LIVINGSTON, NJ - With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the tying runs on base The Verona Baseball Team found a way to bear down and grit out a 4-3 win over Newark Academy on Saturday.
“Things didn’t look great there in the seventh inning but they did enough to hold it together so we got out of here with the win,” said Verona Head Coach Joe Phelan.
Verona had a 4-0 lead entering the middle of the seventh when the Minutemen rallied to put the pressure on the Hillbilly defense. Three runs off of two hits and three errors put the game-tying run on base. Anthony Zamloot eventually induced a key pop-up to put the game to rest for Verona.
“Anthony was able to come in and get that second guy and it all worked out,” said Phelan.
Zamloot was able to collect the save for Verona’s winning pitcher of record Collin Kiernan who was dominant through six and a third innings before leaving due to pitch count restrictions. Kiernan struck out 12 Minutemen and allowed just five hits during that span. The senior has returned to his ‘ace’ form according to his coach.
“I was living on the outside part of the plate and when I was living there my curveball was good in an 0-1 count. It’s hard for the batter to think of what’s coming next,” said Kiernan.
Verona’s key offensive output would come in the top of the seventh inning as they added what would be two critical insurance runs off two hits a walk and an error. Nick Zamloot’s two-run single to center drove home Ian Metzger and Todd Roshong to give Verona a 4-0 lead capping off the inning.
“He’s probably been our most consistent hitter and after that walk he gets that big base hit to drive in two runs…he’s a great contact hitter and that’s really what you want right there is to put it in play,” said Phelan.
Collin Kiernan was spotted the first of four runs of support for the game in the first inning, which came by helping himself. After Kiernan reached on an error, courtesy runner Todd Roshong managed to move up to scoring position on a wild pitch. One batter later Dean Ramsthaler drove in Roshong for the games first blow and the first of Roshong’s two runs on the game.
“It felt great today, we came out early and put on the runs and when you come out and go up early it’s hard to work back for the other team,” said Kiernan.
Verona also received a great offensive output in the contest by Ian Metzger who collected three hits and accounted for two of four runs on the day. Metzger’s RBI single in the top of the fifth inning drove in Tino Quaglota for a mid-game boost for the team that was playing solid defensively up to that point.
“[Metzger] had a big knock after we were able to get Tino on…he’s our big hitter and RBI guy…he’s definitely the guy in the middle of our lineup that makes our offense go” said Phelan.
Verona’s win will improve the team to 5-3 on the season as they continue to ascend with the County Tournament rapidly approaching. The Hillbillies will look to continue the victorious trend as they host a tough Nutley team on April 17.