BRANCHBURG, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood 12U Raiders continued their strong summer baseball season with an exciting run in the Branchburg Tournament last weekend. SPF, coach by Tim Dursee, finished second in the tourney.
The Raiders won their first three tournament games to reach the finals, highlighted by George Dursee's two-run, walk-off home run over the right field wall in Sunday's semifinals against Warren Hills. Anthony Malta started the game winning rally with a walk and trotted home on the game ending blast. George also laced an RBI single in the five-run third inning that helped SPF erase en early deficit in the 8-6 victory. Speedster Gavin Morrobel smoked a single to key the rally and Matt Higgins and Aidan Dursee added RBI hits in the third inning surge.
SPF entered Sunday's single elimination action as the No. 2 seed following comeback victories over Branchburg (12-8) and Flemington (8-4) on Saturday. Adam Gross fired two strong innings in relief in the opener and started the second game to earn the victories in both games. Lefty Ryan Brandl pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save in Saturday's victory over Flemington and also picked up the win in Sunday's semifinal against Warren Hills.
Birthday boy Ben Masella belted a double and added two singles in Saturday's action to lead the offense. Higgins and Ryan Cawley began the second game with back-to-back doubles and Michael Grill roped a few extra-base gappers during the weekend. Dylan Young provided solid relief pitching and defense at shortstop. Other defensive highlights included a diving catch by left fielder Weston Fischer in the championship game.
The Raiders will complete their regular season in the New Providence Green League with games at South Orange and home vs. Chatham this week before next week's playoffs and a tournament in Cooperstown at the end of the month.