BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Tears from teammates, family and friends, recognition for a job well done, and a victory to boot capped off a great Senior Night for the Dayton baseball team.
Senior Joe Kastner pitched an impressive two-hitter with an earned run and 11 strikeouts and senior Brian Schramm went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI to lead Dayton to a 7-1 victory over rival New Providence at TD Bank Park, home of the Somerset Patriots, in Bridgewater on Sunday night.
Dayton (11-3), which has won three straight and four of its last five games, has outscored its opponents, 26-4, during its recent win streak.
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“Playing at TD Bank Park is a tremendous opportunity, especially when I played there two times,” said Kastner, who improved his record to 6-0. “It was a big game for our program and everybody made a contribution. It was a team win where all of the upperclassmen made an impact on the game.”
Senior Jonathan Holland added two hits with an RBI, senior Anthony Monguso had an RBI single with a run scored and junior Anthony Santucci, senior Matthew Pavick, junior Adam Wuest, and Kastner each had a run scored apiece for the Bulldogs, which scored four runs in the top of the third inning to take control.
“Yesterday was huge in every aspect. Being able to play at TD Bank Park was an unforgettable experience. When we arrived at the stadium, each guy was ready to play and knew the mission we had going into the game,” said Monguso. “Joe (Kastner) did a phenomenal job pounding the strike zone and I think the team did a great job hitting the baseball in key situations. We also made key plays that were game changers early in the game. Being able to have our senior night at the stadium with the crowd we did also propelled us to have the energy and fire which helped. Tuesday and Wednesday are huge conference games for us and we need to come out with the excitement we did on Sunday.”
“It was a great day for our seniors and our program. Each of the six seniors came up with big plays in the game to help us win. Matthew (Pavick) and James Patania made some big defensive plays to help save runs. Brian (Schramm), Jon (Holland) and Anthony (Monguso) each drove in runs at the plate. Obviously, Joe Kastner was huge on the mound for us,” said Dayton head coach Michael Abbate. “We started this my first year and have done it every year except last year, because we could not find an opponent to commit to the game. When I started here I wanted to give the seniors a chance to play at a great park and have a chance to have the spotlight on them for one game.”
This week, Dayton starts the week with a home-and-home series against Roselle Park, starting on the road on Tuesday and coming back to Ruby Field on Wednesday with both games starting at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs then visit Oratory Prep in Summit on Thursday, also at 4 p.m.