RANDOLPH, NJ- NJ Bar and Grill bounced back with a victory in game two of a best of three series to determine the Randolph men’s softball master league championship. Just like game one, it was a highly intense game and the win did not come easy.
In the first couple of innings offense was not coming easy. NJ Bar and Grill struck first with a run in the first inning. Mike Reisch answered with a homer for Morris Tap and Grill in the bottom of the second. The homer sparked a little rally for Tap and Grill as they scored two more runs off a Vince Basciano double. They led 3-1 after two innings.
The lead help up until the fourth inning when 3 runs scored on a line shot to right field which took a funny bounce and got past the right fielder. The teams would continue to exchange the lead in the fifth and sixth innings. Tim Murphy gave the lead back to Morris Tap with a two run single. A sac fly and Chris Bruun single had the game scored 6-5 NJ after five.
The biggest play of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs and Morris threatening with runners in scoring position a line drive was hit over shortstop and fielded by left fielder Tom Phillips. Phillips came up firing, sending a perfectly thrown ball to catcher Chad Ewing who applied the tag. It was a bang - bang play at the plate but the tying run was called out.
From there on you could feel the momentum shift. The very next inning NJ Bar & Grill scored six runs on a barrage of hits from everybody up and down the lineup. Mark Schachter of Morris Tap knew the potential that NJ Bar had to erupt, stating, "We needed to keep scoring runs every inning, and we didn't. When these guys start hitting, they get on a roll and score runs in bunches."
Although they were up 12-5 nobody was celebrating prematurely. Everybody on Morris Tap can hit the ball, and NJ Bar and Grill knew they had one more inning to get out of.
Morris Tap did just that, showing a lot of heart battling back and scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to make things interesting. Brain Ramores smacked a three run homer to give them some life, but it wasn’t enough as the hole they dug was just too much to overcome.
After a great performance facing elimination, NJ Bar & Grill catcher Chad Ewing said it best “ Solid win, Solid effort, looking forward to game 3.”
Game 3 will be played Thursday night, 8 o’clock at Brundage Park in Randolph.