WEST CALDWELL, NJ — After coming off of a 6-2 victory over Columbia on the road, the James Caldwell baseball team’s return home on the first day of May ended in a five-run comeback by the Chiefs, who defeated Glen Ridge, 14-13
Caldwell’s record improves to 11-4 overall and 9-2 in the Super Essex Conference (SEC) Liberty league, which is enough to share first place with Newark East Side. Glen Ridge is 6-8.
A hit to right field brought in two runs for Glen Ridge in the first inning, but Caldwell’s Frankie Gencarelli gunned the runner out at third, preventing any further damage. A grounder brought in the Ridgers’ third run in the first compared to no earned runs on the Chiefs’ side for the inning.
A Ridger single to left produced two more runs, giving Glen Ridge a 5-0 lead.
A hit from Frank DeMunno brought in Gencarelli for the first run of the game for Caldwell. The Chiefs’ Brian Rolser then launched a bomb into deep center field for a triple that drove in three runs.
A grounder in the third tacked on another run for Glen Ridge, securing a lead of only two points now over Caldwell, 6-4. After Charles Tynan took over the mound for Caldwell, Glen Ridge’s lead increased by another point due to a failed throwout and a missed fly ball on defense.
Caldwell recovered thanks to Gencarelli, who drilled a runner at home to avoid a three-run disaster on one play. The Ridgers turned a 6-4-3 double play to close the third inning.
Rolser, taking over from Tynan in the fourth, continued the Chiefs’ pattern of rough starts for Caldwell pitchers, walking Ridgers into loaded bases. The Ridgers scored another run to make it 8-4 after a wild pickoff attempt at third by Rolser.
Glen Ridge’s lead increased again due to a sacrifice single, two walks that put runners at the corners, and a grounder that flew by DeMunno and did not get to DeMattheis in time for the tag at home.
Now trailing 11-5, the Chiefs began to make a comeback. Gencarelli continued his impressive performance at the plate, hitting a line-drive double; Charlie Fierro’s risky pursuit to third base was called safe; Danny Cavallo’s fly ball brought in a runner; and DeMunno singled to bring in the runner from third home.
Caldwell turned on the jets in the bottom of the fifth, scoring an impressive eight runs to take a 14-11 lead. Glen Ridge’s comeback attempt had little-to-no production, as the team only scored two more runs in the end, blowing a five-run lead to the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have a chance to continue their momentum as they face Montclair Kimberley Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the JCHS Lower Field.