RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph baseball team displayed their resiliency against Ridge on Apr. 8, when they lost a two run lead, but battled back late to earn their first win of the 2019 season. The 5-4 victory was also the first career win for new head coach Mark Rizzi in a Rams uniform.
“We have fought so hard in these first three games; they have a lot of confidence in each other so they expect to win,” said Rizzi. “Up and down the lineup the hitters are very tough outs. They have a good approach at the plate and they battle with two strikes.”
The first two games were close contests, but the Rams lost to Montville and Pope John. Against Ridge, the Rams gave up two runs in the top of the first, but came roaring back in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-2 lead behind two home runs.
Josh Nathan and Matt Kratochvil went yard back-to-back in that half of the inning, helping to push four runs across to lead Randolph out to an early lead.
In the game, Nathan led the offense by going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
“Josh Nathan is having a great start at the plate,” said Rizzi. “Knowing he will be in the lineup everyday has made him more relaxed and in turn he has more confidence, which rubs off on the other players.”
After allowing the lead to slip away to Ridge who scored in both the 4th and 5th innings to knot it up at 4-4, the Rams rallied once again.
In the bottom of the 5th, Kratchovil reached base on a single and Paul Recchia drilled a double to right, putting runners on second and third. Eric Recchia pushed Kratchovil across the plate with the winning run when he grounded out to the right side of the field for a 5-4 Rams lead.
Ryan Manzi was the winning pitcher allowing three runs on five hits in four innings of work. Mike Ippolito tossed the final three innings, striking out four, including two in a row to open the 7th inning to help close out the game.
Christian Guarente also went 2-for-3 in the game, while Ryan McDermott had a hit and a stolen base.