SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Nick Merkel threw a 74-pitch complete game, allowing just one run on two hits in five innings of work as the Raiders won an 11-1 over Elizabeth.

“Nick had good command from the start.  His curveball is tough, and it adds life to his fastball after they’ve seen it,” varsity coach Joe Higgins told TAPintoSPF after the game. “He pitched with presence on the mound.”

Merkel walked three and struck out five.

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The top of the batting order did a lot of the offensive damage. Leadoff hitter Jonathan Ramos went 3-for 3 with three runs scored. Dean Kirian was 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBI in the two slot, and Willy Gale had two hits in three at-bats, including a double and an RBI.

“Jonny Ramos set the tone again for us,” Coach Higgins said after the game. “He, Kirian, Gale, and Dieu swung their bats aggressively in the first inning. It was contagious from there.”

Israel Santana and Josh Ciano had the only two hits for Elizabeth.

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