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Baseball: Special day for Dickinson, GC

By Phil Anastasia

It was a special day for Phil Dickinson and the Gloucester Catholic baseball team.

The game was pretty good for the Rams, too.

Dickinson, a senior shortstop, reached base three times and played flawlessly in the field to help Gloucester Catholic to an 11-1 victory over St. Augustine Prep Sunday in a clash of two of South Jersey's top teams.

Junior John Murphy pitched a complete game and junior second baseman Sean Breen was 4-for-4 with four RBIs for Gloucester Catholic in the final matchup of a two-day, seven-game Coaches vs. Cancer showcase at Millville.

"We needed a game like this," Dickinson said of Gloucester Catholic (9-4), the No. 3 team in the new Top 10 rankings.

Senior starter Joey Gatto worked three innings for No. 4 St. Augustine (8-3). Pitching before a large crowd that included around a dozen professional scouts, Gatto hit 93 m.p.h. on the radar gun and struck out five but also walked six and allowed three runs on three hits.

St. Augustine pitchers walked 11 and also hit a batter in a game that was shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.

"You're not going to win any games with that many walks," St. Augustine coach Mike Bylone said.

Murphy advanced his reputation as one of the state's top big-game pitchers. He allowed five hits with three walks and struck out seven. His best fastball touched 90 m.p.h. on the radar guns.

"He wants the ball in these games," Gloucester Catholic coach Mike Rucci said of Murphy.

Junior right-fielder Fran Kinsey and junior catcher Tre Todd both rapped two-run doubles for Gloucester Catholic, which was 3-3 in its last six and was coming off an 8-6 loss to St. Mary's of Rutherford on Saturday.

"We needed to get back to playing Gloucester Catholic baseball," Murphy said.

The Rams wore flourescent green T-shirts that Rucci had designed for Sunday's event.

The T-shirts were embossed on the left arm with "CB3" and on the right arm with "TD."

The "CB3" stood for former Gloucester Catholic star Cody Brown, South Jersey's Player of the Year in 2011. Brown, who recently was declared cancer-free after radiation and chemotherapy for lymphoma, threw out the first pitch on his 21st birthday.

"Cody is an inspiration to all of these guys," Rucci said.

The "TD" on the right sleeve stood for Phil's father, Tom Dickinson, who died of cancer in October.

"This meant so much to me," Dickinson said. "To see so many people here, so many people who have lost somebody, it makes me feel grateful for the time I had with my dad."

Dickinson said he was overwhelmed when Rucci unveiled the T-shirts.

"I felt joy," Dickinson said.

Dickinson, a Wagner recruit and the Rams' lead-off hitter, was 1-for-2 with a single and scored two runs. He handled four chances in the field.

Rucci said he was hopeful that Sunday's event would help Dickinson in his efforts to come to terms with the loss of his father.

"Maybe he can start to move forward," Rucci said. "He's carrying a lot of his shoulders. He's a hard worker and a tough, tough kid. But no teen-ager should have to go through this."

Gloucester Catholic 030 53 -- 11 8 0

St. Augustine 100 00 00 1 5 1

WP: John Murphy. LP: Joey Gatto.

2B: GC-Fran Kinsey, Tre Todd.

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