East Rutherford baseball holds off Chase
It wasn’t without a few sweaty palms, but the East Rutherford Cavaliers avoided a Chase Trojans comeback Tuesday night with a 5-3 win at home.
Chase entered the final inning trailing 5-2 and loaded the bases early in the inning, but only managed one run as Ethan Stewart struck out Chase’s Aaron Ballinger looking at a fastball that painted the inside corner of the plate.
“As long as these guys keep showing fight it’s hard to be too hard on them,” Chase head coach Tony Wall said. “Sometimes it comes down to who gets a break and we didn’t get it tonight.”
Chase (4-6, 3-5 SMAC) jumped ahead in the second inning after a Caleb Lancaster leadoff double eventually resulted in two runs for the Trojans in the inning despite that being the lone hit in the frame off East Rutherford lefty Cameron Hodge.
Hodge rebounded by striking out the side in the third inning.
East Rutherford (7-4, 6-3 SMAC) eventually got to Chase’s Josh Epley in the fourth inning.
John Padgett led off with a walk and later scored on a John Bennett single through the infield.
Chase Jenkins followed Bennett with a double to left to put runners on second and third with no outs. Jordan Strickland tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI fielder’s choice and Jenkins scored on a pickoff attempt that sailed from the catcher’s hand into left field to give East Rutherford a 3-2 edge.
Chase had a chance to retake the lead in the fifth with runners on second and third, but a two-out liner by Epley to center field was caught by a sliding Kendall McGowan to end the inning and preserve the East lead.
East padded the lead in the fifth with an RBI sac fly by Tripp Hamrick and another sac fly by Hodge in the sixth to set up a 5-2 lead entering the seventh.
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Hamrick took the mound for East in a svae opportunity but loaded the bases with just one out prompting East Rutherford head coach Bobby Reynolds to reinsert Hodge on the mound to face Josh Epley.
“We told Cameron he was done unless [Epley] came back up in the order because he’s one of their better hitters and Cameron had a lot of success against him,” Reynolds said.
Hodges first pitch shot to the backstop and Chase’s Dylan Bradley bolted from third without hesitation looking to cut into the lead, but Strickland sprung from his catcher’s position, corralled the ball on a favorable bounce off the backstop and recovered to tag Bradley out at the plat for the second out of the inning.
Hodge reloaded the bases by walking Epley and Reynolds called for Stewart to take the mound.
Stewart walked Lancaster to force in a run, but redeemed himself by striking out Ballinger to end the game.
“I told the kids that I liked the fight at the end of the game, but we’re a better ball team than this,” Wall said.
Hodge got the win striking out eight in six innings of work and allowing just two hits while Epley was tagged with the loss despite allowing just four hits.
Lancaster, Ballinger and Hunter Henson each had a hit for Chase while Hodge had a pair for East Rutherford.
East Rutherford host Burns on Wednesday while Chase travels to Burns on Friday.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
at East Rutherford High School
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
E. RUTHERFORD 5, CHASE 3
Chase^200^000^0 — 3 3 1
E. Rutherford^000^311^X — 5 4 2
WP: Cameron Hodge
LP: Josh Epley
SV: Ethan Stewart