WESTFIELD, NJ – Westfield pitcher Michael Androconis tossed five innings of one-run ball en route to the Westfield 5-2 win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the High School Varsity Baseball State Tournament at Thomas Edison Intermediate School in Westfield Thursday.
Androconis was backed by some solid defense in the field, including a spectacular catch by center fielder Anthony Perconte in the top of the fourth inning that helped save two potential runs from scoring to end the inning. Perconte, who made the catch look routine, hustled to track down a fly ball that was hit to the deepest part of center field, which is well over 400 feet.
Christian Isolda, the southpaw who started the game for Scotch Plains, took the loss despite pitching well. In the bottom of the second, third baseman Alex Eckert committed a throwing error to home plate while attempting to preserve the tie game, which scored two runs and put Westfield ahead.
Despite loading the bases in the inning, Isolda pitched out of the jam thanks to a diving catch by Raiders center fielder Chris Gibbons. Matt Storcks, who drove in seven runs against Scotch Plains earlier in the season, was robbed on the play that would have easily scored to and was held hitless in the ballgame.
Perconte added an RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth to put Westfield ahead 3-0. The hit knocked Isolda from the game.
The Raiders finally got on the board in the top of the fifth when Matt Marino scored on fielder’s choice after hitting a leadoff double.
The Blue Devils picked up two more runs in the next two innings. However, Scotch Plains made things interesting in the top of the seventh. The Raiders reached base three times in the inning, but could only score one run on an RBI single to left field by Christian Zazzali.
The loss eliminates the Raiders from contention for the State Finals.