SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The weather was hot and so were the bats, as the Scotch Plains-Fanwood baseball team out-slugged the Summit Hilltoppers, 13-12, in a hype senior day thriller Wednesday afternoon in Scotch Plains.
After falling behind 7-0, the Raiders climbed back and took an 11-7 lead after a nine-run third inning. Summit erupted for four runs in the top of the fifth inning to knot the game up at 11. Scotch Plains then pulled ahead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on to win by a matter of feet.
Seniors Peter Warren and Matt Fox each had three hits and two RBI, while George Mueller, also a senior, collected a pair of hits and RBI. Marc Occhipinti, a senior making his first start of the season at second base, smacked an additional two-run single. Occhipiniti also threw four strong innings in relief, allowing just two earned runs.
The nine-run third inning was the Raiders’ largest-scoring inning of the season.
Scotch Plains closer Matt Kipp earned his second save of the season, pitching in a high-leverage situation. Kipp stranded a pair of inherited runners and left the tying run 90 feet away on third base, recording the final two outs of the game to nail down the save.
Erik Kaufman was credited with the win in relief for the Raiders, tossing 2 2/3 innings and holding Summit to a run. Kaufman also contributed at the plate with an RBI single in his first career varsity at-bat.
Prior to the game, each senior was honored on the field, and following the game, the 12 seniors partook in a ceremony with their families.
The 12 seniors on the Scotch Plains-Fanwood varsity team are:
- Charles Butler
- Jake Canavan
- Matt Fox
- Tim Geissel
- Colin McAlindin
- George Mueller
- Matt Newman
- Marc Occhipinti
- Spencer Vaughn
- Peter Warren
- Pater Yarem
- Ryan Yawger