West Orange’s first half of the season was not exactly ideal.
The Mountaineers held a record of 1-9 through the first half of their rigorous season where they took on some of the state’s best every day in the Super Essex Conference. As of late, the Mountaineers have been a resilient bunch and just scrapped their way back to a respectable 6-10 record going 5-2 over their last seven games.
West Orange got another spectacular pitching performance from Anthony Loreto as he guided the Mountaineers past Newton 3-0 Wednesday in West Orange.
“Anthony has been great for us,” West Orange head coach Stephan Zichella said. “He is able to throw four pitches for a strike and when you work ahead like he does then it becomes easy out there.”
Loreto has recorded a victory in his past three starts. The previous two coming over Science Park and Barringer.
“I just worked ahead today,” Loreto said. “I was able to throw all my pitches in any count and I trust my teammates to make the play behind me.
Loreto pitched a complete game shutout. He only allowed three hits while striking out eight, only walking one, and did not allow a base runner to get into scoring position.
However, Sam Hontz, Loreto’s counterpart, nearly matched him for every pitch.
West Orange first struck in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dan Campbell led off with a single and stole second base on the first pitch to Aaron Flores. Flores then laced a single up the middle to score Campbell and give Loreto more than enough support.
Loreto continued to mow down Newton and only faced 23 batters, two over the minimum.
West Orange added two insurance runs in the sixth inning. Allyn Boateng crushed a double to left field to lead off. After two outs and Flores reaching on an error, pinch hitter Haseem Williams trotted to the plate. Williams tattooed the first fastball he squad roping a double off the fence. Boateng and Flores scored easily giving the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.
“Those runs were big for us,” Loreto continued. “One run is never enough and we had all the momentum heading into the top of the seventh.”
Loreto only threw eight pitches in the seventh. He struck out the first two he faced and the last batter flew out to shortstop.
“Pitching, defense, and timely hitting are what win baseball games. We have demonstrated that lately and have been winning some games over good teams,” Zichella concluded.