SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ – Scotch Plains-Fanwood started off the first round of the 2016 UCIAC Varsity Baseball Championship with a win over David Brearleyat home on Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the 1st inning, but Brearly tied it up in the top of the 3rd. Vince Conti struggled with his control, issuing 5 walks in 2 innings, but Raiders relief pitching kept them in the game.
Marc Occhipinti came in with the bases loaded no outs, and managed to let up only one run. He stayed on to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Timmy Geissel closed the game out for the Raiders with another stellar performance allowing no runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched.
“Our defense played very well. Vince Conti didn’t have his best stuff today but the defense kept him in it,” Raiders head coach Higgins said. “Marc came up big today and it’s been a little bit of a layoff since he’s pitched so it was good to see him out there pitching well."
As for the hitting, the Raiders got back-to-back RBI doubles from Matt Fox and Tyler O’Brien in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the 6th, Geissel helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly and Jake Canavan reached on an error that would score Collin McAlindin to make it 6-2.
“We need to get more comfortable in the batters box. We started out hot hitting, but we are putting too much pressure on ourselves,” coach Higgins said about improvements. “They are working hard, practicing hard, but now we have to get comfortable and relax in the box”.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood will play on Wednesday, April 27th at 4:00pm. They will face the winner of New Providence vs. Union Catholic.