SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raiders capitalized on their Senior Day, with a 5-4 victory over the South Plainfield Tigers Saturday afternoon.
Preceding Saturday’s contest, seniors Tyler O’Brien, Jack DeFouw, Vin Conti, George Leichtling, and Nick Stone were honored on the field with a ceremony celebrating their four years at SP-F High School.
Stone got the start for the Raiders – his first of the season – and did a solid job of holding the Tigers’ bats in check. Through three scoreless innings, the senior righty allowed just one hit – a single to Kyle Bythell – and struck out two.
The Raiders got on the board first, when Tyler O’Brien singled, and scored on George Leichtling’s sacrifice fly, in the first inning.
SP-F tacked on two more runs in the third inning, when Tyler O’Brien and Peter Yarem started the inning with consecutive singles, and O’Brien came home on George Leichtling’s RBI infield-single, and Yarem scored on Jack DeFouw’s SAC fly.
South Plainfield rallied to tie-up the game in the top of the fourth inning. The first three batters of the inning reached by way of a single, walk, and error, respectively. Two runs came in on Nick Plate’s single, and the tying run scored on Kyle Bythell’s sacrifice fly.
The Tigers took the lead in the fifth inning, when the leadoff hitter doubled, and scored on a double by Dylan O’Connor. Stone was taken out of the game following O’Connor’s double.
In the sixth inning, the Raiders made a comeback, starting with a two-base error off the bat of Collin MacAlindin, committed by Tigers’ centerfielder Jack Gillis. The next batter, Jake Canavan, layed down a perfectly-executed bunt single advancing Mueller, and took second base as nobody was covering the bag. Marc Occhipinti was the next batter, and singled in Mueller, and the go-ahead run scored on a walk to give SP-F a five-to-four lead.
Freshman Danny Wilkinson notched the save in the top of the seventh inning to cap-off the Raiders’ victory.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood begins the N.J.S.I.A.A. state tournament Monday, with a home game against Union.