Pitching in the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic seems to agree with Cherry Hill West righthander Vince Voiro.
Two Diamond Classic appearances. Two gems.
Voiro, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior, pitched a complete-game five-hitter as Cherry Hill West whipped Mainland, 7-1, in a Diamond Classic quarterfinal yesterday at Deptford. Voiro had a two-hit shutout before Mainland scratched out an unearned run in the seventh.
A week earlier, the Penn-bound Voiro pitched a two-hitter and blanked Maple Shade, 5-0, in a Diamond opener.
With yesterday's win, West advanced to today's 12:30 p.m. semifinal against Shawnee, which scored a 12-1 win over defending champion West Deptford in the nightcap at Deptford. Today's semifinal also will be played at Deptford.
Today's winner will advance to this evening's 5 p.m. final at Campbell's Field in Camden.
Voiro improved to 5-1, and he has not allowed an earned run in 14 Diamond Classic innings.
"He's been super all year," said West coach Gary Sarno, whose team is ranked No. 5 in South Jersey by The Inquirer. "He's always around the plate, throwing strikes, and the team is very confident when he's on the mound."
"My fastball had good movement on it today, and I think the wind may have helped it," Voiro said.
West (15-6) took advantage of four walks and a hit batter as it pushed across five runs in the second, an inning that featured shortstop Matt Speckman's two-run single that flared to left.
At one point, West used eight consecutive pinch-hitters in the fifth and sixth innings. "The kids work hard, and I like to reward them and use everybody," Sarno said.
Mainland coach Gary Hegh held back his ace, 6-7 Charlie Law, because he wants him to be fresh for Wednesday's key conference game against Vineland. If ninth-ranked Mainland had held a lead late in yesterday's game, Hegh said, he would have used Law for two innings.
"That's what I was hoping for," he said.
Hegh said Max Trotman, Mainland's No. 2 pitcher, will face Vineland in a South Jersey Group 4 game tomorrow; he will save Law for Wednesday's conference game.
"It's more feasible for us to go for the conference [title]," Hegh said.
Sarno, the West coach, said Dan Hill or Andrew Hoffman would be used today in the Diamond. He hoped the Lions would get to play two games today.
Lefty Joe Calogero will be saved for tomorrow's Group 4 game against Williamstown.
As for Shawnee, it held out its ace, Quinton Miller, because it didn't want West Deptford to get a look at the hard-throwing righthander. The teams could meet in the South Jersey Group 3 final.
Even without Miller, No. 2 Shawnee (16-1) coasted past No. 6 West Deptford (16-6) as Jon Hydock pitched a complete-game six-hitter in a game stopped after six innings because of the 10-run rule.
Junior centerfielder John Montemurro (3 for 4) and senior second baseman Miller (2 for 4) each had two RBIs for the Renegades, who rapped out 14 hits and scored in every inning.
Miller will face Cherry Hill West today and will try to avenge last month's 7-2 loss, a game in which the hard-throwing righthander struck out 15. Miller has committed to North Carolina but could be an early-round selection in next month's draft. In 422/3 innings, Miller (5-1, 2.30 ERA) has struck out 71 and walked only eight.
Mainland 000 000 1 - 1 5 1
Cherry Hill West 051 001 x - 7 8 2
WP: Vince Voiro. LP: Pete Monahan. 2B: CHWDave Bolles.
Shawnee 231 213 - 12 14 1
West Deptford 100 000 - 1 6 2
WP: Jon Hydock. LP: Jake Rifkin. 2B: SReid Pulford, Quinton Miller, Anthony Montefusco.