MORRISTOWN, NJ - Randolph's improbable run through the NJSIAA Group 4 baseball tournament ended Wednesday in a 4-0 loss to Milllburn.
Millburn will head to the Group 4 state championship game against Williamstown Saturday in Toms River.
Rams coach Doug Anderson, speaking about his team, stated, “Obviously we are all thrilled with this run. As a coach, all you can ask for is your team to overachieve. You ask for your team to do better than people thought they could do. These kids did, and I am just so proud of them.”
Post-season ace Peter Huber was the starting pitcher for the Rams, who were also led by seniors James Bertelle and Nick Ferragine, who have been some of the main catalysts to the postseason run.
The Rams came to bat in the top of the second and Mike Pine was able to get on base with a single. After a wild pitch and a fielders choice, Pine advanced to third before being stranded, leaving the game tied 0-0 after two innings.
Millburn was able to get on the board in the third inning with two unearned runs. A throwing error on a potential double play ball that would have ended the inning kept Millburn alive and the Millers pushed two runs across the plate. When asked after the game if the turf had any effect on his teams’ fielding or running, Anderson said, “We were more than ready for it, we played on turf a few times this year. We just botched some routine plays.”
The Rams came alive in the fifth when a leadoff single to left center by catcher Matt Sacco was followed by a single by Bertelle, and Randolph was in position to get on the board with men on first and second. The threat for the Rams would end as Millburn's strong pitching shut down the rally keeping the 2-0 lead in tact.
In the bottom of the fifth, Millburn added another run on a bases loaded walk. Randolph pulled senior Peter Huber with one out and he was relieved by James Bertelle. A single scored a run, and on the play the Randolph defense flashed the leather once again with an out at the plate. A fantastic throw by the centerfield and a textbook relay from first basemen Stu Backer to Sacco nailed the runner at the plate for a big out. Bertelle and the rest of the Rams defense got the next out and were able to keep the lead at 4-0.