by Julia Rivera
The WHS baseball team defeated Union High School 12-4 last Sunday night at TD Bank Stadium in Bridgewater, home of the Somerset Patriots.
The game started slow with no score until the third when Union scored two runs. The first run occurred when the runner stole home, and the other run was off a base hit. Senior shortstop Brett Ryan got the momentum going for WHS by hitting an RBI single, allowing senior third baseman Taylor Friss to score. Ryan said: “I just did what I could to get that run in and start off the rally. Once we got going, we seemed to attack more and more.”
Sophomore catcher Michael Ionta then hit an RBI triple, driving in three more runs. Junior designated hitter Liam Devin sent Ionta home, ending the inning, 5-2.
In the fourth, Union added another run off an RBI triple deep into right field. Union scored their final run when the ball was hit down the third baseline, making the score 5-4.
During WHS’ next at bat, the team extended its lead scoring four runs. Junior pitcher Eric Demers came home off a base hit by Ryan. Devin brought in a run off a walk when bases were loaded. Next, senior right fielder Jon Gribbin had a sacrifice bunt, making the score 8-4.
Demers said, “We were very patient at the plate and waited for [Union’s] pitcher to come to us. After that, we were able to get big hits and capitalize on their mistakes.”
The final run of the inning came when Friss hit the ball right down the first baseline, ending the inning 9-4. Head Coach Bob Brewster said, “[Friss] drove in a run that kept the rally going for us, and it’s little things like that that make teams [succeed].”
WHS kept Union from advancing in the fifth. With one out and one runner on base, the third batter was up. When the ball was hit, Ryan threw it to sophomore second baseman Tyler Bowman, who made a double play, throwing the ball to senior first baseman Michael Coletta, who stretched to make the out.
WHS scored its final three runs in the fifth. Varakian reached second on a ground-rule double, allowing Ryan to come home. Then, Ionta had an RBI ground out. The final run of the game came when Devin hit an RBI single sending one runner home.
Brewster said, “We’ve had a lot of guys coming through, and that’s a sign of a good team.”