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More Runs, Shutouts, and Wins for Varsity Baseball

James Kim, Staff Writer

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Following a devastating 2-1 loss against Scotch Plains in the first round of the county tournament, Oratory’s baseball team, in fact, was hopeful in their outlook towards the remainder of the season. After playing such a good game against a very solid team, the players believed that they could truly compete against high-performing players regardless of their past successes. The county game, which ended in a Raider’s comeback walk-off, may have stung the guys, but it reminded everyone of their capability to play clean baseball and fight hard against high caliber players.

 

On April 31, the team rode the bus to Springfield to play conference opponent Dayton High School. This was surely one of the most important games of the season, as the Rams were the only team the Bulldogs had lost to in the conference. The outcome of the game would have largely determined the victor of the division. The ball was placed into the hand of starter Jack Reilly, who was looking to continue his long string of complete-game performances. Despite giving up an early run in the second inning, the Rams later worked their way into a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning. Senior John Meehan saw four balls and brought in the game-tying run. Despite failing to drive in a run for a while, the hitters continued to fight and Reilly pitched very well. The game would remain tied, with both starting pitchers dealing on the mound. However, Oratory would prove to score the decisive run in the last minute in the top of the seventh inning. Once again, John Meehan proved to be a huge playmaker in this close, impactful game. He started things off with a double to right center, later bunted over to third base with the help of Senior Nick Sannito. Junior Ben Landis pulled a suicide squeeze bunt to drive in Meehan, who flawlessly executed the play and timed the break toward home plate perfectly. The Bulldogs would not be able to fight back in the bottom of the seventh. Not only had Jack Reilly thrown yet another complete game, but the Rams had basically secured the first place standing within the conference.

 

The team was not done competing, however. The team took control of the home conference game against Linden with ace Andrew Meisner on the mound. Following a slow start, with a score of 1-1 going into the fourth, the bats started to heat up by adding three in the fourth, one in the sixth, and a whopping seven in the seventh to finish things off with a mercy rule. Nick Demarinis hit an absolute missile to center field, adding a seventh tally to his home run count this season (which is likely a school record!). The rest of the lineup also contributed to the strong offense, with two hits from Jack Coyne, Joey Del Sol, Logan Drone, and John Meehan. Following a few games were very few runs were scored, the dominant performance over Linden was a reassuring reminder that Oratory’s offense was loaded with talent.

 

The hitters continued to hit at the end of the week against Hillside. Dingers were hit by a few names unfamiliar to the season’s home run list – Jack Coyne and Will Demilt both flashed some power and rounded the bases, in addition to a moonshot from Jack Greco. Overall, the entire roster saw some action on the field and stepped up, working up to 15 on the scoreboard, 13 of which were scored in the first inning. On the rubber, Jack Greco threw three scoreless innings, while Senior Demilt made his pitching debut for the season and threw two scoreless innings of his own. The final score was 15-0 and the Rams could think of no better way to finish off the week.

 

All in all, the week was quite a successful one. The Rams stepped up their performance and really highlighted their offensive strengths at the plate and talented pitching staff on the mound. They continued to dominate against conference opponents, as they had been the whole season. The team can continue to compete and see some big performances from pitchers Andrew Meisner and Jack Reilly and hitting-machines Nick Demarinis, Jack Greco, and Will Demilt. While it is getting closer and closer to the end of the regular season, the team will look forward to playing some high-level competitors, such as Gill St. Bernards and Rutgers Prep, earning some powerpoints for the eventual state tournament, and continuing to rack up wins. The team currently stands on 11-5 on the season, and they will play Roselle Park and Morris Hills this week.

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