The Dukes Baseball team won an extra inning thriller over Bergen Community College 5-4 and advanced to the winner's bracket in the Region 19 Final Four Tournament. In the winner's bracket, Cumberland defeated Brookdale Community College 7-1 behind an impressive pitching performance from Joe Zanghi.
In the first game of the day, Cumberland struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Mixon scored from third on an errant pickoff attempt at first base. Dalton Mayberry then drove in Jake Carr on a double to right center field. Mayberry finished 2 for 3 with two doubles, a walk, and that RBI.
Then, the Bulldogs of Bergen scored a run in each of the fourth, sixth and eighth innings. Trailing, by a score of 3-2, the Dukes scored in the bottom of the ninth to knot the game at three. Falling behind again in the tenth, the Dukes scored two runs in the bottom of the frame to walk-off with the wild win. Ryan Solari, pinch running for Justin Geri, scored on a dropped fly ball with two outs off the bat of Zanghi. Zanghi then forced an errant throw from the Bergen catcher to third base and Zanghi came home to secure the win.
The win over Bergen, set up the matchup between Cumberland and Brookdale. Zanghi, who took the hill, befuddled the Jersey Blue batters all afternoon, going the distance in a complete game, 121 pitch performance. After scoring two runs in the fourth inning, the Dukes tacked on five more in the fifth. Three of those runs came off the bat of Catcher Emil Zorrilla who laced a double to right-center that cleared the bases and plated Jake Carr, John Schoelkopf, and Mayberry. Zorrilla finished with 4 RBIs in the second game of the day.
With those two wins, the Dukes are back in the Region 19 Championship Game for the second consecutive year. This is familiar territory, as last season Cumberland won their first two games of the double-elimination style tournament for the title. The Dukes will now square off against the winner of Brookdale Community College and Rowan College at Gloucester County for the Region 19 Championship.