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Holy Cross surges into sectional baseball final

WALL, N.J. - Jeff Singer's last pitch was a lot better than his first.

WALL, N.J. - Jeff Singer's last pitch was a lot better than his first.

Singer surrendered a single on his first pitch.

He allowed just five hits the rest of the way, striking out the last batter to finish visiting Holy Cross' 6-2 victory over St. Rose on Thursday in the South Jersey Non-Public B semifinals.

Singer, a senior lefthander, pitched a six-hitter with nine strikeouts as Holy Cross (21-3), the No. 4 team in The Inquirer Top 10, advanced to Tuesday's South B title game to face the winner of Friday's semifinal between top-ranked Gloucester Catholic and Sacred Heart.

"He was tremendous," Holy Cross coach Steve Paolini said of Singer.

Junior third baseman John Adryan delivered the big hit for the Lancers, a two-run single in a four-run rally in the seventh.

Holy Cross took advantage of three St. Rose infield errors to score four unearned runs and make a hard-luck loser of St. Rose righthander Chris Napolitano, who struck out 12.

"I was just trying to do a job for my teammates," said Adryan, who rapped a 3-2 pitch down the left-field line with the bases loaded. "See the ball, hit the ball."

Holy Cross took a 2-0 lead as Adryan doubled and scored on a passed ball in the second and Kyle Semmell delivered an RBI double in the third.

St. Rose (22-4) tied the score in the sixth as Nick Morrissey hit a two-out, two-run double.

Singer, who will be eligible to pitch seven or more innings in Tuesday's South B final, used a fastball and knuckle curve to keep St. Rose's lineup in check. He improved his record to 9-1 and his strikeout total to 72.

The Lancers also turned a double play and received a boost from catcher Mark Zagunis, who picked two runners off second base.

"It feels great because that team knocked us out three years in a row," Singer said.

Holy Cross   0110004 - 691

St. Rose   0000020 - 263

WP: Jeff Singer. LP: Chris Napolitano. 2B: HC-John Adryan, Kyle Semmell; SR-Chris Napolitano, Kyle Morrissey 2.