Benny on The Hill: Lim's Six Strong Innings Enable Summit High School Baseball's Comeback Win Over AL Johnson, 7-6

Ben Lim allowed three earned runs over six innings of work as Summit stormed back from a three-run deficit to beat ALJ, 7-6. Credits: Kyle Standing

SUMMIT, NJ - On a chilly and windy afternoon better suited for a high school football game than opening day of the baseball season, the Summit High School Varsity Baseball team took a while to warm up but, when they did, the result was a white hot finish.

Playing against a formidable AL. Johnson (ALJ) team, the Hilltoppers saw the visitors post three runs in the first inning despite not getting a hit, but The Maroon & White -- on the backs of a strong pitching performance by Ben Lim. a key 'little ball' play, a stellar bullpen performance, and a game-winning hit by senior captain Grant Douglas, rallied to defeat the Crusaders 7-6 on the Upper Turf Field.

After holding ALJ scoreless in the top of the second inning, sophomore shortstop Matt Reddy was able to drive in run off a sacrifice fly to put Summit on the board and cut the lead to 3-1.

Sign Up for E-News

Solid pitching by senior starter Ben Lim, as well as superb defense from Catcher Justin Weiss, third baseman Michael Competiello and the 'keystone combination' of Reddy and second baseman Greg Vlass, would limit the damage, but the Crusaders took a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third, which is when the Hilltoppers' offense went to work.

Singles  from Vlass, senior captain Matt Murdock and sophomore Trevor Mutolo would load the bases for the Hilltoppers with no outs and Will Schaffer at the plate with a chance to capitalize. The senior did just that, lining a ball into left center field for a clean double and -- with a ALJ error -- Schaffer advanced to third base and plated three Summit runs.

With the game tied 4-4, junior captain Andrew Miller -- on the ensuing at-bat -- drove in Schaffer with a sacrifice fly, and gave the boys from the 07901 had the lead at 5-4.

AL Johnson, however, would take the lead right back in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs to make the score 6-5.

The lead held until the bottom of the seventh inning but, first, relief pitcher Patrick Smolyn delivered a 1-2-3 inning against the top of Johnson’s order.

Matt Mormile was able to get on base after a walk. After a Mormile stolen base and a Vlass sacrifice bunt with two strikes, Murdock had a chance to tie the game.

Murdock's seemingly routine pop fly turned into an RBI single tying the game at six, and he then promptly stole second base. Mutolo would flied out, leaving Summit with a runner in scoring position with two outs.

Douglas stepped up and, on the second pitch of his at-bat, smacked a RBI single for the game-winning hit and initiating the celebration launch sequence that culminated at home plate.

”The first inning was not the start we wanted, but I loved the way our guys fought back," said Summit Head Coach Kevin Zaleski. "This was a good win and I hope we can continue to buy in moving forward.”

Zaleski emphasized how big of a team win the victory was and pointed to key moments and contributors by saying,”You saw Greg Vlass get that bunt with two strikes, Patrick Smolyn coming in against the top of the order and going 1-2-3? That’s huge. I told our guys, you never know when you are going to be able to come in and make an impact and that showed today.”

Summit is back in action on the Memorial Field diamond when they on Watchung Regional April 3. First pitch is at 4 p.m.

Kyle Standing is a Summit High School sophomore.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Status Report #5

June 20, 2018

As summer fast approaches, this will be my fifth semi-annual status report on what I have been up to on Council.  In a change from the prior two years, this year I have been serving as Council president. As such, I have had greater involvement across a multitude of different issues.  However, I want to focus on three themes that have so far permeated this Council: economic growth and ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness


Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM


MakerFest 2018

Summit Police Blotter

June 19, 2018

5/29 - Mark L. Howard, 21, of Nutley was arrested and charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking and credit card fraud. Mr. Howard was processed and released with a pending court date.

5/29 - At 1143 hours a report was taken for a theft of stolen license plate from a River Road business. The victim reported the last time the license plate was seen on the property was within the ...

Video: Dietze Says Despite Trade War Fears, Economy's Fundamentals Remain Strong

June 20, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live from the CNN building on the case for bullishness despite a potential trade war:

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks U.S.-China Tariff Tussle's Market Impact

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on discussing the market impact resulting from tariffs between the United States and China:

​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...

Video: In The Zone with Christa Anderson

A must watch for anyone considering renovations, here is a recent interview that I conducted -- on my HomeTowne TV Show called “Are You Ready for Life?” -- with Christa Anderson, City of Summit Zoning Officer, to discuss the nuances within the variance process.

I asked Christa to shed some insight into the approval process, explain why it’s necessary, and ...

Hello, Neighbors

Hi, Summit families!

My name is Betsy Stoeber and I’ve been the owner and director at the specialized learning center Brain Balance of Summit since 2011. I first encountered Brain Balance the year before we opened as a parent. My own son participated in our innovative program at the center in Norwalk, CT, to address a number of learning challenges.

Traveling there three times per week ...