Colts Neck, N.J. - The last two starts for Colts Neck’s Chase Masterson have had one thing in common, no hits.
Coming off throwing four no-hit innings with seven strikeouts in the Colts Neck High School baseball team’s win over Middletown North over a week ago, Masterson again silenced the bats with an even more impressive performance against Holmdel, on Tuesday.
The junior left-hander tallied 11 strikeouts in five no-hit stellar innings on the mound to help Colts Neck defeat Holmdel 6-0 and advance to the second round of the Monmouth County Tournament.
“I wanted to come out and have a good game. Throw strikes and do whatever I could to get the win,” Masterson said. “My goal wasn’t to try to throw a no-hitter. Just wanted to do the best I can, but it felt great not to give up a hit.”
Masterson struck out the side in the first inning to get himself out of a jam with runners on second and third. The junior racked up five strikeouts in the first two innings of the contest.
Colts Neck busted out the bats in a huge way with a five-run second inning to give Masterson a lead to work with.
After Dan Cowles ledoff the inning with a double and George Zemlanicky followed with a single to set up runners on first and third for the Cougars, Adrian Jimenez got Colts Neck on the board.
Jimenez rocketed a double to the gap in left center to plate home both Cowles and Zemlanicky to give the Cougars an early 2-0 lead.
“My plan was to try to get something in the air for a sac-fly to get the run home from third. Get the momentum going for us,” Jimenez said. “He missed with a curveball on the first pitch and threw me a fastball that I was sitting on. I just wanted to get the team going.”
Colin Kratzer extended it to a 3-run lead moments later by ripping an RBI single back up the middle to score Jimenez.
The lead was up to 4-0 after Brooks Condon scored on a wild pitch, Rob Mannino helped put the capper on the Colts Neck five-run inning with two outs and Kratzer on third base.
Mannino bashed an RBI double to left center to put Colts Neck up 5-0 going into the third inning.
“I was looking to do my part,” Mannino said. Wanted to start the game off hot. I was looking for a pitch I could drive and shoot to the gap.”
Mannino went two-for-three at the dish with a double and a triple.
Having a nice lead to work with, Masterson continued to dominate the next three innings on the mound.
Adding two more strikeouts in the third inning, the junior sizzled in the fourth by striking out the side to get 10 strikeouts on the day.
Masterson picked up his 11th strikeout in his last inning of work in the fifth inning.
“I always knew that I could pitch well at the varsity level,” Masterson said. “My curveball was a big pitch for me. I got a lot of swing and misses off it. I’m just trying to throw as many strikes as possible. Limit walks and put my team in position to win.”
Condon scored on another wild pitch in the fourth inning to extend the Colts Neck lead to 6-0. Condon had a hit and a stolen base to go along with his two runs scored in the win.
Kratzer took over for Masterson in the sixth inning. Despite giving up a hit in the inning that broke up the combined no-hit bid, Kratzer secured the one-hit shutout with two scoreless innings of relief to close out the sixth win of the season for Colts Neck.
Zemlanicky had two hits in the win for the Cougars.
Colts Neck is now 6-3 on the season after losing to Wall in the second half of its doubleheader on Tuesday 5-0.
The Cougars will face Manasquan in the second round of the Monmouth County Tournament on Saturday.
“I feel like our team can definitely win something this year,” Mannino said. “We’re very confident and playing really well right now. Everyone is doing the little things right. We’re playing flawless baseball.”
Holmdel starter Jake Umas pitched four innings in the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits with a strikeout.
Christian Gravier racked up two strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief for the Hornets.
Jason Lyons reached base twice for Holmdel and had the lone Hornets hit of the day.
The loss drops Holmdel to 3-6 on the season and snaps its two-game winning streak.
“We had one bad inning giving up five runs and that’s tough to comeback from,” said Holmdel baseball coach Christopher Arecchi. “I thought we battled tough. We have scratched and clawed all season long. We are leaps and bounds from where we were at last year.”
Holmdel will look to rebound on Wednesday when they play Manasquan.
Sign up for free daily TAPinto News for Holmdel, Colts Neck, Middletown-click here and choose free daily for your town, so you know what's going on in your community!
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports