Ridge and Bridgewater-Raritan played five-and-a-half innings of scoreless baseball Saturday afternoon in Basking Ridge. And when the Red Devils scored in the bottom of the sixth, with Connor Byrne cruising, that looked like it would be all they needed.
But in the top of the seventh, the Panthers got a baserunner, and Byrne came out nearing his pitch count limit. BR scored, and it was off to the home half of the seventh, with the bottom of the order coming up.
With two outs, the seven, eight and nine hitters took their turns setting the table. George Busnach walked, Luke Somelofskie singled, and Andrew Shawah walked, teeing things up for his younger bother, Matt.
An infield hit off the shortstop’s glove on a rocket of a ball in the hole won the ballgame. And that’s the type of timely hitting and quality at bats – throughout the lineup – that has been a staple of Ridge baseball this year.
And, to be frank, last year, too, en route to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 championship.
The Red Devils are a win away from playing for that title again this year, when second-seeded Ridge takes on third-seed Woodbridge Tuesday in the North 2, Group 4 semifinals. Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast the game live, with pregame at 3:45 and first pitch set for 4:00.
Mike Pavlichko will call all the action; click here to listen.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell ahead of Tuesday’s matchup with Woodbridge: