It’s three straight titles for

first_img By tim morrisStaff Writer By tim morris Staff Writer Matawan-Aberdeen saw its 23-game winning streak over three seasons come to an end this year. However, when it was all said and done, the team celebrated another Mid-Monmouth Babe Ruth League (16-19) championship, its third straight. Freehold Borough, the team that had snapped Matawan-Aberdeen’s three-year winning steak, was fittingly the team Matawan had to get by in the championship game. Matawan-Aberdeen, which won the North Division, avenged the regular season loss with a 10-4 victory over the South Division winners. This year’s playoff was a one-game showdown between the regular season division winners. Jason Soltren was the hitting star in the final with four RBIs. He tied the game at 4-4 with a two-RBI hit, and then delivered the go-head runs with another two-RBI hit. A.J. Roque, who was the winning pitcher, had a two-RBI triple, as did John Cherry Jr. After three innings, and trailing 4-2, manager John Cherry Sr. had considered pulling Roque, but changed his mind. It was a good thing. Roque, Cherry said, “got his second wind” and held Freehold Borough scoreless over the last four innings. Matawan-Aberdeen finished the season with a 10-2 record. Manager John Cherry Sr. said the 2003 championship was the team’s most difficult. “The was the hardest to win,” said Cherry. “As the two-time champions, everyone was out to beat us. “Last year we had overwhelming pitching and a balanced team,” he added. “This year we had to find a way to win. We played with a lot of heart and soul.” Pitching remained a Matawan-Aberdeen strength in 2003 as Cherry could count on four dependable starters in his rotation. Roque, Eddie Goodman, Chris Soria and Soltren kept their teams in games with their solid efforts. At the top of the lineup, Cherry Jr. was a catalyst by getting on base. Roque and Goodman, who batted third and fourth in the lineup, were the run producers. They delivered one big hit after another. Shortstop Perry Medina led a strong defensive effort that complemented the team’s starting pitching. James Vezeris, Jason Cavagnaro and Bryan Domenick were distinguishable by their consistency all year. Billy Brown was the team’s valuable utility player, fitting in where needed and contributing. Tommy Chomko came on strong at the end of the season, helping in the push that led the team to the division championship and a berth in the title game that came with it. Newcomers Andrew Mandeville and Michael Guisti turned out to be welcome additions. Joining Cherry on the coaching staff were Eddie Cavagnaro, Steve Domenick and Scott Pittius. Matawan Babe Ruth squad last_img read more