Before sending a single batter to the plate in their Skyland Conference Delaware Division game Thursday afternoon, No. 3 Bridgewater-Raritan found itself down 5-0.
They would pick up a run in the bottom of the inning, and Somerville would add a few more to make it an 8-1 game through four-and-a-half, a seemingly comfortable lead, until the Panthers finally broke through against Kolbie Stellpflug in the bottom of the fifth.
The Panthers would score three against the fourth-ranked Pioneers’ starter to cut the lead in half, then two more in the bottom of the sixth off right-hander-turned-reliever Tyler Stone to cut it to 8-6.
But Stone gave himself one more run to work with in the seventh, with a sac fly to left in the top of the inning to make it 9-6. And he almost needed it.
After striking out Matt Fattore, his brother Michael singled, and Joe Spirra flew out to centerfield. Frankie Verano walked, and both advanced on a wild pitch to go to second and third with two down. DH JR Rosado – who pitched only one inning to start the game and came out with an apparent injury but stayed in the batting order – beat out an infield hit diving into first base, driving in a run to make it 9-7.
But on the first pitch he saw, Devin Goldberg skied one to center, a can of corn for Matty Wright of The ‘Ville, which came away with the 9-7 win.
Stellpflug picked up the victory to move to 3-1, while Stone earned his fourth save for the Pioneers (6-3). Rosado fell to 2-1 with the loss for B-R (4-5).
Click below for postgame reaction with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko: