By Jim Hintelmann
Red Bank — Although it wasn’t a division game, unbeaten (6-0) Red Bank Catholic’s 17-6 rout of Middletown South meant a lot to the Caseys.
It was Middletown South that snapped a 24-game RBC winning streak in last year’s Monmouth County Tournament title game with an 8-5 win, and the Eagles also defeated RBC in a summer league game.
“We mentioned it in the pre-game huddle,” said RBC coach Buddy Hausmann. “They handed us one of our only two losses in the summer league and that didn’t sit well with us.”
RBC unloaded a 17-hit attack highlighted by a 13-run explosion in the second inning to erase a 2-1 South lead. Sophomore shortstop Al Molina, in his first varsity season, led the attack in that inning with a pair of home runs.
His first clout tied the game and then he followed it up with a three-shot later in the inning to give RBC an 11-2 lead. Catcher Joe Keane also added a three-run homer in the inning.
Molina’s power didn’t come as a surprise to Hausmann since he had hit 10 home runs last year as a freshman on the junior varsity team.
“I hit both home runs off fastballs,” said Molina. “I started off a little slow but now I am, picking it up. We trailed in some of our games this year, but we seem to like that since we always come back.”
“This is Molina’s first varsity season, and his first year at shortstop,” said Hausmann, “We tried not to put pressure on him so we put him seventh in the lineup. We have plenty of good hitters so we told him to just work on defense. He’s a very capable hitter.”
Since it wasn’t a division game, neither team went with their top pitchers. RBC used four hurlers in the game with starter Chris Selden, who worked only the first two innings, being the winning pitcher.
Keane and Mike Rescigno both had three hits in the game with Keane also knocking in three runs and scoring three.
RBC, the defending Shore Conference champions, has one of the state’s best hitting lineups with the Caseys scoring 65 runs in six games thus far despite three of their games being stopped after five innings because of the 10-run Mercy Rule.