Middletown North baseball stays calm in state tourney win over Middletown South


Steven Falk, Asbury Park Press

Original Story via Steven Falk of the Asbury Par Press

MIDDLETOWN – There is something that comes with winning a NJSIAA championship the year before and returning five starters from that magical run.

So, a sectional semifinal game against a crosstown rival in front of a large crowd will not result in a case of the nerves.

Neither will the situation Middletown North faced in the top of the seventh inning of Tuesday Central Group 3 semifinal when Middletown South had the bases loaded with one out, down by two runs and its No. 5 batter at the plate.

Middletown North, the defending Group 3 state champion calmly turned a game-ending 5-4-3 double play to preserve a 5-3 win at its Rich Veth Field.

“It’s a low heart rate group,” Middletown North coach Ryan McCabe said. “I think they are very good at staying calm, staying in the moment.”

“Nothing makes us crack,” Middletown North sophomore third baseman/pitcher Zachary Hampton said. “We played in a lot of big games last year. This was just another game. There was a lot of hype going into it. But, we stick to what we know and made it out alive.”