WESTFIELD, NJ - Westfield High School came out with something to prove in their Union County Tournament opener on Saturday morning.
The defending county champions blew past New Providence, 7-0, to advance to the second round of the tournament.
“This is a good win for us, after the slow start we have had this season,” Westfield coach Bob Brewster said. “We got some timely hits out there today. We ran the bases pretty well today. Our pitching was outstanding today. It was a great overall win for us.”
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Blue Devils were 3-9, but they did not look like a losing team against the Pioneers.
Westfield got on the offensive attack early on, scoring two runs in the third inning to take an early lead.
That was plenty enough run support for Blue Devils starting pitcher Jack Bunting, who was lights out on the mound. The senior pitched five scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, while striking out five Pioneer hitters.
“I really just took control of the game with my command,” Bunning said. “I did a good job mixing in my off-speed pitches and the defense behind me to do their part in helping me have a good game as well.”
The ace of the Blue Devils pitching staff, as said by coach Brewster, Bunting and reliever Rowan Roberman did a great job keeping the New Providence bats at bay all game long.
Overall, the Pioneers only had three hits in the entire game and only once had a runner in scoring position.
“It’s always tough to lose a game,” New Providence coach Chris Brodeur said. “We didn’t hit when we needed to. We didn’t get enough hits in general. At the end of the day, we just didn’t have enough to beat Westfield today.”
After a two-run inning in the third, Westfield added two more in the fourth and scored another run in the fifth. The Blue Devils also tacked on two runs in the sixth inning as well.
Alex Pansini and Matt Barmakian each had RBI singles in the game, while Chris Rinaldi and Devin Anderson drove in runs as well.
The Blue Devils also used their speed against New Providence, stealing 11 bases in the game.
Westfield will play Cranford High School in the second round of the tournament.