MONROE, NJ -- The Ridge Red Devils 13U baseball team won its second consecutive state title over Bridgewater, rallying with four runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory on Friday.
The same team had won the 12U Northern New Jersey State Championship with a victory over Cranford in 2018. Starting pitcher Connor Byrne allowed one run over four innings and Brendan Callanan pitched three strong innings of relief while Ridge waited for its bats to come alive.
With Ridge trailing, 1-0, in the top of the seventh, Andrew Reynolds scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Two pitches later, Byrne smashed a go-ahead two-run double to left-center, putting the Red Devils ahead for good. Byrne later scored the fourth run on a base hit by Adam Meiner, which turned out to be the winning run.
The Babe Ruth League State Championship game was played in Monroe Township and featured New Jersey's top 13U teams from Monroe, Rutherford, Bridgewater, North Hunterdon, Manalapan, Millburn-Short Hills, East Brunswick and Basking Ridge.
In addition to Reynolds, Byrne, Callanan and Meiner, the members of the Ridge Championship team are, Julian Kielb, Matt McCue, Nick Rossi, Kevin Taylor, Steven Dresner and Tyler Helpinstill. The team is coached by Brian Reynolds, Doug Meiner, Matthew Dresner and Joe Kielb.
The Ridge team will travel to Altoona, Pa. on Saturday, July 20 to begin the week-long Babe Ruth Middle-Atlantic Regional Tournament. The Red Devils will face state champions from Pennsylvania, Northeast New York, Southeast New York, Western New York, Southern New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. The winner will advance to the Babe Ruth 13U World Series in Westfield, Mass. in August.