The West Orange Mountaineers wanted to meet the Seton Hall Prep Pirates in the first round of the 80th Greater Newark Tournament. The Mountaineers got their wish as they routed a pesky Barringer squad Thursday with an 8-3 victory in West Orange.
“We played well enough to get a win today,” senior Matt Scolora said. “We have some inexperienced guys, but have had some big wins lately.”
Barringer continued to hang around and scrap as West Orange only held a one-run lead, 4-3, in the fifth inning. The ‘experienced’ Mountaineers fueled a four-run rally to crush the any comeback Barringer thought of having.
Scolora led the frame off with a towering double to right field. That brought up the Mountaineers leading hitter, senior, Frank Bakirtzis. Bakirtzis continued being a nightmare for opposing pitchers and laced a double of his own off the left field fence. Dan Campbell came up with Bakirtzis on third and Aaron Flores on first, who walked. Campbell roped a single to left field to plate both Bakirtzis and Flores due to a throwing error. Campbell was able to steal third base and advance home on a Michael Zarro sacrifice fly.
Anthony Loreto earned the victory for West Orange. Loreto cruised through the first three innings. However, he ran into trouble when Barringer scored two runs in the fourth inning. Matt Sepulveda led off with a single and Gerardo Duran followed by crushing a first-pitch fastball to left field for a double. Michael Margarin's had an RBI groundout to shortstop and Louis Hernandez recorded a two-out single to score Duran. Hernandez’s single cut West Orange’s lead to 4-2.; Barringer would add another in the top half of the fifth inning.
Loreto allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings while striking out ten.
“I worked off my slider today,” Loreto said. “I kept batters off balance and then would sneak a fastball by or double up with something off speed.”
Gerardo Duran perplexed the West Orange lineup for four innings, but a high pitch count in the fifth led to West Orange’s rally. Duran allowed eight runs, but only four earned while striking out 11.
The first meeting between West Orange and Seton Hall Prep resulted in a 7-0 Pirate victory. However, the Mountaineers hold a respectable 2-2 record against Seton Hall over the past two seasons.
“We have a great arm (Adam Miller) going tomorrow. If we play solid defense and have timely hitting then anything can happen in this tournament,” West Orange head coach Stephan Zichella concluded.