SUMMIT, NJ - Senior Matt Mormile, after getting out of a jam in the top of the first, threw seven strong innings, and Kunal Sengupta knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth as the Summit High School Boys Varsity Baseball Team won their second straight to open the season, 3-2 over Watchung Hills at Memorial Park.
Mormile allowed two singles and a double in the first, but was able limit the damage to one run, He would go on to deliver an 84-pitch, six-hitter, allowing just two earned runs.
The Maroon & White tied the game in the bottom of the third when captain Matt Murdock was driven home by an RBI double from fellow captain Grant Douglas,
With Mormile dialed in and getting great play from shortstop Matt Reddy and left fielder and junior captain Andrew Miller behind him, as well as catcher Miles Dewald in front of him, the Hilltoppers would take a 2-1 lead to the seventh.
An inning earlier, another Douglas-drives-in-Murdock combination where Douglas’s single-turned-double due to an error would advance Murdock back to the starting plate to give the boys in white the 2-1 advantage heading to final inning.
Three Warrior hits later, the game was tied and heading to 'extras', where Sengupta pitched a flawless 1-2-3 and then decided to go one better by settling the outcome.
The bottom of the eighth started with the ninth batter in the order, Second Baseman Greg Vlass and then restart to the top where Murdock would be followed by Douglas and Sengupta. Vlass was able to convert on his chance, grabbing himself a single off a liner that just dropped into right field, bobbling out of the fielders glove.
Despite grounding out, Murdock was able to advance Vlass to second. Douglas popped-out and then Sengupta -- after going down 1-2 in the pitching count -- singled into left field driving in Vlass for the winning run.
Yet another wild celebration ensued at home plate for the Hilltoppers as they would now advance to 2-0 after two very close, but earned games.
Happy once again, Summit Head Coach Kevin Zaleski looked to similar things that he saw in the AL Johnson game as keys to success for Summit saying, ”Again we just fought. Matt Mormile pitched a great game against a great hitting team. We were warming up Kunal just in case we needed relief and we weren’t expecting him to do what he did on the mound. And for him to get a hit like that? That’s spectacular. It’s great to know we have him as another option and it was great to see him step up.”
Summit’s will next face Union Catholic April 5 at Memorial Field. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
Kyle Standing is a Summit High School sophomore.