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Preview of South Jersey baseball finals

The Washington Township and Lenape baseball teams won't need to look frantically for scouting reports before the two meet in Friday's South Jersey Group 4 final.

The Washington Township and Lenape baseball teams won't need to look frantically for scouting reports before the two meet in Friday's South Jersey Group 4 final.

When Lenape hosts the 4 p.m. championship, it will be the fourth meeting this year between the Olympic Conference American Division rivals, which are The Inquirer's top two ranked South Jersey teams.

No. 1 Lenape (23-4) split its regular-season games against the Minutemen, losing by 1-0 on April 20 and winning by 11-1 in six innings on May 5. The two also met in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, and Lenape won a 7-6 semifinal in nine innings on May 16.

"I'd rather play an Olympic American team than anybody," Washington Township coach Bill Alvaro said. "It's great competition."

Alvaro says he will start lefthander Adam Warburton, who is 8-2 with a 1.42 ERA and is 1-1 against Lenape this year. Warburton pitched four innings in Tuesday's 13-0 semifinal win over Cherokee and, according to NJSIAA pitching rules, would be allowed to throw as many as six against Lenape.

Shortstop Nick Favatella is among the most dangerous hitters in South Jersey, batting .600 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.

Lenape coach Phil Fiore wasn't ready to name his starter, but junior righthander Jeff McGarry (7-2) is eligible to throw as many as 10 innings after pitching five in Monday's 11-5 semifinal victory over Clearview.

Senior righthander Tory Schroff threw four innings in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Cherokee, and would be eligible to pitch as many as six. Righthander Jason Bohrer, the winner in Lenape's 1-0 Diamond Classic championship victory over Millville, is another pitching candidate.

Lenape is the No. 3 seed, and Washington Township is seeded 13th.

Here are the other three public-school finals for Friday.

Group 3. No. 3 seed Ocean City (18-7) at No. 1 Highland (19-7), 4 p.m. Connor Ortolf (6-2, 1.03 ERA) is eligible to pitch 10 innings for Ocean City, and will be the likely starter. In addition, Koyla Stephenson also may throw as many as 10 innings.

Second baseman Brian Longo (.425, 35 runs, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs) leads a strong offense.

Highland coach D.J. Gore indicated he is leaning toward throwing Tyler Hinchliffe.

Second baseman Pierce Phillips, who hit a walk-off home run in Highland's opening 4-3 Group 3 win over Lacey, has been among the hottest hitters in South Jersey.

Group 2. No. 4 Buena (22-8) at No. 3 Audubon, 3:45 p.m. Audubon coach Rich Horan says he will throw righthander Wade Gies (7-2). Gies may throw as many as eight innings after earning the win with two innings of relief in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Haddon Township in eight innings.

Buena coach George West says senior righthander Brandon Bakley and junior lefthander Ian Hare are eligible to throw 10 innings. Four other pitchers - Dave Silipino, Billy Jackson, Jarred Corniell and Anthony Lopez - are eligible to throw eight, so it could be a pitcher-by-committee approach.

Group 1. No. 4 New Egypt (18-8) at No. 3 Pitman (20-4), 4 p.m. Pitman coach Gene Reid says he will go with lefthander Steve Schuler (8-1), who may throw as many as nine innings. New Egypt coach Rich Carroll says he will use junior righthander Taylor Steen (6-2, 2.20 ERA).

This is Pitman's third straight year in the sectional final. The Panthers were runners-up in 2008 to Maple Shade and last season to Gateway. New Egypt is making its first sectional-final appearance.