WESTFIELD, NJ — In what was, in truth, a game much closer than the score might suggest, Westfield varsity baseball defeated its cross-town rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood by a score of 13-7 Saturday.

Persistent hitting and the experience of senior starting pitcher Jack Bunting were crucial to the Blue Devil’s victory. The right-hander allowed five earned runs but gave Westfield six innings of work, keeping Westfield in the game and ultimately protecting the lead.  

“We never allowed ourselves to loose sight of the ball,” Westfield head coach Bob Brewster said. “We played with resiliency and were rewarded with a win.”

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The Blue Devils were sparked by seniors Michael Tivenan and Michael Friel, who combined for four hits and five runs batted in.

After giving up an early lead, Westfield exploded in the fourth innings for eight runs to pull ahead 11-5. With the help of senior Dan DoCampo, who went 2/3 with two runs batted in, the Blue Devils would stretch their lead to eight runs by the end of the fifth inning

Ultimately, the Raiders’ four defensive errors proved very costly. While the visitors rallied to score two runs in the seventh inning, this final offensive effort served as little consolation in the end.

“We played to win but, unfortunately, we got in our own way defensively,” said Raider Christian Isolda, who knocked in two runs. “It’s our job to protect the lead we earned.”

While the game was not the pitchers’ duel it was expected to be, it did provide ample evidence of Westfield’s offensive prowess, especially against a rival school.

The Blue Devils will visit Cranford on Tuesday to face off against the Cougars, while the Raiders go on to play at Governor Livingston on April 21.

Jorge Ledesma is a senior at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.