Combined no-hitter sends St. Joseph Metuchen past Edison in pool play championship game

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The Saint Joseph High School baseball team celebrates its 4-0 victory over Edison on July 16 to advance to the single elimination round of 16 in the Last Dance World Series. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Saint Joseph High School pitcher Adam Boucher throws a strike during the team's South Jersey 5-Regional championship game on July 16 against Edison. Boucher tossed four scoreless innings and racked up seven strikeouts in the 4-0 victory for the Falcons. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School first baseman Chris Sommer tags out Saint Joseph High School's Donovan Zsak during their South Jersey 5-Regional championship game on July 16. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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The Saint Joseph High School baseball team celebrates its 4-0 victory over Edison on July 16 to advance to the single elimination round of 16 in the Last Dance World Series. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Saint Joseph High School pitcher Adam Boucher throws a strike during the team's South Jersey 5-Regional championship game on July 16 against Edison. Boucher tossed four scoreless innings and racked up seven strikeouts in the 4-0 victory for the Falcons. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School first baseman Chris Sommer tags out Saint Joseph High School's Donovan Zsak during their South Jersey 5-Regional championship game on July 16. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

EDISON – Great pitching has been the name of the game for the Saint Joseph High School baseball team during pool play in the Last Dance World Series.

It continued to be the case for the Falcons in the South Jersey 5-Regional championship game on July 16 against Greater Middlesex Conference foe Edison High School.

Adam Boucher, John Zarnowski and Colin Leyner all combined for a no-hitter to help Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen defeat Edison 4-0 and advance to the single elimination round of 16.

“It was a great team effort,” Boucher said. “Everybody chipped in. It just shows that our pitching staff has been working hard and ready for anything the hitters throw at us. It’s a pretty cool moment.”

Boucher was dominant in his start on the mound for the Falcons. After striking out the side in the first inning, the senior fanned another two Edison batters in a perfect second inning of work.

He picked up a strikeout in each of the next two innings to give seven punchouts on the day in his four scoreless innings on the hill.

“I try to pitch belt up, so I can get a lot of swings and misses up in the zone,” Boucher said. “The fast ball felt good out of my hand. It just feels great to get back and compete again. Our team is thrilled to have this opportunity to play baseball.”

Boucher had a lead to work with from the bottom of the first inning on thanks to the Saint Joseph offense.

Mark Gialluisi got the Falcons on the board first with an RBI infield single that brought home teammate Matt Sot.

Gialluisi scored another RBI later on in the inning on a hit by pitch in the fifth inning.

The Falcons added another run in the first inning on an error to go up 2-0.

Still leading by two runs going into the bottom of the fourth, the Saint Joseph bats went to work again with sophomore Donovan Zsak stepping up big with two outs.

Zsak smacked an RBI single to right field to score Boucher and extend the lead to 3-0.

After Boucher’s brilliant four innings on the mound, Zarnowski came on to take the ball and continued to control the Edison hitters.

The senior threw back-to-back perfect innings, striking out the side in the sixth inning and the Falcons were just one inning away from completing the no-hit bid.

Zarnowski started the seventh inning by striking out the leadoff batter, but then walked the next two hitters and was replaced by Leyner.

Not phased by the moment, Leyner got a huge strikeout against his first batter, giving the Falcons a total of 12 strikeouts in the contest and just one out away from the no-hitter.

Leyner finished the job in the next at-bat, getting Anthony Giordano to ground out to second base and the Saint Joe’s no-hitter was complete.

“It feels good,” Leyner said. “I love this team. I love helping us win and it was a good game all around.”

Saint Joseph will play the South Jersey 12-Brooklawn Regional champion in the single elimination round of 16 on July 21.

As one of the people that helped create this tournament, Saint Joe’s Coach Mike Murray is thrilled that his team has the opportunity to play in the round of 16 and is happy with how the Last Dance World Series has gone so far.

“I was really excited to coach this team this year. They’re a great group of boys,” Murray said. “They’ve enjoyed being on the field together. They haven’t missed a beat with the camaraderie as a group. We’re looking forward to being able to continue to get together and play another ball game as a team.”

Edison finishes 1-1 in the tournament. Coach Vincent Abene was proud of the way his guys competed and was glad his seniors got the chance to play after losing out on their senior season this past spring.

“This was a special moment for us getting this opportunity to play,” Abene said.