EMERSON, NJ - It took extra innings, but Hasbrouck Heights finally got to Emerson Borough starting pitcher Joe Carmosino in the top of the eighth inning for three runs as the Aviators defeated the higher-seeded Cavos, 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 playoffs. The Aviators will host Butler, who defeated New Milford, 8-6, on Tuesday afternoon at Depken Field.
The Aviators struck in the top of the eighth as Spencer Lee singled leading off the inning. Matt Baker sacrificed Lee to second base for the first out. Mario Gomez bounced back to the mound for the second out, with Lee advancing to third.
Dylan Grisafe singled to right field, scoring Lee and giving the Aviators a 1-0 lead. Rocco Minichellom running for Grisafe, used his legs to get into scoring position, and scored when Shawn Calhoun singled, giving the Aviators a 2-0 lead and knocking Carmosino out of the game.
Peter Neumann greeted Emerson reliever Nick Delpome with a single, moving Calhoun to second . Johnny Capozzi singled home Nick Cupo, (running for Calhoun) for a 3-0 lead before Delpome was able to get Travis Culkin to fly out to end the inning.
Culkin, on in relief of starting pitcher Marcos Ochoa, gave out up a leadoff single to Matt Harada before retiring the next three Emerson batters to pick up the save.
“Marcos (Ochoa) had a real good curveball,” said Hasbrouck Heights Head Coach Pat Gabriele. “Travis (Culkin) did what he has done all year and that’s close out wins. He’s 8 for 8 in saves for us this year.”
Ochoa limited Emerson to six hits in seven innings, walking four and striking out seven while keeping Emerson off the board. Emerson limited the Aviators to seven hits, but bunched four of those hits in the top of the eighth.
“It was a great team win, “ said Gabriele. “We played well defensively, and finally strung four two-out hits together in the eighth.”
HasbroucK Heights, the 11th seed in the North 1, Group 1 playoffs, improves to 12-12 on the season and faces 14th seeded Butler. Butler upset third seed Wallkill Valley 12-6 in the opening round, before beating 11th seeded New Milford in what has been an upset driven bracket. Fourth seed Park Ridge and eighth seed Pompton Lakes will meet in the other semi-final.
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