Sports

South Plainfield’s Sapini Fans 10 in Tigers 8-1 Opening Day Rout of Sayreville

0354988d4e5da630801c_spvssay1.jpg
0354988d4e5da630801c_spvssay1.jpg

SOUTH AMBOY, NJ – The South Plainfield High School varsity baseball team kicked off their 2017 campaign in grand fashion Monday evening with a convincing 8-1 road victory over the Sayreville War Memorial Bombers at Raritan Bay Waterfront Park. Senior flamethrower Jean Sapini settled down after a spotty first inning in which he walked three batters to finish with 10 strikeouts and only two hits against in his five inning season debut.

The Tigers offense sputtered early but then manufactured base runners and capitalized on several Sayreville fielding miscues to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning before the floodgates opened in the sixth, when South Plainfield added five runs to go up 8-0.

Starting second basemen Roberto Gonzales came in to relive Sapini on the hill in the 6th and Dylan O’Connor finished the game off in the 7th inning.

Sign Up for E-News

Head Coach Anthony Guida couldn’t have dreamed up a better result for his team to start the season, though he always thinks his team can play better. “It took us until the sixth inning. I was concerned with the first, second innings where we had guys in scoring position and we’re striking out,” he said. “We have to put the ball in play more. It was only 1-0 after two. It would have been nice to get a bigger lead earlier instead of 1-0.”

Alas, Guida’s starting pitcher made getting a big lead unnecessary.

“I just thought my fastball was really working,” Sapini said of his performance. “I saw they were behind it so I kept pounding the zone with fastballs, fastballs, and mixing a couple of changeups in there and it worked out for me.”

Sapini blamed the three walks in the opening frame on “first inning hectics,” but liked the way he recovered. “I wasn’t really hitting my spots and I was leaving the ball up, but then I was able to find the zone in the second and third inning and just build on that for the rest of the game.”

“Jean, to us, was a little wild,” Guida said of his ace’s first inning. “But he got a lot of help from [Sayreville]. A lot of his strikes in the first inning were up high and they were swinging at them and he was getting away with it. Sayreville is a great team and if they were a bit more disciplined it could have been a different game. If they drew a couple of walks who knows what would have happened,” he said. “But we lucked out with a couple pitches up that they swung at and missed and that got us through the inning. He did start to settle down but he had a little trouble with his arm so we pulled the leash on him a little quick.”

Sapini made it clear to his coach that he wanted to go out for the sixth.

“If he had a solid spring or a solid March we probably would have let him stay in there,” Guida said. “I know he wanted to stay in but it’s early and we want to make sure he’s in it for the entire season.”

At the plate, South Plainfield went up for good in the top of the second inning with two men out and no one on base. Left fielder Connor Adams hustled out an infield base hit and then took second and third base after an errant pickoff attempt by the Bombers. After right fielder Ricky Pellegrino drew a walk, Gonzales roped an RBI single to center, scoring Adams.

Adams impressed in his varsity debut. “He had a great game,” Guida said. “He had two hits in his first varsity game and scored three times and did a real nice job. That’s what we need to do, get bunts down and be fast.”

Already up 3-0 heading to the top of the sixth, the Tigers looked to put their opponents away for good.

With runners on first and second and one out, power hitting catcher Jared Marks crushed an RBI double over a falling left fielder’s head to put South Plainfield up by four. Shortstop Mike Stanczak walked to load the bases for third baseman Chris Shine, who put the final nail in the coffin when he blasted a three run double deep to left center to make the score 7-0.

Coach Guida was glad Shine, the fifth hitter, was able to take care of business when his team needed it most. “That was nice to see. That’s what we’re looking for with the bases loaded but he had a great March with the five scrimmages we had, hitting the ball hard and he’s got some varsity experience as a sophomore. The ball was struck real hard and carried a little more than I thought,” Guida said.

 First baseman Billy Keane capped off the five run rally with an RBI double of his own down the right field line. The score was 8-0 and the Tigers were well on their way.

Sayreville finally got on the scoreboard with a run with two outs in the bottom half of the seventh but it was too little, too late.

The Tigers (1-0) will look to sweep the two game series with the Bombers on Tuesday afternoon although the weather forecast is calling for heavy rain. If the South Plainfield varsity field is not in playing shape they will look to reschedule the game to Wednesday at 4:00 PM.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

Obituaries

South Plainfield – John T. Felz, Jr., 71, passed away at his home on Thursday, June 14, ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter from Scott Miller

June 18, 2018

Dear Editor,

There has been a lot of paving going around our town lately!  And I must say, it is such a fine sight to see all the Water Company work come to an end with this final phase of road resurfacing.  It should be noted that while the Water Company is in fact completing the work, a lot of thanks need to go out to Mayor Anesh, Council President Bengivenga and Councilman ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield Jr. Baseball - Father's Day Classic

June 14, 2018

It's that time of year again for the SPJBC's 10th Annual Father's Day Classic Tournament.  Featuring a Round Robin format for 2018 that includes the following:

~Every team guaranteed at  least 4 games (weather permitting)

~Team Awards for 1st & 2nd Place Playoff Winners

~Maximum 5 Teams per age group

Saturday, Sunday & Monday June 16-18, ...

South Plainfield Elks Honor Students of the Month

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - On Tuesday, June 12, the South Plainfield Elks honored the winners of the Grant School Character Education Monthly Pillars.  The students and their families were treated to a pasta dinner cooked and served by the Elks Youth Activities Committee and the students were given Junior Citizen of the Month Certificates.

The winners were as follows: 

Caring – ...

Holy Savior Academy’s Championship Cheerleaders Seek Funds for New Equipment

June 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Holy Savior Academy Cheerleading Squad has kicked off a fundraiser to generate $5,500 for the purchase of much-needed equipment, such as new tumble mats, sound equipment, and more for the award-winning squad.

“The group of twelve girls range from 1st through 4th grades,” said parent Marybeth Parache, who is heading up efforts to raise funds.  ...

Plainfields' UNICO Participates in Student Exchange with Italian High School

June 18, 2018

Two students from the South Plainfield High School Italian Language Class were recently sponsored by Plainfield's UNICO & the Gian Maria Mazzola Foundation of Italy to attend the Liceo Betty Ambiveri (High School) in Presezzo, Italy from May 26 to June 3, 2018.  Gian Maria Mazzola was a member of a runners club from Italy who ran in several NY Marathons and his club was hosted in ...

Road Closures - June 14, 2018

Today's road closures in South Plainfield due to road resurfacing -

Old Hamilton Blvd, Church Street and South Plainfield Avenue between Front Street and Old Hamilton Blvd.

New Market between Pitt Street and Hancock Street will be down to one lane most of the day for resurfacing. Expect minor delays. (Nixle A7BQY)

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Carousel_image_9a7d6e599775b1145bde_sparc_radio_logo_final_083115

Sat, June 23, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

SPARC Reaching Out

Carousel_image_f442011d67fefc1cb5a2_spb-4937_newsletter_june_23

Sat, June 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Carousel_image_0261cd4c5700fd63e54b_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Columns

Weinberg, Diegnan Bill to Establish University-Based Consortium on Media Innovation Advances

TRENTON –A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan that would establish a state university-based consortium to advance research in the field of media and technology was passed from the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

“The state’s traditional newspaper market has been upended by changes in ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Bookmarks

The South Plainfield Public Library will be open this Sunday, June 24 from 1:30 PM – 5 PM.  This is the last Sunday the library will be open until September.  During July and August, the library will be closed on Sundays, but the rest of the hours during the week will remain the same.

Come join us Monday, June 25 at 6:30 PM for Monday Night Movies.  The selection this week ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Ends Its Year with a Big Banquet

Our country has a long and rich history of service clubs contributing to the growth of their communities but there have been signs in the past two decades that interest in these groups is waning.  Not so at Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield.  Thanks to the efforts of Membership Chair Grace Bertucci, this past year seven new members joined this relatively small group of ...

Press Releases

Plainfields' UNICO Honors Area High School Students With Scholarships

June 16, 2018

At their annual Scholarship Awards Banquet on May 23, 2018, The Plainfields' Chapter of UNICO National honored 6 area high school seniors with scholarship grants of $1,000 each.  The high schools represented in this prestigious yearly scholarship program  South Plainfield, J.P. Stevens, Bishop Ahr, Piscataway, and  Middlesex High Schools. The recipients were the following ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...