RANDOLPH, NJ- In the first round of the Morris County Tournament, the Randolph baseball team took an early lead, gave it back, then imposed their will to defeat Butler by a score of 8-4.

Andrew Hafner got the Rams started in the bottom of the first, blasting an RBI triple to right center that gave Randolph a 1-0 lead.  In the second, Randolph poured on three more runs, starting with an RBI double by Nick Ferragine, and followed up by a fielder’s choice RBI for Jake Barbiere. 

James Bertelle added the third run of the inning all by himself with an exciting individual effort.  While on first base, Bertelle stole second, and on the over throw took third.  With the center fielder slow to get to the ball, Bertelle kept on going, using his speed to make it all the way home for a 4-0 lead.

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Butler battled back with four runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game.  Randolph immediately grabbed it back with a run in the bottom of the inning, and then added one in the fifth and two in the sixth to extend their lead to the final score of 8-4.

Bertelle started the game on the mound, allowing four hits and registering five strikeouts while picking up the win.  Sophmore Thomas Ippolito finished up the game on the mound, pitching three strong innings while allowing only one hit and also striking out five.

At the plate, John Melillo went 2-for-4, scoring three runs. Bertelle finished 2-for-4 and scored two runs, while Stu Backer had a double and two RBI to help power the Rams.