CRANFORD - Sophomore Will Gallagher did it all on Thursday.
Gallagher pitched a five-hitter and went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI to lead Cranford past Union, 6-3, on Day 3 of the NJ Last Dance High School World Series. All three runs he surrendered were unearned.
"I was really just trying to 'go' on the mound," said Gallagher. "Coach told me that I was going to pitch like three innings. I just hit my spots and located, let them put the ball in play, and let my fielders field. I felt great and finished at like 90 pitches, which is pretty good for seven innings. I just tried keeping the ball over the plate."
The Cougars score three runs in both the second and third innings. Gallagher drilled a two-run triple down the right field line in the third, but was thrown out at home plate trying to extend it into a rarely-seen inside-the-park home run.
"Oh I was shot going around third base," laughed Gallagher. "I definitely could not make it home, but coach sent me, and so I had to listen."
Mike Murphy finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Lucca Limeria reached base three times with two hits and a walk. Jake Chapman drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
With the win, Cranford advances to the North Region Sweet 16 to face Montclair on Tuesday at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, tentatively set for 10 a.m.
"We're 3-0, so we just have to keep going and keep the same energy," added Gallagher. "If we keep playing like this, we'll be fine."