Staff Report

The South Jersey South Shore Baseball League playoffs are in full swing, and the top two seeds have rolled into next week’s semifinal round.

The No. 1 South Jersey Surf improved to 19-3 this week, sweeping the best-of-3 quarterfinals series against No. 8 Egg Harbor Township. The Surf scored an 11-4 victory on Monday, then closed things out on Tuesday with an 8-4 win over the Eagles.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Buena took care of No. 7 Ocean City in a two-game sweep as well. On Monday, Buena got a dominating start from pitcher Denny Brady — who was playing Double A in the Los Angeles Angels’ minor-league system as recently as last year — and cruised to a 12-1 victory. Brady struck out six in three innings of work and the Blue Dawgs got a first-inning grand slam from Alexi Colon to jump out to a 4-1 lead. Luis Sauri added a home run and Brady went 3-for-3.

Then, on Tuesday night, the Blue Dawgs topped the Water Dogs 4-1 behind a complete-game victory from Dante Coia. He allowed just three hits while striking out eight in seven innings of work.

The Absecon Outlaws, the No. 3 team in the eight-team playoffs, took care of No. 6 Hammonton in a two-game sweep, winning 7-0 on Monday and 8-2 on Tuesday to punch their ticket to the semifinals. That leaves just one more semifinals spot open, and that will go to either No. 4 Northfield Cardinals or the No. 5 Ventnor Bay Sox, who play in a decisive Game 3 tonight at Birch Grove Park in Northfield at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals scored a 12-2 victory on Monday night as Julian Costa drove in five runs on a double and a grand slam. Northfield blew the game open with seven runs in the sixth inning. Holy Spirit graduate Shane Solari added two hits and an RBI, while Brandon Riggs of EHT went the distance, allowing just two hits in six innings. The Bay Sox evened up the series with a 3-1 victory at home on Tuesday night.

Once the semifinals field is set, those games will begin Monday at 7 p.m. at the home field of the higher seed, with Game 2 at the home field of the lower seed and an if-necessary Game 3 back at the higher seed’s field on July 27.