CRANFORD, NJ - Coming off of a win and into the second game of a double header on a hot and humid day, the Millburn 8's Baseball team came out swinging in the Cranford Tournament. After Ryan Abbey retired Matawan in order in the first, Peyton Conn hit for a single, and turned it into two more bases on wild pitches, advancing all the way to third. It was a promising start, but unfortunately, the team was unable to bring him home that inning.
The second inning was very much like the first, with the Abbey allowing only 2 walks and controlling the base paths. In the bottom half of the inning, Jake Meyerowitz came to the plate, and promptly smacked a home run over the wall in centerfield. Bennett Hoffman was plunked by a pitch, and made it all the way around to score another run. Jack Thielen and Shayne Apple also scratched out back to back singles, and made it all the way to second and third base. The second and third outs were finally recorded, but by then Millburn had opened up a 2-0 lead.
After another 1-2-3 inning of work by Abbey, Conn came to the plate again. He hit a double, and was driven in with an RBI double from Brett Molka. Molka himself then speedily made his way home on an RBI single from David Mischel. Although they were unable to record another run, by the end of three innings, it was 4-0 Millburn.
Matawan threatened to do some damage when they loaded the bases up with one out in the top of the fourth. But the Millburn defense held strong, recording the final two outs to snuff out any momentum that the Huskies had gained. Thielen came up to the plate again, and hit for a single. He utilized two wild pitches to make it to third, but couldn’t be brought home. Millburn needed one last offensive push, and they were going to get it in a big way.
In the fifth inning, Liam Grigorian, the new relief pitcher for Millburn had a phenomenal inning. He had two strikeouts and a little luck on his side, as the Matawan runner overran third base on the steal attempt. Grigorian was also the leadoff batter, and stretched a single into a double on a Huskies throwing error. Conn then got on base again with another single, and Molka drove them both in with yet another RBI double. Meyerowitz then came to the plate, and drove in Molka for the final run of the game for Millburn.
Up 7-0 entering the sixth and final inning, the defense needed to hold. And they did just that, recording a put out, a strike out and a fly out to win the game. Coach Gary Butter was extremely proud of his team’s effort. “To shut out a team in the second game of a doubleheader is really impressive. We pitched eight kids in two games today, and only gave up a run over that span. I’m immensely proud of my team, but that’s because I’ve come to expect this level of performance from them.”