Staff Report

The South Jersey South Shore Baseball League held its annual Home Run Derby and All-Star Game this past weekend, but with a twist. For the first time in its three-year existence, the SJSSBL invited the Tri-County League — which features teams in Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties — to take part in the festivities.

The Home Run Derby featured six contestants from the host SJSSBL and six more from the Tri-County League, with the top four finishers in the first round qualifying for the finals. As usual, there was some drama, as the last spot in the finals came down to a swing-off between Anthony Murphy of the Ocean City Water Dogs (SJSSBL) and Phil Sedalis of the Washington Township Senators (Tri-County). Murphy blasted seven dingers to Sedalis’ three to advance to the finals.

The four hitters earning their way into the finals were Adrian Gonzalez of Cherry Hill/Pitman of the Tri-County League, and a trio of SJSSBL All-Stars, including Murphy, Cole Fowler of the Northfield Cardinals and Matt McIntire of the Absecon Outlaws.

Former Ocean City star A.J. Campbell, who currently plays for the Egg Harbor City Knights, takes his swings in the opening round of the Home Run Derby. (South Jersey Glory Days photo/Sully)

Gonzalez started things off and his seven home runs held up as enough to win the championship, as Fowler finished with six, McIntire had four and Murphy with two. Gonzalez had 10 homers in the opening round, tying him with Fowler with 10, while McIntire had the most in Round 1 with 11 homers. Sedalis and Murphy each blasted eight at Northfield’s Birch Grove Park to enter into the swing-off.

Others competing in the first round featured Chase Swain (Northfield Cardinals, 7 HR), Zach Morales (South Jersey Grizzlies, 7 HR), A.J. Campbell (Egg Harbor City Knights, 4 HR), Aidan Nesemeier (Delran Browns, 4 HR), Bobby Woodward (Cherry Hill Third Base, 2 HR), Jimmy Hallman (Buena Blue Dawgs, 2 HR) and Ryan Dipper (Cherry Hill Third Base, 0 HR).

The All-Star Game was a nailbiter throughout and ended in a 3-3 tie. Former St. Augustine Prep star Kyle Neri was named the game’s MVP as he had a two-run home run for the South Jersey South Shore Baseball League’s All-Stars.