Former St. Rose star right-hander Anthony Ranaudo and the LSU Tigers knocked off Texas, 11-4, in the final of the College World Series on Wednesday night to give the Tigers their sixth national championship. Ranaudo earned the win on the mound, allowing four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings to finish the season 12-3. Ranaudo struggled with his control and had trouble getting the ball down in the zone, but LSU broke a 4-4 tie with five runs in the top of the sixth to make a winner out of Ranaudo. By the time Ranaudo appeared to be getting some command on his curveball, he had already thrown nearly 90 pitches, so he gutted it out into the sixth inning before being removed. Congrats to Anthony, which makes me wonder if any former Shore Conference player has ever been part of a team that won the College World Series. I can’t think of one in recent memory, so Ranaudo might be the first in this area to achieve that feat.It couldn’t happen to a better kid, and the good vibes just continue for St. Rose’s baseball program on the heels of its second straight NJSIAA Non-Public B title.
I will be posting some US Army All Shore Gridiron Classic stories in the next few days as we continue to get closer to the game on July 17 at Brick at 7 p.m. Also, I spoke with Middletown North coach Joe Trezza on Wednesday and he said the recruiting is heating up for rising junior Shilique Calhoun. A 6-foot-5, 215-pound receiver, Calhoun has already drawn interest from Rutgers and Boston College for his impressive size and athleticism. Calhoun, who is also a basketball player and is the cousin of former Raritan hoops star Qa’rraan Calhoun, looks to have a much larger role in the Lions’ offense this coming season because of the graduation of a large senior class that included 1,000-yard rusher Uly Gibson. If Calhoun continues to work hard and harness his raw ability, he could be an unstoppable weapon, considering that there aren’t too many Shore Conference teams (or any high school teams for that matter) that have defensive backs who can stop a 6-5 receiver who can leap. He was supposed to attend the camp at Rutgers this weekend, but recently rolled his ankle while playing basketball and will sit it out.