CLARK, NJ - Arthur L. Johnson High School seniors Steven Weisensee and Trevor McSorley were the key players in the Crusaders' close victory over the Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs Saturday morning in Clark. The final score of the baseball game was 2-1.
In a game where it seemed like a pitcher’s duel, Weisensee dominated on the mound for the Crusaders.
He went the distance, pitching a complete game, and recording ten strikeouts and only walking four batters. He also allowed one run on two hits.
“I was just happy to come out and pitch a strong game for us,” Weisensee said. “It’s a big win because we’re back in control of our conference, and if we handle our business, we’ll be able to win it.”
McSorley went 2-3 at the plate, and drove in both runs for the Crusaders, exactly what they needed in this game.
In a scoreless game in the bottom of the third inning, he put the Crusaders out in front 1-0 with an RBI single, scoring junior Andrew Sanchez from second base.
“I just go out there and do what I can for the team,” McSorley said. “When I step up to the plate, and there’s people out there on base, I feel that I need to drive them in. I need to do my part.”
The Bulldogs would threaten in the top of the fifth inning, when they had runners at the corners with two outs.
As the Crusaders had Mark Jessen in a run-down, the tying run was able to score, just before senior Dan O’Donnell was able to make a tag, evening the score at 1-1.
Johnson responded in the bottom of the fifth inning, and McSorley helped to give his team the lead back. He sent a line drive to right field that dumped in for an RBI double, scoring senior Robert Horvath to make it 2-1 Crusaders.
The Crusaders found themselves in trouble in the top of the sixth inning, as the Bulldogs put runners on base, trying to tie the game.
With runners on the corners and one out, Weisensee made sure that Dayton would not tie the game. He struck out Noah Goldberg swinging, and got Dayton pitcher Chase Kimmel to line out softly to second base, ending the Bulldogs’ threat in that inning.
“We pitched great. Steve pitched great in both games [against Jonathan Dayton]. We caught and threw the ball in both games,” Johnson head coach David Kennedy said.
For Dayton, Kimmel also pitched a complete game, recording five strikeouts, and walking three batters. He allowed two runs on four hits.
“We just got enough to win. They’re both one-run games, so obviously, we’re very even between the two teams and they’re a very good team,” Kennedy added. “We’re happy to be in our position right now.”
With this win, the Crusaders hold the lead in the Union County Conference Mountain Division, with a 4-1 record against other division teams. Jonathan Dayton currently holds a 3-2 record against opponents in the division.
McSorley also felt that the team needs to be prepared for these kinds of games against other schools in their conference throughout the rest of the season.
“We just need to be ready like this game,” he added. “We were ready, we came out, we made plays. We had timely hits, and that’s how we get it done. We can have a chance to win the conference, and that would be big, because we haven’t done that in a while.”
Next up, the Johnson Crusaders (7-3) play against Linden High School Tuesday afternoon on the road at 4 p.m. The Dayton Bulldogs (4-5) play against the Union Catholic Vikings on the road Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.