It could be pitching, hitting, defense, or all of the above, but it’s an intangible that has been instrumental in the success of the Ridge baseball team since COVID.
Not to say that Ridge doesn’t have hitting, pitching and defense. But junior pitcher Connor Byrne says its the closeness of the group that has been the big key.
And that goes back to last year, too, when Ridge – which didn’t have a chance in the Somerset County Tournament because there was none due to the condensed season – won the North 2, Group 4 title over Franklin, before falling to Montclair in the statewide Group 4 semifinals.
Head coach Tom Blackwell has said this may be one of his best hitting teams, at least in recent memory, with several players hitting well over .400, something they haven’t had a single player do in some time.
But Byrne says that doesn’t matter, and that it doesn’t play a role when he’s on the mound, in taking off any pressure. He’s learned to be calm and stay focused, no matter how much run support he gets.
Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko talk with junior Ridge pitcher Connor Byrne as his team heads into Monday night’s Somerset County Tournament semifinals against Bridgewater-Raritan: