South Jersey Sports

LCM’s Smith enjoys excellent season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, June 05, 2014 02:30 pm

JEFF SMITH There has been a lot of outstanding sports activity this spring at Lower Cape May Regional High School.

Quinn Bithell, just a sophomore, won a South Jersey title and has been assaulting the school record books in track.

The boys lacrosse team won the most games in program history and qualified for the state tournament for the first time, and the girls lacrosse team captured its first-ever state playoff victory.

And senior baseball Josh Pennington, despite a horrific elbow injury, could see himself selected in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft later this week.

But one sports story at the school that practically went unnoticed this spring was the quiet but excellent season posted by tennis player Jeff Smith.

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Mainland mows down Hamilton to reach first state title game

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, June 04, 2014 10:52 pm

mainham1 Bill LeConey/Mainland Regional pitcher Matt Tepedino (left) celebrates with catcher Billy Talarico and first baseman Nick Droboniku after his dominating win over Hamilton in the Group III state semifinal. EWING - The phrase “worth the wait” applies in many ways to what the Mainland Regional High School baseball team accomplished Wednesday afternoon.

The Mustangs had to wait an extra day because of the weather to secure the program's first-ever appearance in a state championship game – and the wait seemed to suit pitcher Matt Tepedino to a T.

Tepedino was overpowering on Wednesday, hitting the mid-90s on the radar gun, striking out 13 and allowing five hits in a 2-0 Group III semifinal win over Hamilton West at The College of New Jersey. The victory propelled the Mustangs into Saturday’s state title game against Mount Olive, scheduled for 2 p.m. at Toms River South High School.

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Pennington: If drafted, ‘I’m going to sign’

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, June 04, 2014 12:55 pm

JOSH PENNINGTON Josh Pennington may not throw another pitch for more than a year. But the injured senior righthander from Lower Cape May Regional High School is still optimistic he’ll be selected in the later rounds of this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“It’s definitely not going to be how it was before,” Pennington said. “If I was healthy I might have gone in the (Round) 4-to-6 range. But now I’ll probably be much later than that.”

Prior to this season, Pennington was one of a handful of South Jersey high school pitchers drawing major interest from professional scouts due to a fastball that consistently reached into the low 90s. But he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow while warming up for a game during the Caper Tigers’ trip to Myrtle Beach in April. He is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery later this month, to be performed by famed orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.

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MTHS frosh selected for National Lacrosse Classic

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, June 02, 2014 09:13 pm

BRIDGET RUSKEY Middle Township High School freshman Bridget Ruskey, fresh off a record-setting first high school season, has been selected to participate for Team New Jersey in the 2014 Brine National Lacrosse Classic scheduled for June 30-July 3 in Boyds, Md.

The Brine National Lacrosse Classic features many of the top high school lacrosse players in the country at one venue, where regional teams compete to become the 2014 national champion. The tournament includes practices, games, seminars and other activities for all players. Scores of college lacrosse coaches from every division are expected to attend.

Team New Jersey is made up of some of the top high school girls lacrosse players on track to graduate in 2017.

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Cape Express team falls in State Cup final

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, June 02, 2014 10:41 am

The Cape Express U-15 boys soccer team’s glorious run through the New Jersey State Cup tournament ended one victory shy of a championship.

After a scoreless first half, Marlboro scored twice in quick succession and held on for a 2-1 victory to win the title in the age group Sunday afternoon.

The New Jersey State Cup is a single-elimination tournament involving youth soccer teams of the same age levels from throughout the state. Separate tournaments are held during the fall and spring seasons.

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Lewis ascends to world No. 1 with victory at LPGA Classic

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Written by Staff Reports Sunday, June 01, 2014 08:41 pm

lewiswins Photo courtesy of ShopRite LPGA Classic Stacy Lewis regained the world No. 1 ranking by running away with the ShopRite LPGA Classic Sunday at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway.

Lewis shot a a 67 that took her to 12 under par for the week, holding off Christina Kim at minus-10 and a quartet of players at -9. Her second Classic win in three years allowed her to regain the world No. 1 ranking that had been held by Inbee Park for 59 straight weeks.

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Oakcrest's Muhammad wins state title with record-setting 800

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Written by Bill LeConey Sunday, June 01, 2014 10:53 am

muhammad Ishmail Muhammad Oakcrest High School's Ishmael Muhammad had an amazing run Saturday at the state Group III track and field championships in South Plainfield.

The senior won the 800-meter final in 1:50.65 - the fastest in New Jersey this year, and sixth-fastest in the nation. It was also a meet record.

Muhammad will attend Villanova University in the fall on a track scholarship.

In addition to Muhammad's record-setting performance at the Group III championships, there were many other impressive performances this weekend at the state track and field championships in South Plainfield and Egg Harbor Township.

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Lewis fires 63 before winds kick up to lead ShopRite Classic

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Written by Staff Reports Saturday, May 31, 2014 05:41 pm

lewis Photo courtesy of ShopRite LPGA Classic/Stacy Lewis signs an autograph for a fan after shooting a 63 Saturday at the Classic. Stacy Lewis fired a 63 Saturday and stands at minus-12 to lead the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer at Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway.

Lewis leads Christina Kim by one stroke and Jennifer Johnson by two heading into Sunday's final round.

Lewis completed her 18 holes before the winds really kicked up on a sunny day that brought big crowds to the historic Bay course at Stockton Seaview.

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Mainland Mustangs win first South Jersey title since ’99

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:56 am

celebrate Bill LeConey/The Mainland Mustangs celebrate their 2-0 win over Moorestown in the South Jersey Group III championship. MOORESTOWN – The Mainland Regional High School baseball team quietly snuck up on a lot of people this year.

The Mustangs are making a lot of noise right now, when it counts.

The 11th-seeded Mustangs beat top seed Moorestown, 2-0, in nine innings Friday to capture the South Jersey Group III championship, their first sectional title since 1999.

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Vogdes helps Catholic tie Middle for CAL golf title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, May 30, 2014 11:22 am

BLAKE VOGDES Blake Vogdes tied his career best for nine holes with a 3-under par 33 to lead the Wildwood Catholic High School golf team to a 163-186 victory over St. Joseph Thursday at Pinelands Golf Club.

The victory allowed the Crusaders to officially tie Middle Township for the Cape-Atlantic National Conference golf championship.

Vogdes, a junior, made three birdies and six pars in his round. Jake Ferry (40), Patric Vogdes (42) and Ana Pelayo (48) were the other scorers for Wildwood Catholic in the victory.

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Sectional title for Mighty Quinn

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, May 28, 2014 04:18 pm

LCM's Quinn Bithell, Jean Morano, Lizzy Sulecki and Carrie Wunder have each qualified for the state championship track meet If Quinn Bithell wasn’t already considered one of the best track athletes in South Jersey prior to last weekend, she sure is now.

The Lower Cape May Regional sophomore set a new school record in winning the high jump and finished among the top five in three other events at the South Jersey Group II championships Friday and Saturday at Egg Harbor Township High School.

Bithell highlighted the events by local athletes at the various sectional meets. She’s one of 10 from the area who will participate in state championship meets this weekend.

Bithell, who already owns four school records with at least one meet plus two full seasons to go in her high school career, bettered her own school record height by leaping 5 feet, 4 inches in the high jump. She won the event comfortably, with the second-place competitor, Woodstown’s Dominique Hickman, finishing six inches short of Bithell’s mark at 4-10.

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Hawks fly to competitiveness

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, May 28, 2014 03:30 pm

Cape Tech's Will Winter was the winning pitcher vs. Wildwood Catholic CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Technical High School baseball team took, almost literally, a 30-second bus trip to an away game on Tuesday.

The Hawks have traveled much farther than that, however, this season.

Tuesday’s 16-6 victory in an offensive outburst against Wildwood Catholic improved Cape May Tech to 9-16 for the season.

More important to a program that has struggled in many seasons, especially locally, Tech further proved how formidable of an opponent it’s been this season for area teams. Tuesday’s win was the Hawks’ third over the Crusaders (in four tries) this season. The team also has one-run losses to both Lower Cape May and Middle Township on its resume.

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Middle falls short in playoff upset bid

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, May 28, 2014 03:26 pm

The Middle Township High School softball team had lost by scores of 10-0 and 9-3 to Buena during the regular season. So it’s stands to reason that the Lady Panthers were underdogs when they traveled to Buena for a third game against the Chiefs, this time in the South Jersey Group II semifinal round.

They didn’t play like underdogs, however.

But after Middle, the fourth seed in the tournament, tied the game dramatically in the top of the seventh, first-seeded Buena got the fourth hit of the game from catcher Lynnsie Collins to chase home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Chiefs prevailed, 4-3.

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Cinderella Crusaders march on

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, May 28, 2014 05:39 am

The WCHS softball team has upset two higher-seeded teams to reach the South Jersey semifinal round. The Wildwood Catholic High School softball team is going where no other Wildwood Catholic softball team has gone before – the semifinal round of the South Jersey Non-Public B playoffs.

The Crusaders, seeded 11th in the tournament, upset a higher-seeded team for the second time in as many games Tuesday afternoon, topping No. 3 St. Rose, 4-2, to advance to Friday’s sectional semifinal game at No. 2 St. Joseph. The victory marks the first time a Wildwood Catholic softball team has won two state playoff games in the same season.

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