Montville Baseball Comes from Behind Twice, Tops Morristown in Season Opener

Montville Mustangs in the field during their home opener against Morristown on Thursday, April 2. Credits: Justin Gianelli
Montville pick-off attempt at first during their home opener against Morristown on April 2. Credits: Justin Gianelli
Montville set to pitch in their home opener against Morristown on April 2. Credits: Justin Gianelli
Montville in post game huddle after their home opener against Morristown on April 2. Credits: Justin Gianelli

MONTVILLE, NJ - The Mustangs rally twice from behind to get their first win of the season over the Morristown Colonials, 12-11, on Thursday, April 2.

The 2015 opener for the Montville Mustangs boys baseball team got off to a good start by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Matt Tsukroff and Brock Caudill each had an RBI to get the Mustangs up early. That lead wouldn’t last though, as Morristown came up and scored 4 runs in the top of the 2nd, giving them a 4-2 lead; a lead they would expand on in the third by scoring 4 more runs. The 3-run triple by Morristown Left Fielder Sami Cazimoski seemed to be the damaging blow giving his team an 8-2 lead.

However, Montville kept on fighting back on an RBI single by Caudill in the 3rd inning to make it 8-3 Colonials. Then in the 4th the rally started as Montville pushed across 6 runs to take a 9-8 lead. The scoring didn’t stop there as Morristown 3rd Baseman Jim Nodoro hit a 2-run Home Run to put the Colonials back out in front 10-9. Then in the bottom of the 6th inning, Designated Hitter Armani Zengari led off with a walk,  and Right Fielder Jon Cocchio laid down a bunt to move Zengari over, reached on an error to start the inning. Then came up Catcher Mike Carreto who was also asked to bunt but the first pitch thrown by Pitcher Dallas McCall was wild advancing runners to 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. On the next pitch Carreto promptly singles to left field scoring 2 and giving the Mustangs the lead. Brett Kelly added another on a single and Montville led 12-10, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Matt Tsukroff (1-0) came to pitch in the 6th inning and finished off the game, making him the winning pitcher.

Montville coach Joe Cardinale was very pleased at how his team never gave up, saying they need to play “all 21 outs.” It was his reference to a high school baseball game being 7 innings. He has preached all preseason about fighting every single pitch and was proud of how the team worked all offseason and preseason. He said he could go on and on about the key factors and key performers but was especially proud of Sean Manning who entered as a Pitcher for the struggling Joe Trifori in the 3rd inning; he said “we don’t win without him.” He also spoke about the season outlook and knows that it will be a daily grind and players have to focus on the process and that nothing will be handed to this team.

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