Baseball: Scotch Plains-Fanwood Pummels Elizabeth, 16-5; Advances to Sectional Quarters

Sam Schetlich went 2-for-3 with 5 RBI and two runs scored. Credits: Matt Kipp
Patrick Cuccurullo picked up the win with a complete game (5 inning) effort. Credits: Matt Kipp
Michael Dieu knocked in a pair of runs and went 2-for-3. Credits: Matt Kipp
Tyler Stines went 3-for-3 with two RBI. Credits: Matt Kipp
Dean Kirian had three hits and two RBI. Credits: Matt Kipp
Dean Kirian rounds third and heads for home. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jon Ramos races home. Credits: Matt Kipp
Sam Schetelich drove in 5 runs on Monday. Credits: Guy Kipp

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD — Three weeks ago, Elizabeth cut Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Union County Tournament run unexpectedly short with a quarterfinal upset. 

Baseball is a funny game though, and the Raiders got the last laugh by ending Elizabeth’s season Monday. 

In an 18-hit offensive clinic that exorcised any demons from that UCT nightmare on the same field, No. 4 seed Scotch Plains-Fanwood five-inning mercy ruled No. 13 Elizabeth, 16-5, in the North 2, Group 4 sectional tournament first round. The Raiders advance to host No. 5 Union in Thursday’s quarterfinal. 

Sign Up for E-News

Sam Schetelich went 2-for-3 with a double, five RBI and two runs scored to lead the Raiders’ explosive offensive charge. Both Tyler Stines and Dean Kirian went 3-for-3 while driving in two runners, and Michael Dieu (2-for-3) also plated a pair. 

Every hitter in the Raiders’ lineup had at least one hit, RBI, and run scored. The team has scored at a rate of 9.5 runs in its last six games. 

Junior lefthander Patrick Cuccurullo recovered from a shaky beginning and went the distance — though that was just five innings due to the mercy rule — needing 88 pitches to do so. Cuccurullo allowed two earned runs (five total) on nine hits and walked one, while striking out three. After being tagged for three runs in the opening frame, Cuccurullo settled down very well and allowed just one earned over his final four. 

“Hitting was contagious today,” varsity coach Joe Higgins told TAPintoSPF. “We got down early and started a little sloppy, but the guys really bounced back. Tyler Stines has been having some great at-bats lately. His approach has been excellent. Patrick Downey had another clutch 2-strike 2-out hit, and Sam Schetelich had another great day."

"Cuccurullo hung in there and battled to settle down. It was a great team win,” Coach Higgins added.

Though Scotch Plains-Fanwood found itself trailing, 4-0, after an inning and a half, the eam pulled a complete 180 in the bottom half of the second. The Raiders put up eight runs and batted around to claim the lead for good during the game-altering frame. All runs were charged to Elizabeth starter Josh Ciano, the same starting pitcher who beat the Raiders in the May 5 UCT quarterfinal. 

Having reached Elizabeth’s vulnerable bullpen, the Raiders scored three more runs in the third and put the icing on the cake with a five-run fourth. 

Given the way things started, though, Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s 11-run rout seems even more impressive. In fact, at one point early on, it looked as though Elizabeth might be the team's winning by a mercy rule score. 

Taking advantage of a slow-starting Raiders defense while playing aggressively and putting the ball in play — and hard — Elizabeth christened the game with three runs in the top of the first and added another in the second. 

Israel Santana and Darlin Lora each knocked in a run for Elizabeth, which had a collective nine hits. Jorge Correa went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and Ciano, Santana, and Andre Tirso were 2-for-3 with a run scored. 

The Minutemen added a run in the top of the fourth, cutting Scotch Plains’ lead to 11-5 before the Raiders answered with five  in the bottom half. 

In Thursday’s quarterfinal, Scotch Plains-Fanwood will face Union, another Union County Conference Watchung Division counterpart, for the second time in a week. It’s very likely that the Raiders will oppose Union ace Mike Velez, a fireballing righty whom they saw in last Thursday’s 4-3 loss. The Raiders will almost certainly have Jake Friedman on the mound. 

However, before seeing Union, the Raiders will get a tuneup in a regular season game against St. Joseph (Metuchen) on Tuesday — weather permitting — in Metuchen.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Westfield Day Care Center Celebrates 50 Years

June 20, 2018

Westfield, NJ — Westfield Day Care Center staff, parents and alumni celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary at The Westwood in Garwood.

The evening was a jovial event which also included over 80+ tricky tray and auction items that came as donations from many local Westfield businesses.  The guests congregated around the items while enjoying cocktails and hors ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality


Mon, July 9, 10:00 AM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Join the Summer Jewelry Making Club at the Scotch ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness Home & Garden