Johnson Crusaders Varsity Baseball Edges Dayton in 2015 Season Opener

Johnson senior Steven Weisensee warming up with his pitches in-between innings before the Dayton players came up to bat. Credits: Daniel Collins
Johnson senior Steven Weisensee settles in at the plate and gets ready to face a pitch. Credits: Daniel Collins
Johnson senior Jason Brougham sets up in the batter's box, as he waits for the baseball to be thrown. Credits: Daniel Collins
Johnson junior Mitch Becker warming up on deck before his turn at the plate. Credits: Daniel Collins
The team going through their postgame talk with head coach David Kennedy, reviewing the aspects of the game, after they secured the win. Credits: Daniel Collins

SPRINGFIELD, NJ -  The Arthur L. Johnson varsity baseball team got 2015 started off with a road game against the Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs and, behind Steven Weisensee’s complete game, the Crusaders came out victorious Wednesday afternoon in Springfield. They won by a score of 3-2.

Weisensee,a senior, had a dominant effort on the mound, recording seven strikeouts in the victory for the Crusaders. At the plate, he recorded an RBI double in the top of the second inning to make it 1-0 Johnson.

 “It was a big game because it was a conference game, and Dayton plays us well every year, so it’s a huge win, and it’s a great way to start off the season,” Weisensee said.

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The Bulldogs would tie the game at one in the bottom of the third inning after a pickoff error was committed, leading to the tying run to score.

The game remained tied at one until the top of the fifth inning, when senior Jason Brougham gave the Crusaders a 2-1 lead with an RBI single.

For most of the players, getting the win in the season opener is a good feeling to have.

“It feels nice, I had a rough start with my first two at-bats, but then we battled back,” Brougham said. “I think that hit sparked us a little bit, and then Mike added another one, an insurance win, and that’s what led us to win this game.”

Senior Mike Lesniewski would record an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning that would stand out as the insurance run of the game, to make it 3-1 Johnson.

Johnson head coach David Kennedy said that winning a game against a school that is in their conference is important, as was getting their first win of the season.

“It feels great. This is a team that has given us their all in our conference the last few years, so that’s a quality win, a quality road win,” Kennedy said. “Things are going to be happening fast now, so hopefully we continue to do the right things, and put ourselves in position to win.”

Dayton centerfielder Noah Gordon hit a lead-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Crusaders held the Bulldogs in check, recording three outs after that, to secure the win.

“We want to get better every day,” Kennedy added. “We want to continue to compete in the right manner, we want to grow both individually and as a unit, and if we do that, we’ll have a really good chance on a daily basis.”

Next up, the Johnson Crusaders (1-0) play against Linden High School tomorrow afternoon at 4pm in their season opener. The Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs (0-1) play against the Union Catholic Vikings tomorrow afternoon on the road.

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