NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Millburn baseball team's participation in the Autism Awareness Challenge showcase produced a game few will soon forget.
The Millers trailed by 12 runs in the middle of the sixth inning before rallying for four runs in the bottom of the sixth and five more in the bottom of the seventh before falling short in a 19-16 loss to South Plainfield Saturday morning.
Senior second baseman Ben Pampush went 5-for-6 with two doubles and five RBI for the Millers (6-4), who trailed, 19-7, before coming to bat in the home sixth inning at North Brunswick Community Park. Jordan Brochin also collected five hits, scored three runs and knocked in two runs. Peter Serruto went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, Ben Sinins rapped a two-run home run to right-center in the bottom of the first, and Nick Santagata went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI in the loss.
Brandon Krikorian and Eric Von Bevern also contributed doubles to the Millburn attack, which produced 21 hits. But while pitchers for both teams collectively had a tough morning, Millburn's hurlers were also victimized by four errors that made 12 of the 19 runs they permitted to be unearned.
Millburn used six pitchers. The most effective was Peter Gula, who threw a hitless inning of relief with no runs scoring against him.
Mike Stanczak of South Plainfield (5-7) hit two home runs, had three hits total and drove in seven runs.
The loss came less than 24 hours after a defeat of a much different kind for Millburn on Friday, when the Millers lost to Essex County foe Nutley, 4-0. Millburn must now prepare for a rematch Monday at home against county power Seton Hall Prep, which rallied to defeat Millburn, 6-5, earlier this month (https://www.tapinto.net/towns/millburn-slash-short-hills/articles/baseball-seton-hall-prep-rallies-to-beat-millbur).