SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The day started with the official confirmation that Dayton Baseball was awarded the top seed in the upcoming NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state tournament, and then ended with its 15th win of the season.
Senior Anthony Monguso had three hits, including a double, with two RBI and junior Ryan Lashuk scattered four hits over four innings with four strikeouts to get the win in relief to propel Dayton to a 9-7 victory over Rahway in Springfield.
Junior Anthony Santucci had a two-run single with a run scored, junior Jack Quinn added two singles with an RBI, and junior Jeffrey Carrier added an RBI single with a run scored for the Bulldogs (15-4), which has won three straight and seven of its last nine games.
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Junior William Hodic had two runs scored, Lashuk, and seniors Matthew Pavick and Joe Kastner each scored a run apiece in the win.
Senior Jonathan Holland posted an RBI single and junior Adam Wuest tacked on an RBI for Dayton, which will play its final regular season game Friday versus neighbor Union at Ruby Field in Springfield with first pitch set for 4 p.m.
In other regular-season news, Dayton finished in second-place, one game behind Roselle Park, which captured its third Union County Conference-Valley Division title, having won in 2011 and 2015.
“We are very proud of finishing first or second in our conference every year I have been here, except last year, which shows the consistency of our play and I am proud of that more than anything,” said Dayton head coach Michael Abbate.
The Bulldogs won the conference crown in 2010 and 2012-15, and finished second in 2011 and this season.
State Tournament starts Monday
Dayton begins its state tournament run on Monday, May 22 as they host 16th-seeded Somerset Tech at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to next Thursday’s quarterfinals to face the winner between ninth-seeded Brearley and eighth-seeded Becton.
“Getting the top seed is a tribute to being consistent throughout the year with our approach in trying to win the game we play each day and only worrying about one game at a time,” said Abbate. “Our kids love playing at Ruby Field and I am glad the seniors get an opportunity to play at least one more time there.”
The Bulldogs are seeking its third sectional title, having won it in 2013 and 2014.
Roselle Park, the second-seed, is on the bottom side of the bracket, and should both teams be fortunate enough to survive and advance, the third matchup of the season between both schools will be held at historic Ruby Field in Springfield with a sectional title on the line on Friday, June 2.