August 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Plainfield Dynamite, coming off a tough State tournament loss, and playing eight games in 7 days, battle back to capture the championship in the 2014 East Brunswick Slugfest Tournament.
The Dynamite started the tournament off with a tough loss to the North Brunswick Raiders 9-6 in the opening game. In the second game of pool play, the Dynamite gave up six runs in the second inning to Franklin. Then, in the bottom half of the inning, the Dynamite exploded for seven runs with key hits from Jake Jones, Mitchell Dudak, and Brandon Shine. In the third inning, Austin Scott and Nick Loniewski started another Dynamite rally with a double by Scott and a single from Loniewski. The Dynamite tacked on two runs in the third inning to extend their lead to 9-6. In the 4th inning, Franklin added two more runs to make the score 9-8, but in the bottom of the 4th inning the Dynamite answered back with two more runs to make the final score 11-8 Dynamite.
Troy O’Connor and Darren Ochoa each pitched great for the Dynamite and both came up big to shut-down Franklin after the second inning.
In the third game of pool play, South Plainfield beat East Brunswick in a pitcher’s duel. East Brunswick struck first in the top of the 1st with a run. Mitchell Dudak pitched the first 3 innings and was stellar. The righty shut down East Brunswick for three innings. In the bottom of the second the Dynamite put up two runs. Johnny Padovano led off with a walk, Austin Scott singled, and Nick Loniewski grounded out to second scoring Padovano. Troy O’Connor laid down a perfect bunt scoring Scott. South Plainfield led 2-1 after two innings of play.
In the bottom of the 4th, South Plainfield added another run on singles by Anthony White and Brandon Shine. After four innings of play South Plainfield led 3-1. Austin Scott, Alfred Pace, and Johnny Padovano had key defensive plays in the game to keep East Brunswick from pushing across more runs. In the end, the Dynamite walked away with a stellar 3-2 victory over East Brunswick.
In the quarterfinals of pool play the Dynamite faced Franklin who scored a lot of runs against them earlier in pool play. On this day, the duo of Ochoa and O’Connor shut down Franklin. Franklin scored one run in the top of the first and that is all they scored for the rest of the game. Darren Ochoa pitched the first 3 innings giving up just two hits and striking out three. Troy O’Connor pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while striking out two. Alfred Pace had some stellar putouts at 3rd base and a key hit, while Cody Hunterton made key plays in the outfield. The score was a tight 1-0 Franklin until the bottom of the fifth when Austin Scott and Nick Loniewski started the inning with singles. Jake Jones roped a single to score the tying run, and then Kenny Clevenger laced a single for the go ahead run and the Dynamite prevail 3-1 to advance to the semifinal game against Monroe.
In the semi-final game against Monroe, the Dynamite started the scoring early. Darren Ochoa singled to start off the game, Anthony White got on with a fielder’s choice. Austin Scott laced a single; Johnny Padovano roped a double to score two runs. Mitchell Dudak stepped to the plate with one on and hit a mammoth home run to make the score 4-0. In the 3rd inning, Anthony White, Brandon Shine, and Austin Scott each laced singles. Johnny Padovano hit a sacrifice fly to right, and Dudak hit a single scoring another run to extend the lead to 6-0. Monroe did not go down quietly, scoring three runs in the 4th inning and two runs in the 5th inning.
Brandon Shine threw a no hitter through three innings of work, while Troy O’Connor came in to shut the door on Monroe. Kenny Clevenger made key plays in the outfield to solidify the defense for the Dynamite. The Dynamite victory advanced South Plainfield to the Championship game versus North Brunswick. This game would be a rematch of the first game of tournament play where North Brunswick beat the Dynamite convincingly.
Brandon Shine started the championship game for the Dynamite. In the 1st inning, Shine worked out of a bases loaded jam with a strike out. In the 3rd inning, Shine picked off the runner at third base to end the inning. Both teams could not produce any runs after three innings after great plays by Cody Hunterton and Troy O’Connor in the field.
In the 4th inning, Mitchell Dudak came into pitch for the Dynamite and he pitched his heart out. The game was a championship classic. It is the best game the Dynamite have ever been a part of, according to the Dynamite Coaching staff. Dudak shut the door on North Brunswick allowing no runs and no hits while striking-out 12 batters; he appeared to be a man among boys. The game remained scoreless until the top of the 9th inning. The Dynamite broke through after loading the bases with no one out. Cody Hunterton laced a single, the biggest hit of the game, to give the Dynamite a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. Dudak settled in and got North Brunswick to go down 1-2-3. The Dynamite won the championship 1-0 in a nine inning classic.
Coach Shine, Coach Padovano, Coach Ochoa, and Coach Dudak said “they were so proud of what the boys accomplished this year. They would also like to thank the parents for all of their support and time throughout the summer. “