Four homers, 5th inning onslaught, power Rutgers Prep past Bernards to keep Argos atop Valley

Senior Nick Baldev deals for Rutgers Prep in the top of the third inning against Bernards on April 16, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Rutgers Prep, thanks to four home runs in the first two innings – was on its way to perhaps a mercy rule-shortened win against Bernards until the Mountaineer bats came alive in the fifth and made it a two-run game.

But the Argonauts answered back – and then some – in the bottom of the fifth, sending eleven batters to the plate and scoring seven times to go ahead 15-6, the score they would win by in a full seven innings.

Senior starting pitcher Nick Baldev (2-0) went five innings, and though he allowed six earned runs, struck out nine and only allowed six hits, to get the win for Rutgers Prep (5-1). Starter Henry Depew took the loss for Bernards (2-4), responsible for seven runs in two innings, plus one batter faced to lead off the third.

The Mountaineers scored first, going up 1-0 in the top of the first, but it was their only lead of the game, and it was short-lived. Prep evened it up with a solo homer off the bat of Andrew Parisi with two out in the bottom of the inning to tie it, then after an Anthony Brigante walk, Baldev hit his first career homer to left field to make it 3-1.

The Argos added three more in the bottom of the second – on a solo homer by nine-hitter James Jackman and another dinger from Parisi, this one a two-run shot, his third of the season – and scored twice more in the third to take a 8-1 lead.

Bernards finally got to Baldev in the fifth, as they batted around and scored five runs to cut the deficit to 8-6. But it was easy come, easy go for the Mountaineers, as Rutgers Prep countered with seven more runs in the bottom of the inning, to take a 15-6 lead.

Then, it was up to Nick Pizzie to close it out. The starting shortstop took the mound and threw two innings of no-hit ball, retiring all six batters he faced, fanning three.

Click below for postgame reaction from starting pitcher Nick Baldev and head coach Larry Santowasso:

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