The Dukes Baseball program took two of three games in a series against Brookdale CC to cap off a spectacular regular season. The Dukes grabbed wins of 9-6 and 10-3, with Brookdale CC winning Game 2 of the series by an 11-1 final score.
Game 1 of the series began on Saturday afternoon at Cumberland after rain pushed the three-game set back a day. The Jersey Blues got off to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first. However, the Dukes didn't waste any time knotting the score up at three.
After falling down again by a score of 5-3, the Dukes took the lead in the fifth. With John Banes and Anthony Harrold on base, Chris Salvey delivered a two-run double to tie the game at 5. Later that inning, sophomore speedster Josh Martinez scored on a sacrifice fly from Walt Vickery.
In the sixth Cumberland extended their lead after Mitch Walker was hit by a pitch. He then stole second and then scored on a RBI single by John Banes. Banes finished the game 4 for 5 with two runs scored and a game-high three RBIs.
With the lead narrowed to 8-6 after a Brookdale run crossed the plate in the eighth, Salvey delivered a knockout blow on a solo homerun that easily cleared the fence heading into a strong wind. That made the score 9-6, and sophomore Misael Castillo slammed the door to complete the come-from-behind win. Freshman righty Jarrett Quinn (10-0) picked up the win on the mound for the Dukes and set the season high for wins in a season by a Cumberland hurler with ten.
It was then on to day 2 of the series on Sunday and the two teams traveled back to Brookdale CC for games two and three. Brookdale got the best of Cumberland in Game 2, jumping on the Dukes early and often. The Jersey Blues top two spots of the lineup generated the majority of their offense, combining for four runs scored and seven total RBIs.
The Dukes bounced back in game 3 to score ten runs, nine of which came in the third and fourth innings. Cumberland posted a five spot in the third and followed that up with a four run fourth, jumping out to a 9-1 lead. The Dukes kept the Jersey Blues at arm's length the rest of the way to hold on for a 10-3 win, clinching the series, and the Garden State Athletic Conference regular season title.
Salvey stayed hot, connecting on yet another home run, his 13th of the season. The sophomore slugger finished 1 for 3 with four runs-batted-in. Vickery, Marco Rios, and Tovine Potts each recorded two hits in the Game 3 win, and freshman catcher Ivan Solis served up his first home run of the season.
Sophomore southpaw Joe Bobiak was at it again in yet another big game for the nation's top ranked team. Bobiak tossed a complete game in a decisive game 3 last weekend over the #2 ranked Roadrunners of RCGC. The Gloucester City native recorded another gutsy performance, throwing 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out seven Brookdale hitters.
With the series win, the Dukes should have secured the number 1 overall seed in the Region 19 Tournament. Postseason action will begin on May 13th, with Cumberland hosting the winner of the 8 v. 9 match-up in a three-game series starting on the 13th. Once more playoff information is released, it will be published to the homepage and baseball schedule page.