BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- Right-hander Will O'Malley pitched six scoreless innings for Ridge, but Scotch Plains-Fanwood erupted for all 10 of its runs in the final inning to overcome a three-run deficit and defeat Ridge, 10-3, in the bracket championship of the High School Developmental League Tuesday at the Ridge Varsity Complex.
The two teams were competing in the Union 18U Division. Ridge had advanced with a victory over New Providence and SPF got past Bayonne in the first round.
Ridge scored all its runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Cameron Mays and an RBI single by Henry Petrillo. That appeared to be all the runs necessary for O'Malley--a rising junior-- the way he was freezing batters with well-spotted fastballs and curves for strikes at knee level.
Meanwhile, Scotch Plains-Fanwood right-hander Matt Drubulis recovered from the three-run third to pitch strong baseball in the fourth and fifth innings before turning ball over to Zac Zaller, who finished up for the Raiders with two scoreless innings.
O'Malley had one out and nobody on base with a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh when he hit Ryan Jones with a pitch, and then fleet-footed Shawn Martin beat out a groundball to the right side for a single. A passed ball brought in the first SPF run, and Dallas Lorenzetti's RBI single made it 3-2 and brought and end to O'Malley's impressive mound outing--which included three straight strikeouts in the second inning.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood had 12 consecutive batters reach safely in the top of the seventh. The key hits were a three-run double by Stefon Johnson, a two-run single by Jake Hahn and a two-run, ground-rule double by Ryan Jones.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood catcher Chris Smith caught three runners attempting to steal in the game.