By Andy Loigu
The conventional wisdom in baseball says that winning is a matter of putting everything together. Pitching, clutch hitting and defense all played a role for the Hackettstown High School baseball team on April 23, in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament, as the Tigers whitewashed Vernon 2-0.
The Tigers, now 6-2, move on to the next round and visit Delaware Valley in Hunterdon County on Saturday.
Anthony Carida pitched a three-hit complete game gem, striking out six and walking just one.
The 10th seeded Tigers faced a legitimate ace pitcher in Vernon’s Chris Capuano. “We knew we would have to play lock-down defense today,” Carida said. “I threw strikes and pitched to outs, knowing my fielders were focused and would back me up.”
Carida retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced and his fielders, employing shifts on the Vernon hitters, were perfectly positioned to make plays. That’s a big +1 for veteran coach Gary Poyer.
The outfield play was stellar, preventing two runs, as right fielder Jake Hall, who has a cannon arm, gunned down a Vernon runner trying to score from second on a single. Center fielder Matt Arcona made an outstanding catch and doubled up a baserunner who thought the ball would fall in for a hit.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers scored the game’s first run by capitalizing on a fielding miscue. Carida scored on a throwing error when the Vernon catcher tried to throw out John Franco stealing second base.
Although they only got four hits, the Tigers made things happen, with their biggest hit producing an important insurance run in the sixth. Joe Renne drove in Dom Desiderio with a two-out single.
Hall went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBI and Franco was 2-for-3 with three RBI as the Tigers emulsified Sussex Tech 11-0 on April 25, in their next game.
The Tigers exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning in a win at Morris Hills on April 16.
Tigers’ golf is also having luck with their swings. Currently 10-2, the golf team has won division championships in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom Division three times in the last five seasons.
They are led this season by Sevian Frangipane, Josh Thomas, Erik Jagnandan, and Dan Ash.
Blue Streaks Sports Mashup
The Warren Hills Blue Streaks’ record in baseball fell to 6-4 on April 22, when C.J. Schaible shut them out 1-0 at Delaware Valley. In pitching a complete game for the Terriers, Schaible only surrendered three hits while striking out four batters and walking three.
Anthony Veneziano was the hard-luck losing pitcher for the Streaks. He struck out 12 batters while giving up just two hits and three walks, but got no run support.
The Blue Streaks’ softball team also suffered a one-run loss on April 22, by a 3-2 score against visiting Bridgewater-Raritan.
Madey Smith was the hard-luck losing pitcher. She struck out seven Panthers, did not walk anybody, and only allowed four base hits.
Taylor Austin hit a triple and Amanda Maxwell drove in a run for Warren Hills.
The Blue Streaks’ girls lacrosse team fell to 2-5 on April 22, after a narrow 12-11 defeat at Voorhees, which improved to 6-2. Warren Hills got four goals from Hana Cicerelle, three goals from Lexi Rettino, two goals from Mikayla Dugan, and goals from Stephanie Veneziano, and Amanda Hicks.
Assists were distributed by Dugan, Tali Popinko, and Hillory Summitt.
Warren Hills boys lacrosse player Nick DeTore ranked among the state’s top scorers last week, with 27 goals thus far into the season.
In golf, Warren Hills plays in the Raritan Division of the Skyland Conference. Led by eighth-year coach Bryan Klinder, the team hopes seniors Corey Smith and Conner Havrisko can lead them to a strong finish in the upcoming conference and Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex tournaments. The team is building for the future, with four freshmen in the lineup.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.