincentown won all four regular-season games between the teams, by scores of 7-5, 4-2, 12-2 and 6-2.

RVL Finals: Game 2 - Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cerami's three home runs power Vincentown to 2-0 series lead

Harry Thompson has been playing and coaching in the Rancocas Valley Baseball League since 1947. John Bujanowski Sr. has been playing or coaching in the RVL since 1990.  Neither could recall a game like this.  “Not even close,” Thompson said. “We’ve never had a team with this much power.”  “We’ve never had a team this good,” Bujanowski Sr. said.

Vincentown crushed Riverside 18-0 Sunday night in Game 2 of the RVL championship series at Harry W. Thompson Field.  The Merchants hit seven home runs, all over the left-field fence. Only one barely cleared the fence. The rest were Dick Allen tape measures, Ryan Howard moonshots, or a combination of the two.  Most cleared both rows of cars in the parking lot beyond the fence. Some even landed in the green pasture across the street.

“Their pitchers like to throw fastballs,” Vincentown third baseman Kyle Cichy said. “So we were just looking for a good one to hit, every time up.”

“They didn’t have much life or movement on it,” shortstop Matt Weaver said. “We saw the ball really well.”

“We are just locked in as a team right now,” designated hitter Frank Cerami said. “We are clicking at the right time.”

Steve Volpe worked the first five innings before Scott Wilhelm got the last six outs. The Merchants lead the best-of-five series 2-0 with Game 3 scheduled for Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Harry Thompson Field. The two wins are by a combined score of 34-0.  They have hit 10 home runs in the finals and 15 in their last three playoff games. In other words, Cerami spoke the truth. Vincentown is more locked in than Carlos Beltran in a contract year.  “I’ve gone years in this league without seeing a grand slam,” Thompson said. “This team has seven in the last month.”

Cerami is more locked in than anyone. He hit three bombs in three straight at-bats Sunday night. He has four in the last two games.  “I don’t even feel worthy standing next to him. I only hit one tonight,” first baseman Dom Dalessandro said. It was a grand slam, though.    “Yeah, I’m no Frank Cerami,” Cichy said.

At worst, Cichy is Lou Gehrig to Cerami’s Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle to his Roger Maris. Cichy bopped two homers Saturday night and a grand salami Sunday night.

Weaver started Sunday’s home run derby with a three-run shot in the top of the first. The ball struck an SUV in the back of the parking lot. No windows were broken. Modern cars are something.   So are the 2016 Vincentown Merchants. But the 2015 Merchants were also one win away from the title. Then they made 13 errors in the last three games and handed the trophy to Cinnaminson.  “That’s not going to happen this year,” Thompson said. “These guys are too good and they are on a mission.”

The Merchants are going for their 14th RVL title. They have won more than any other RVL team except Cinnaminson.  “We are the Yankees of this league,” pitcher Damon Valloreo said. “Everybody hates us.”

Vincentown completes sweep to Rancocas Valley League baseball championship

Vincentown ace Dave Gibson was supposed to start Game 3 of the Rancocas Valley Baseball League championship series. But Gibson called manager Harry Thompson before the game Monday night. “I’m going to be late,” Gibson said.  “Ok, we’ll get you in when you get here,” Thompson said.

It wasn’t necessary. 

Scott Wilhelm pitched a complete game shutout at Harry W. Thompson Field. Vincentown beat Riverside 5-0, sweeping the series 3-0, winning its first RVL title since 2012 and 14th overall.   “I found out I was going to start 20 minutes before the game,” Wilhelm said. “My arm was a little sore but I was pumped. I got through on adrenaline.”

Wilhelm also pitched two shutout innings to close out Game 2. So he pitched nine straight scoreless frames over two games, the last nine innings of Vincentown’s championship season.  Wilhelm pitched just eight innings in the regular season.   “We used him as a hitter mainly,” Thompson said. “But Scotty can step in whenever we need him.”

Riverside left 10 runners on base.   Riverside loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. Wilhelm struck out the next batter looking at a fastball in. The last batter flew out to left.  The Patriots’ last chance to take a lead was in the top of the fifth. With a man on third, Jonnie McGugan crushed the ball to the left-field fence. Sam Pepper caught it as he rammed into the fence. “Sam Pepper made a heck of a play out there,” Wilhelm said. “But in those jams, I just stayed confident.”

Vincentown finally broke through against Riverside ace Kevin Joo in the bottom of the fifth. The Merchants loaded the bases for Pat Donnelly. He lifted a high fastball to deep left. Frank Cerami tagged up and raced home. The throw flew wide right of home plate. Cerami did not slide. The catcher tug his leg. But Cerami’s foot was already down.  “That’s the pitch I wanted,” Donnelly said. “I knew I got enough of it right away.” 

John Bujanowski Jr. followed by stroking an RBI single to left. Then Pepper skied a sacrifice fly to deep right. Another run scored on a wild pitch.

Vincentown completed the sweep after blowing a 2-0 series lead in 2015. “That was my first year and it was disappointing,” catcher Jim Best said. “But it made this year that much sweeter.”  Vincentown outscored Riverside 39-0 in three games. “The first two games we took them out in the first two innings,” Best said. “They were in this one. That’s why Scott’s pitching was so important.”

After the win, Vincentown players jogged toward Thompson and bathed him with champagne. Fans snapped iPhone pictures of the soaked, smiling 85-year-old.  “This was a great day,” Thompson said. “I had my first great-grandchild this morning. And now this.”