WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Saddle Brook’s John Hacker hit two home runs and drove in six runs as the Falcons upset Wood-Ridge, 8-7, in the opening round of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 baseball playoff Monday afternoon at Donna Ricker Field in Wood-Ridge. Hacker went 4-for-4, and scored twice for the Falcons who knocked off the top-seeded Blue Devils.
The Falcons struck first in the top of the first off of starting pitcher Liam Winslow, scoring on a double by Saddle Brook starting pitcher Anthony Marchetto, and an rbi single by Hacker for an early 2-0 lead.
Wood-Ridge however, bounced back, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. With one out Drew Packen doubled, and scored on Lucas Leone’s single. Ryan Connelly singled, and Jack Barteck walked, loading the bases. Eric Drotos singled in a run to tie the score at 2-2. Jake Colon reached via an error by the Saddle Brook third baseman, with a run scoring, giving the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead. Christian Jones single made the score 4-2 before Saddle Brook was able to get out of the inning.
Wood-Ridge increased the lead to 5-2, in the second as Packen tripled and Leone doubled him in. Saddle Brook was able to escape the inning without further damage,
The heart of the Saddle Brook order went back to work in the third, as Marchetto singled and scored on Hacker’s home run to make the score 5-4.
Wood-Ridge added a run back to their lead, as Jones doubled, and following a single by Anthony D’Amico, scored on Winslow’s single to make the lead 6-4.
Saddle Brook took the lead in the fifth, with the heart of the order once again providing the spark. Marchetto doubled for his third hit of the game, and Joe Baginski singled, putting two runners on for Hacker, who hit his second home run of the game, scoring three, and giving the Falcons a 7-6 lead.
The Falcons added a needed insurance run in the sixth, as Marchetto singled in Jonathan Parra for an 8-6 lead.
The Blue Devils fought back in the sixth, cutting the lead in half, as Connelly singled in Packen to cut the lead to 8-7. But the Falcons were able to escape a dangerous situation as they were able to get out of a bases loaded situation without having the tying run score.
Neither team was able to score in the seventh, as Wood-Ridge’s rally fell short when Leone lined out to short to end the game with the tying run on second of Saddle Brook reliever Vinny Traverso.
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