SUMMIT, NJ - Pat Birosak pitched seven strong innings for his second consecutive complete game as Summit advanced to the NJSIAA Group II Central semifinals on Friday with a 6-2 victory over Matawan. Nick Oristanio hit his sixth home run of the year and led Summit offensively with three runs batted in. Summit advanced to the sectional semifinals for the first time since 1998.
As has often been the case this year, the Hilltoppers scored runs early in the game. In the first inning, Matt Rea walked and Kenny Miller reached safely on an error to lead off the inning. Oristanio hit a double to center field to plate Rea and advance Miller to third. Later in the inning, Birosak hit a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Hilltoppers a two-run lead.
After Matawan scored in the top of the third, Summit responded in the bottom of the inning. Miller walked to lead off the inning, and Oristanio hit a line drive over the left field fence to tie the Hilltoppers' single-season home run record. He shares the honor (for now) with Alfie Critelli, who hit six home runs in 1994. Ben Roessle hit a double, then was driven in by Matt Dewald to give the Hilltoppers a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Ben Roessle walked to lead off the inning. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball. Birosak hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to drive in Roessle and give Summit a 6-1 lead.
Matawan scored in the top of the sixth to cut their deficit to four, but could not score any further. Birosak was brilliant in this game, surrendering only four hits and one earned run over his seven innings of work. Birosak, as has been customary for many of his appearances this season, used excellent control to stymie opposing hitters. The Loyola (Md.) College-bound senior threw a vast majority of his pitches for strikes. He had control of his fastball and breaking pitch, and had Matawan hitters off balance all afternoon.
With the win, Summit advanced to the Group II Central Finals. Senior Jay Crisfield said after the game, "This win is important for the team as well as the program. We haven't been this far in a long time and we want to continue our run." They will play the winner of Governor Livingston-Raritan on Tuesday.