WARREN, NJ - The Warren Wolverines 9U Boys Baseball Team continued their winning ways by capturing the 2013 Cal Ripken District 12 title, beating the Maplewood/South Orange Cougars by a score of 8-1. The Wolverines advanced to the final game by beating Westfield in the quarterfinals, 13-3 in five innings and then Scotch Plains/Fanwood in the semi-finals, 13-4.
The Wolverines ace, Luca Cianfano, took the hill in the top of the 1st and set the tone from the very first pitch. The hard throwing righty struck out two in the first allowing only one base runner on a walk. In the bottom half of the inning, Kaden Everly singled with one out to get things started for the Wolverines. Justin Helbing worked a walk, and after a stolen base the runners advanced to second and third with cleanup hitter Luca Cianfano in the batter’s box. Cianfano grounded to first scoring Everly and moving Helbing to third. With two outs, C.J. Stout lined a single into left scoring Helbing and giving the Wolverines an early 2-0 lead.
In the top of the 2nd, the Wolverines brought in Kaden Everly to face the middle of the Cougars lineup. Everly continued where Cianfano left off making quick work by striking out the first two batters that he faced. He got the third batter to fly out to right fielder Dan Ittycheria to end the inning throwing only 14 pitches. The Cougars played tight defense in the bottom of the inning retiring the Wolverines in order.
Luca Cianfano came out to pitch the third and was locked in on the strike zone. He struck out three batters in a row with his overpowering fastball. In the bottom half of the inning, leadoff hitter Shane Kelly started with a walk, stole second and was driven home by Kaden Everly’s second hit of the game. After making it to third, Luca Cianfano hit a deep fly ball to centerfield allowing Everly to tag up and give the Wolverines a 4-0 lead.
In the 4th, the Cougars Luke Nomura singled with 2 outs and later scored on an errant throw to third. Cianfano then struck out the last batter to end the inning. The Cougars defense once again came up big retiring the Wolverines in order keeping the score 4-1.
Kaden Everly pitched a flawless 5th striking out one and getting two groundball outs on only 6 pitches. The Wolverines John King took over in right field in the 5th. Ajay V. Patel kick started the Wolverines offense in the bottom of the 5th stroking a line drive single up the middle and quickly stole his way to third. Shane Kelly drove in Patel with a single extending the Wolverines lead, 5-1. After Kaden Everly walked, Justin Helbing smashed a line drive to center scoring Kelly. Luca Cianfano walked to load the bases with no one out. After C.J. Stout lined out to the left fielder, Vincent Lee earned a walk making the score 7-1. Ajay H. Patel capped off the scoring when he took one for the team, getting drilled in the back, allowing Helbing to score.
With the Wolverines leading 8-1, Luca Cianfano made his way back out to the mound in a quest to win another district title. After striking out the first two batters, Cianfano got the third batter to ground out to second to end the game. With the win, the Warren Wolverines advance to the Cal Ripken Northern New Jersey State Tournament to defend last year’s title. The State Tournament begins on July 18 in South Plainfield. The Warren Wolverines are managed by Kevin Everly who is assisted by coaches Walter Lee and Todd Kelly.