MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville Mustangs trounced the Jefferson Falcons 14-0 on Saturday, May 14 at Montville Township High School on Senior Night.
Senior night is a celebration of all the seniors and their accomplishments. The seniors, Anthony Bio, Brock Caudill, Jon Cocchio, Jake Courtman, Matt Fusella, Tyler Forlenza, Matt Gambino, Tanner Grevesen, Nick Khalaf, Sal Khan, Corey Kiernan, Kevin Temple and Joe Trifari, were accompanied by their parents during a special pregame ceremony.
After the game, Head Coach Joe Cardinale reacted to both senior night and the win, “Senior night is generally a time to reflect on the four years that the seniors gave to our high school program, while also preparing them for the next phase. It would be very easy for our guys to lose their focus with all of the pre-game ceremonies going on. That was my biggest worry as a coach. However, to their credit, our guys came out firing, putting up 11 runs in the first inning and never looked back. It was truly a special night - everyone on the team played in this game, and will always have that memory to look back on as they get older.”
The bats came alive early and often for Montville. Anthony Bio went 3 for 3 with 3 runs and 3 stolen bases, Joe Trifari went 1 for 2 with a 2-run double, and Jake Courtman went 1 for 1 with 3 RBI’s. On the defensive side of the game, Sal Kahn dominated with a complete game shutout for the win.
The top of the first started off rough when Kahn walked a batter and gave up a double. However, Kahn got the next two batters out with a strikeout and a fly out to end the threat.
In the bottom of the first, the bases were loaded immediately when Bio singled and both Joe DelloStritto and Caudill walked. Anthony Trifari reached first safely on a fielder’s choice to score Bio. The next batter, Jake Courtman, laced a single to centerfield to score DelloStritto and Caudill. After a double steal put runners at 2nd and 3rd, Joe Trifari smashed a 2 run double to centerfield. After Corey Kiernan singled to put runners on the corners, Matt Gambino singled to score Trifari. The next batter, Bio, laid down a bunt to load up the bases again. On the first pitch of the at bat, Kiernan scored from third base on a wild pitch. Later, DelloStritto would walk to reload the bases. After Caudill and Courtman both walked to produce 2 runs, the score was 9-0 in favor of the Mustangs. With two outs, Jon Cocchio drilled a ball to the shortstop who committed a throwing error and allowed both DelloStritto and Caudill to score to put the score at 11-0.
After an easy top of the 2nd for Sal Kahn, the Mustangs went back to work offensively. After an error allowed Kiernan to go to 2nd, Bio singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Later in the inning, Bio stole 2nd for his 3rd steal of the game, Caudill then grounded to the shortstop who committed another throwing error, allowing both Kiernan and Bio to score.
Kahn would breeze through the next three innings while the Mustangs produced one more run on the offensive side.
“Looking forward, our offense is coming around at the right time, and we're hoping to peak at the right time as state playoffs begin next week,” Cardinale said about the impressive offensive performance.
The Mustangs (13-10) will face off next against the Mount Olive Marauders (8-12-1) on Thursday and the Wayne Valley Indians (13-9) on Friday. Both games will be held at Montville Township High School starting at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. the Mustangs will host their 4th annual baseball fundraiser game. This year's game will be played against the Cedar Grove Panthers and both teams will be raising money to help Strike Out ALS, a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system. More information can be found on the fundraiser's Facebook page HERE.