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Baseball: Rain, Rain Go Away: Dayton set for Ridgefield in Sectional Semis

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Credits: Chip Dickson
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SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Pending weather and field conditions, the Dayton baseball team is prepared for its sectional semifinal on Tuesday.

Dayton (17-5), which has won two straight and five of its last six games, will host fourth-seeded Ridgefield (14-12) in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 semifinals at historic Ruby Field on Tuesday, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.

Last Saturday, senior Joe Kastner gave up five hits over 6 2/3 innings with three earned runs, one walk, and nine strikeouts and senior Anthony Monguso had a two-run single to spark a five-run fifth inning to propel top-seeded Dayton to a come-from-behind 6-3 home victory over eighth-seeded Becton in the quarterfinals.

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“I thought our kids played tough on Saturday and that is the biggest thing we can take away from the win Saturday,” said Dayton head coach Michael Abbate, which has clinched an N2, G1 semifinal berth for the seventh time in Abbate’s eight seasons. “If they continue to play with a tough mental approach and high energy, they will continue to be at their best and a hard team to eliminate from the playoffs.”

The Bulldogs, which will face Ridgefield for the fourth time in state tournament action in the past five years, is 0-3 against the Bergen County-based school, all on the road.

“We are excited about getting another shot at Ridgefield. One play or call in all the games we played against them in the past could have changed the outcome of any of those games, which is the major reason we are excited to get another shot at them,” Abbate said. “I have a lot of guys we coached in the past that have shot me texts this weekend wishing us luck against Ridgefield because of what has happened in the past, so our kids know how important it is for them to be ready to play as hard as they possibly can on Tuesday.”

Ridgefield (14-12) has won two straight and three of its last five games, including a 12-1 five-inning win over 12th-seeded Weehawken last Friday. In two state games, Ridgefield has outscored its opponents, 19-2.
 
Tuesday’s other NJ, S2, G1 semifinal features 14th-seeded North Arlington (10-15) at seventh-seeded Glen Ridge (10-13) with the final set for Friday, June 2 at 4 p.m. at the higher seed remaining.

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