BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Hillsborough pitcher Dylan Finer and Watchung Hills’ starter Brian Reiss were locked in a scoreless tie going into the bottom of the fourth inning in the Somerset County Championship final. The two pitchers both had their fastball and off-speed pitches working. The bottom of the fourth inning began with Hillsborough’s Ryan Roberts’ getting a swinging bunt hit. After a walk and a sacrifice Hillsborough had two men in scoring position. Reiss was in the first real jam of the game. After Reiss struck out Hillsborough’s Jimmy Suseck it appeared Reiss would get out of the inning, but with two outs Hillsborough centerfielder Mike Englehardt had other thoughts. Englehardt scorched a double just inside the third base bag to put Hillsborough up 2-0. It would be all the runs Finer would need as Hillsborough held on to win their second consecutive SCT title 3-1.
“I was just thinking put the ball in play, said Englehardt when asked about his game winning hit. “I think it was a fastball and I jumped on it.” Jump on it is exactly what Englehardt did to the delight of the Hillsborough crowd lining the first base stands.
“We went out there and did what we were supposed to do,” said Hillsborough Coach Eric Eden. “We played the way we should and executed when we had to. Dylan Finer went out there and proved why he is our ace and Englehardt got us some big hits.”
Finer pitched as an ace should allowing one run while scattering five hits over seven innings for the complete game victory. “I just wanted to throw strikes, stay ahead of the hitters and keep the ball down low.” said Finer. They smoked anything I left up so I just tried to pound them low in the zone.”
Although collared with the loss, Watchung Hills’ Brian Reiss turned in an excellent pitching performance allowing three runs on six hits over six innings of work.
“We pick each other up, played as a team and got it done today,” said Eden. “Watchung has a great team with very good coaches. I’m just glad we were able to pull it out.”
Hillsborough did just that. They pulled out their second consecutive hard fought Somerset County Tournament Title, and their first with Eden as head coach.