Ridge is rolling as Red Devils head into SCT finals

Ridge junior Matt Shawah takes a cut against Pingry on April 29, 2022 (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Often times in sports, winning has a lot to do with momentum. A good team looks so-so throughout the year, then gets hot at the right time, goes on a run, and wins a title of some kind.

That’s not the case with the Ridge baseball team. They’ve been red-hot all year long, coming into Monday night’s Somerset County Tournament Championship Game (7 pm, on CJSR) with a 19-2 mark, winners of six straight, and owners of a 12-game winning streak that took up just about all of April.

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The Somerset County Tournament itself hasn’t really allowed for teams to get postseason momentum. The semifinals were two weeks ago already, and Ridge has played four games since then. In fact, they should have played five, but their regular season matchup against Rutgers Prep – yes, the same Argonauts they’ll face in the finals Monday night – was rained out.

So, two teams who had anticipated they would see each other – no matter how cautiously guarded they might have planned to play that game – will go in cold, and yet red hot at the same time.

Ridge will throw Connor Byrne, a junior with an 8-1 record and a 1.69 ERA in Monday night’s title game, as the Red Devils look for their first title since 2011.

They’ve lost twice since then – in 2014 to Hillsborough and 2019 to Immaculata – and are 6-8 all-time in the Somerset County Tournament finals (this will be the Red Devils’ 15th appearance) but have only won once since 1989. They won the crown that year, as well as in 1985 and 1984, 1980 and 1976.

The SCT began play in 1973.

Click below to hear CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell:

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