Nutley Wins Sixth Consecutive against Belleville
Nutley Baseball has defeated Belleville in their last five meetings, and Saturday morning's matchup was no different. The Raiders got the ball rolling again against the Buccaneers, following a rough five-game losing streak. Nutley was looking to move up in the rankings in the SEC American division, New Jersey’s toughest baseball conference at the high school level. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, Belleville was ranked first in the Colonial division and Nutley was ranked seventh in the SEC American division.
High school baseball only plays a regulation of seven innings per game, which is what this match needed. Junior Jake LoMonaco pitched six of the seven innings, throwing 108 pitches, striking out six batters, and allowing six hits and only three runs. Junior Jayden Velez came in in the seventh inning and only allowed one hit. Along with the pitchers’ strong performance on the mound, the fielding by the Raider defense, which started off shaky, eventually did well. Over the last five games, the Raiders combined for only 15 hits, most of which didn’t bring in any runs. However, it was time for redemption.
The Raiders struck first with hits by Erik Thompson and Justin Ciffeli who scored two runs at the top of the first inning. Then the Buccaneers were up to attempt to even the match. It didn’t take long for them to level the game, as it was 2-2 heading into the third inning. The third and fourth innings were quiet for the Raiders, and Belleville ended up taking a 3-2 lead, but the Raiders hit their stride once they reached the fifth. Along with a few walks, seniors Derek Lanza and Brandon Lucia, and junior Rocco Delitta, all hit the ball deep into the outfield, allowing six runs to score. This gave Nutley an 8-3 advantage over Belleville.
LoManoco was a near-perfect pitcher and the Nutley Raiders managed to close out the Belleville Buccaneers with a final score of 8-3. The Raiders captured their fifth win overall, and their sixth straight victory against Belleville.
Nutley improved to 5-12 and will face Dumont in their final home game of the season on Thursday, May 18th at 6pm.