PISCATAWAY, NJ -- The Piscataway High School varsity baseball team was riding high at the beginning of the year as it sported a 7-3 record. But, the Chiefs lost their mojo and dropped eight games in a row, falling deep into the Greater Middlesex Conference -- White Division standings and virtually out of the hunt for a playoff spot in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 state tournament.
Nonetheless, head coach Scott Gleichenhaus and his squad wasn’t going to give up and they didn’t. Piscataway faced Edison at home on Thursday and Friday, with Friday’s game being the preliminary round of the GMC Tournament. The Chiefs notched walk off wins against the the Eagles both days to build confidence and up their record to 9-11.
“Our guys never quit,” Gleichenhaus said. “They brought the right energy and were fired up. When we play with that intensity, we are tough to beat.”
In the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday in the tournament matchup, 16th-seeded Piscataway’s Parris Washington hit the game-winning two-RBI single to beat 17th-seeded Edison, 6-5. Piscataway scored three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
With the win, the Chiefs advance and will at play top-seeded East Brunswick on Monday. The Bears won 19-8 against back on April 12 against the team dressed black and gold.
Washington finished 2-for-4 with the two RBI and Chris Lowry, who drove in all three runs in the sixth inning with a bases clearing double, went 2-for-3. James Ingram and Matt Peterson also had two hits and two runs scored while Peterson recorded an RBI as well. Pitcher Jordin Martell went the distance and earned the win allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts on 107 pitches.
For Edison, which jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 5 ½ innings of play, Christian Cruz led the way with a 3-for-4 day with three runs scored and an RBI on a solo home run.
As mentioned, the Chiefs will now travel out to play East Brunswick in the next round.
“East Brunswick is the best team in the county. Tough to beat at home,” Gleichenhaus said. “Coach Chris Kenney is one of my good friends so I know they will be prepared and not be looking past us. We have to bring our ‘A’ game to have a shot at advancing in the tournament.”
On Thursday, in a regular season contest, Piscataway squeaked out a 10-9 win over Edison. Roldan Morris hit a sacrifice fly with no outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to give the Chiefs the victory. While he had no hits in the contest, he scored once and was the hero of arguably the biggest game of the year as he was able to help Piscataway stop the losing streak and ignite Friday’s win as well.
Edison took an early 2-0 lead after two innings before Piscataway plated four runs in the third to jump ahead 4-2. The Eagles scored once in the fourth to make it 4-3, but the Chiefs came back to score four runs again in the home half of the fourth to go up 8-3. Edison would rally for six runs in the fifth to hold a 9-8 advantage, but the resilient Chiefs would muster a run in the sixth to tie the score.
Peterson hit a home run in this one and finished with two RBI. Ingram went 2-for-4, scored twice, and drove in two runs while Jordan Brown went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored as well. The Chiefs tallied 11 hits.
Chris Eckel earned the win hurling 2 ⅓ innings of shutout relief work, giving up just one hits and three walks.
Christian Biolsi went 1-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored for Edison. Jason Smith added a hit and two RBI as well. Colin Lombardo scored twice and Frank Vega went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
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