A couple of double-digit seeds have crashed the party at the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic, scoring first-round upsets that put them into this week’s quarterfinal round, which will be played Tuesday afternoon at the higher seed. And two of the top five teams — including No. 1 Shawnee — are out of the tournament after first-round upsets.
Here’s a quick look at the quarterfinal matchups and how we got here:
No. 17 Cherry Hill West at No. 8 Buena Regional: Cherry Hill West got past No. 16 Lenape, 5-4, in the opening round then knocked off top-seeded Shawnee, 2-0, on Saturday in the “first round” game. (This year the tournament included a “play-in” round as the field was expanded from 16 teams to 24.) The Lions got a tremendous pitching performance from Ryder Garino on Saturday, as he worked six innings, allowing only three hits while striking out 10. Kevin Rorke added a scoreless inning for the Lions, who scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to steal the victory. Buena got a first-round bye then beat Audubon, 5-0, as Joey Kurtz twirled a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. Zachary and Brandon Strouse combined for four of the Chiefs’ five RBIs.
No. 12 Delsea at No. 4 Egg Harbor Township: The Crusaders are coming off a sectional championship in 2022 and have won nine of their last 10 games. They took down Kingsway, 6-3, in the opening round after blanking No. 21 Collingswood, 11-0, in the play-in round. EHT jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first three innings on upstart Cedar Creek and cruised to a 9-2 win in the first round. Cameron Flukey and Jason Salsbery each had two hits and two RBIs for the Eagles.
No. 6 Bishop Eustace at No. 3 St. Augustine Prep: Both teams got byes through the play-in round as Prep slipped past No. 19 Cinnaminson, 1-0, on a walk-off RBI in the bottom of the seventh by shortstop Joe Erace. John Podgorski was brilliant for the Hermits, fanning 12 and allowing just two hits in seven innings. Eustace took care of No. 11 Haddon Heights, 8-1, in its opening-round game.
No 10 Cherokee at No. 2 Gloucester Catholic: The Chiefs had to fight their way past Lower Cape May in the play-in round and then find a way to get around a very good Vineland team in the first round. Brandon Prince, Cameron Della Vecchia and Brett Chiesa came up with RBIs to lift Cherokee to a 3-1 win. Gloucester Catholic had its hands full with Paul VI in the first-round after a play-in round bye, but relied on star pitcher Joe Vaccarella to guide it into the quarterfinals. Vaccarella fanned seven and allowed just one hit in seven innings to stifle the Eagles.
All these quarterfinal games are at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, with the semifinals slated for Saturday at Deptford High. The championship game will be Wednesday, May 17 at Alcyon Park in Pitman. St. Augustine Prep is the defending champion, having beaten Lenape, 4-2, in last year’s final.