SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Columbia High School drew 11 walks in a 7-6 victory against Newark East Side at Underhill Field Monday afternoon.
"In the beginning of the game, I saw that he was up in the zone and wild so I had some of my guys take one or two strikes," Cougars head coach Joseph Fischetti said about East Side's starting pitcher Matthew Tirado. "He settled down in the third or fourth inning, but getting his pitch count up was huge for us."
Ryan Murphy scored the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Anthony Starzynski hit a ground ball to third basemen Phil Ingles, who missed tagging Lev Schecter as he was advancing from second base. Quinn Krais, who relieved freshman Danny Boemer in the sixth inning, finished the game in the seventh without allowing a runner on base.
"We're getting better," Fischetti said. "We're still really young, but we're getting better, and we didn't give the game away. I had faith in Quinn Krais to come back in. He had a rough inning when he came into pitch. It says a lot about him as a competitor."
The Cougars scored six runs and walked six times in the first two innings. Schecter was 1-1 with three walks and two RBIs and Murphy reached base four times to score three runs for Columbia.
According to Fischetti, junior Eric Lax and freshman Pete Nolet did not play due to day-to-day injuries, which left the Cougars with a hole in the heart of their lineup.
"We were missing the three and four batter in our lineup so we really had to manufacture runs today," Fischetti said. "We started DH'ing a sophomore, Mike Burke, who hit the ball hard today. He had some really good at-bats."
Burke had a hit, two walks and two RBIs from the designated hitter position.
Boehmer started the game for the Cougars and tossed five innings of two-run ball, until he was knocked out of the game when he gave up three runs in the sixth inning.
A walk, two hits and a bases-loaded double cut East Side's deficit to 6-5 and forced the pitching change.
"Boehmer's got a live fastball, he's got a great changeup and he had them off balance, but he's gotta throw his curveball for a strike," Fischetti said. "If he throws his curveball for a strike, then he's as good as anyone out there. He's so young, but he's got a lot of guts."
Columbia is back in action today when they travel to Glen Ridge High School for the second preliminary round of the Greater Newark Tournament.