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Diamond Classic Thrown a Curve by the Weather

Diamond Classic Thrown a Curve by the Weather
Diamond Classic Thrown a Curve by the Weather
If all had gone according to plan, the 45th annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic would be over by now and teams could just concentrate on the NJSIAA state tournament.
Yet due to the inclement weather, the Diamond, which was supposed to play second round, semifinal and the championship game over the weekend, will now conclude a week later.
Here are the Diamond matchups and there were some venue changes:
Second round, Saturday May 26 at West Deptford
Bishop Eustace vs. West Deptford, 10:30 a.m.
Seneca vs. St. Augustine, 1 p.m.
Second round Saturday May 26 at Deptford
Washington Township vs. Holy Spirit, 10:30 a.m.
Eastern vs the Clearview/Gateway winner at 1 p.m.
Semifinal Games Sunday May 27
At West Deptford
Bishop Eustace/West Deptford winner vs. Seneca/St. Augustine winners, 1 p.m.
At Deptford
Washington Township/Holy Spirit winner vs. Eastern/Clearview or Gateway, 1 p.m.
Championship game Sunday May 27
5 p.m at Eastern.
The weather has played such havoc, that Clearview and Gateway entered the week still having to play their first round-game. (It was rained out twice).
With the NJSIAA state tournament having begun on Monday, May 21, that means there could be several teams competing in both tourney simultaneously, which isn’t easy due to pitching rules.
Coaches will have to decide whether to use a frontline starter for the state tournament or not. In virtually 100 percent of the cases, a team will use its top pitcher in the states.
One of the most interesting games will be Seneca vs. St. Augustine. Seneca breezed with an opening 10-0 win over Gloucester while St. Augustine, had arguably the most difficult first-round game, beating Gloucester Catholic 4-3.
St. Augustine is the defending champion and the Hermits have a deep pitching staff. Whether coach Mike Bylone saves some of his pitching for the state tournament, will be an interesting question. The Hermits open action in the South Jersey Non-Public A tournament on Tuesday, May 29.
Seneca is led by centerfielder Nick Decker, who could be the highest drafted South Jersey player in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, beginning June 4.
Despite the postponements and inconvenience to teams playing in both the NJSIAA tourney and the Diamond, this is still one of the best events for any sport in South Jersey.
Winning the Diamond could go a long way to helping a team earn the No. 1 ranking in South Jersey.

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The weather forecast for the weekend is expected to be good, and so should the action. Even delayed, the Diamond is well worth waiting for.
 
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Author: Marc Narducci

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