St. Augustine Solidifies Spot as Top Team in State With Key Win Over Delbarton

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

TOMS RIVER –– In a matchup of the two top teams in the state to date, and a rematch of the 2017 Non-Public A Final, St. Augustine completed its quest for unfinished business, topping Delbarton 6-1 on the campus of Toms River South High School. The Green Wave had come into the game riding the coattails of its State Final victory over the Hermits from last season, a thrilling walk-off win that propelled them as the state champion. However, on this day, St. Augustine get the revenge.

Both teams have a plethora of high caliber Division I talent, with Delbarton having four SEC or ACC commits, three of which are pitchers (and all three threw in the game), while St. Augustine has a staggering amount of college baseball recruits, eight of which are pitchers and are committing to Division I schools.

Saturday's action was first highlighted by the pitching matchup. 2019 RHP and Vanderbilt recruit Jack Leiter toed the rubber for Delbarton while follow 2019 RHP and Villanova recruit Cole Vanderslice received the nod for the Hermits.

Leiter, the son of former long time big leaguer Al Leiter, wowed the scouts in attendance through the first three innings of work. His fastball consistently sat 89-92 MPH and touched 93 and 94 once each. Leiter's mechanics are smooth and fluid – having very little wasted movement throughout his delivery. He maintained an athletic balance point and a strong, firm landing leg. He showed command of a sharp 11/5 slider at 78-82 early on and also flashed a true 12/6 curveball at 71-73 for strikes. Leiter throws from a high-3/4 arm slot with a long, loose arm action throughout.

Leiter Video:


Vanderslice was equally effective in his start. The junior righty sat 87-89 from a true-3/4 arm slot – using an arsenal of offspeed pitches to keep the Green Wave bats at bay. He stands out with true command of a devestating swing-and-miss 11/5 slider with late bite at 78-81 and showed feel for a changeup with armside run at 72-73 MPH. 

Both pitchers traded zeros through the first two and a half innings, which seemed to breeze by relatively quickly. In the bottom of the third inning, Delbarton got in the board first with two singles from 2B Pat Harrington and 3B Justin Kim. CF Liam Corcoran then sacrificed the runners up a base with a bunt. Harrington would cross homeplate on a wild pitch with the bases loaded after leadoff hitter and Vanderbilt recruit SS Anthony Volpe was hit by a pitch. With runners on second and third and one out, Delbarton LF Thomas Colicchio slashed a line drive to left field, which was caught by St. Augustine's Joe Bonczeck. Thinking that Bonczeck trapped the ball upon his diving play, Kim broke for homeplate and was consequently doubled off at third base, ending the threat for Delbarton in the third.

The game would remain 1-0 until the top half of the 5th inning, after Washington College recruit C Nick Lonetto reached on a high chopper back to Leiter that was misplayed. After Lonnetto's curtesy runner stole second, Dartmouth recruit Gerry Peacock attempted to sacrifice him over to third. Leiter fielded the ball and turned to throw to third base, then turned back around to catch Peacock at first. The throw hit Peacock in the back and all runners were safe. St. Augustine RF Cullen Davis was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, which chased Leiter from the game. Leiter was replace by North Carolina recruit 2019 LHP Shawn Rapp. Vanderslice came to the plate and helped his own cause with a single to right field, scoring Lonetto and knotting the score at 1.

St. Augustine was not finished with its 5th inning campaign, however. The Hermits would go on to score four total runs in the fifth, highlighted by hits by RBI hits from Bonczeck and Virginia Tech recruit 2018 Jack Billings. The Hermits batted around in the inning with Rapp finally ending the inning with a fly out of Lonetto.

Vanderslice RBI Single

Both teams would trade zeros through the 6th inning, and in the top of the 7th inning the Hermits plated two more insurance runs off of relief pitcher and Virginia recruit 2018 LHP Billy Price. Price started off the seventh with a line out and caught Old Dominion recruit 2020 Kenny Levari looking. But the 3-4-5 of the Hermits order, arguably the most daunting heart of the order in the state, would strike for three hits in a row. With two down, Pennsylvania recruit 2018 Josh Hood roped a single through the left side, and follow UPenn recruit and 2017 South Jersey Player of the Year '18 Kevin Eaise followed with a long double over the left fielder's head. With runners on second and third, Billings came to the plate and laced a line drive up the middle that took a favorable St. Augustine bounce passed Delbarton CF Liam Corcoran – both runners would score easily as Billings was cut down at the plate trying to stretch his triple to an inside-the-parker.

Eaise Double

In the bottom of the seventh, Billings, who had replaced Vanderslice in the sixth inning recorded a zero and ended the ballgame.

Billings Strikeout to End the Game

St. Augustine's statement win solidifies their No. 1 spot in the state rankings so far this spring. It will be interesting to see how far the Hermits go with how deep their pitching staff is and how deep their lineup is, too. 

St. Augustine (7-0) will face Vineland on Tuesday while Delbarton (4-1) takes on West Morris Mendham on Wednesday.

Box Score

4/14/18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
St. Augustine (7-0) 0 0 0 0 4 0 2 6 7 0
Delbarton (4-1) 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 2

Delbarton Pitching

Jack Leiter 4.1 68 .662 2 3 1 4 2 0
Sean Rapp 1.1 16 .562 1 0 0 0 0 0
Billy Price 1.0 19 .632 3 2 2 1 0 0
Totals 7.0 119 .630 7 6 3 5 3 0

St. Augustine Pitching

Cole Vanderslice 5.0 75 .680 5 1 1 7 0 0
Jack Billings 2.0 37 .703 3 0 0 5 1 0
Totals 7.0 112 .688 8 1 1 12 1 0


Delbarton Hitting

Anthony Volpe 3 0 2 0 0 1
Thomas Colicchio 4 0 1 0 0 1
William Schwarick 3 0 0 0 0 3
Shawn Rapp 3 0 1 0 0 1
Kyle Vinci 3 0 0 0 0 2
Mark Darakjy 2 0 0 0 1 1
Pat Harrington 3 1 2 0 0 1
Justin Kim 3 0 2 0 0 1
Liam Corcoran 3 0 0 0 0 1

St. Augustine Hitting

Joe Bonczeck 4 1 1 1 0 0
Kenny Levari 4 0 0 0 0 2
Josh Hood 2 1 2 0 2 0
Kevin Eaise 2 1 1 1 1 0
Jack Billings 4 0 2 3 0 1
Nick Lonetto 2 0 0 0 0 0
Gerry Peacock 3 0 0 0 0 1
Cullen Davis 2 1 0 0 0 1
Cole Vanderslice 3 1 1 1 0 0

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