BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- A vocal Montgomery bench made lots of noise on Thursday, but Ridge left-hander Cooper Bobowicz sent most of their hitters back to the dugout quietly.
Bobowicz and reliever Matt Kennedy combined to four-hit Montgomery and strike out 10 batters and Ridge put up two four-run innings en route to a 10-1 baseball victory.
Ridge (5-3) struck for four unearned runs in the first inning, helped along by two Montgomery errors and a passed ball after two were out. In the second inning, the Red Devils extended their lead to 5-0 after Tommy Ramazotto led off with a single to left-center, stole second, took third on the catcher's errant throw and scored on a one-out RBI single through the right side by Brendan Bell.
Five runs were a lot more than Bobowicz (4-0) needed. The big senior southpaw spent most of the game mowing down Montgomery batters with a sharp curve which he blended with a crackling fastball. Bobowicz allowed three hits in five innings, struck out seven and walked three. The only run he allowed was unearned--the result of his own fielding miscue. In the third inning, Montgomery's Ryan McKenna laid down a bunt with one out, and Bobowicz fielded the ball along the third base line and overthrew the first baseman, allowing McKenna to get to second base. With two out, Nate Ryan singled McKenna in. Ryan was virtually the only Montgomery batter to get good swings against Bobowicz, as he went 2-for-3.
Ridge extended its lead to 6-1 when shortstop Jason Arrigo led off the fourth inning with a home run down the left field line on an 0-2 pitch.
The Red Devils left no doubt about the game's outcome with four more runs in the fifth inning. Bobby Parisi started the frame with a line single to left, he stole second, took third on Jayden Hylton's one-out single and scored when Bobowicz lashed an RBI single right past the pitcher's ear. Montgomery brought in a reliever who walked the next two batters and hit the third one, ushering in the visting team's third hurler of the inning. Chris Parker drilled an RBI double to deep left-center for a 10-1 lead. Parker finished 2-for-4.
Ridge's defense helped out Bobowicz with a pair of inning-ending 6-4-3 double plays from Arrigo to second baseman Parker to first baseman Hylton.
Kennedy took over for Bobowicz and threw two very impressive innings to close it out. The right-hander fanned the first two batters he faced, and his final line read 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K.
Bobowicz still has not allowed an earned run in 21 1/3 innings. He has struck out 33 batters and walked six.