CLARK, NJ - The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders baseball team was hoping continue the 2015 season with a 3-0 record as they faced off against the Piscataway Chiefs on Saturday morning, but Piscataway came away with the win on the road. The final score was 10-3.
Scoreless until the top of the second, the game changed when the Piscataway Chiefs took advantage of opportunities and errors committed by the Crusaders.
The Chiefs scored five runs in that inning, including RBI singles from Mike Campbell and Kevin Tamsula. The Crusaders committed three errors, leading to the baserunners getting on for Piscataway.
Jerrid Guerra made it 6-0 Chiefs with an RBI single in the top of the third. The Crusaders got on the board in the bottom half of the inning with senior Jason Brougham’s RBI bases-loaded walk, to make it 6-1. Brougham had two RBIs in the game, both of them coming with the bases loaded.
The Crusaders struggled defensively, with errors being problematic throughout the game.
“We need to make the fundamental plays,” Brougham said. “We made nine errors today, and that’s not going to win us any games.”
The Crusaders tried to add on to their one run in the bottom of the third inning, loading the bases with two outs.
Senior Dan O’Donnell grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, with a close call coming at first base, keeping the score 6-1 with Piscataway in control.
Jon Nesler would record an RBI double to make it 7-1 Chiefs, and they tacked on three more runs. Zach Merring contributed to the scoring, by adding a two-run single of his own, to make it 10-1 Piscataway.
Johnson junior Wes Giannobile struggled on the mound, giving up ten runs in 3-2/3 innings, before the Crusaders made a pitching change.
Crusader head coach David Kennedy said that missed scoring chances and not making basic catch and throw plays were the primary components of the team’s struggle.
“Piscataway caught and threw the ball far better than us, [and] they swung the bats better than us,” Kennedy said. “We had chances and didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”
The other Crusader run was scored when senior Trevor McSorley was walked with the bases loaded.
Next up, the Johnson Crusaders (2-1) play at New Providence High School Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.