UPDATE: Bosco perfect in winning state title
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Last updated: Sunday June 8, 2008, EDT 12:18 PM
BY ANDREW GROSS STAFF WRITER
TOMS RIVER – Eric Pfisterer begged for a few seconds to recover.
All around, his Don Bosco teammates were celebrating their Non-Public A state championship Saturday at Toms River North – a 5-4 win over Christian Brothers Academy to cap a historic perfect season. But after separating himself from the jubilant pile, the senior left-hander rolled to his back, staring up at the sun and the 100-degree rays it blasted onto the diamond.
“We knew it would be a battle,” Pfisterer said. “We knew it would take the heart of a champion to get out of it today.”
So Don Bosco (33-0) completed its trifecta – a State title, the honor of being the first undefeated Bergen team since Hackensack went 17-0 in 1950 as well as its third straight Bergen County tournament championship last weekend.
“It’s mind-numbing it’s so overwhelming,” senior catcher Ben Luderer said. “That this team plays 33 games and doesn’t lose one, especially against some very legitimate competition. It’s overwhelming.”
Pfisterer (10-0) earned the victory with four innings of relief, allowing five hits and an unearned run, after senior right-hander Mike Dennhardt, pitching on three days rest, labored through three innings in the heat
“Neither had their best stuff,” Luderer said. “The weather took a huge toll today.”
“(Pfisterer) picked me up in the game,” said Dennhardt, who left trailing 2-1 after junior Dan Avella launched a solo home run to right with two outs in the first and junior Zach Tanenbaum scored on a wild pitch in the second. “There’s nothing more I could ask for from this season.”
Luderer scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth after leading off with a single to right.
He then went to second on junior Chris Picyk’s single and wound up scoring when CBA (20-9) botched a pickoff attempt at first. Picyk went 2 for 3 – he was ruled out in the second when senior courtesy runner Mike O’Keefe was called for runner’s interference at second – with an RBI-double in Don Bosco’s three-run fourth.
The Ironmen found a way despite their first three batters – senior Michael Vargas and juniors Anthony Gomez and Brett Knief collectively going an uncharacteristic 0 for 10. Senior cleanup hitter Steve Proscia did go 3 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored.
“It was probably because of how we played and how they played,” Luderer said as the teams combined for four errors. “They (CBA) really had nothing to lose.”
And the Colts didn’t until Pfisterer pitched out of one final jam in the seventh. He walked sophomore pinch-hitter Mike Hanlon on four pitches to start the inning and Avella followed with a single with Hanlon going to third on Gomez’s throwing error.
But senior Stephen McSherry popped out to second, Tanenbaum struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch and senior John Himmelman – who had laced Pfisterer’s first pitch of the day into center for a double – bounced out to short.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Pfisterer, who, along with Dennhardt and Proscia were selected Friday in the Major League Baseball draft. “With everything that’s gone on in the last week, it’s been the best week of my life.”