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John Jay Goes to 7-2 with Win Over Byram Hills

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By Rich MonettiPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read

On Friday April 19 John Jay traveled to Byram Hills and started early by getting their first three batters on. Unable to score, Coach Ted Lawrence didn’t get ahead of himself. “It was still early,” he reasoned, but foresight would end up playing a big part in the final outcome.

Bypassing his analytics department, Lawrence went on a hunch and gave Troy Wood his first ever start. “It was something I felt today,” he said, and the senior had a big double in the four run third, and scored the final run in a 6-2 victory.

Even so, the game began with the Wolves' actual starter. Before taking the mound, Jacob Storch led of with a double to deep center and wildness from the mound would soon load the bases. Dylan Ettinger hit Will Civetta and then issued a walk to Nolan Rhodes.

The Wolves howling, Ettinger pulled out his dog whistle. He got Nick Russo and Nick Fassert on strikes, and Gavin Bisignano grounded out to second.

Not panicking, Lawrence conveyed the urgency to the meat of the order nonetheless. “I pulled them aside after the inning and told them, I expect my four, five and six hitters to drive in runs,” he instructed. “That’s why you are there.”

A lead off single to right by Michael Bellantoni might have suggested a carry over for Storch, but the sophomore quickly dispatched the notion. He got Logan Verma to bounce into a double play and retired Ben Rothenberg on strikes.

Up a second time, the Wolves would load the bases again. After Wood was robbed by James Cavallaro at first, James Arbogast got an opposite field single to right, Sam Rickel reached first when Zach Goldman kicked his sacrifice bunt at the plate, and Will Civetta walked with two outs.

Not this time either, Nolan Rhodes flew to left, so Storch picked up the slack. Two pop flies to short and ground out to Civetta at third kept the Bobcat plate appearance at the minimum.

The top of the third, John Jay would break through. Russo walked, Fassert reached first on an infield hit, and a pair of wild pitches scored the first run.

Still nobody out, the bats came alive. Wood doubled in Fassert, Arbogast singled in run three, and Storch pulled the clutch with a two out RBI single.

A 4-0 game, Storch went one over the limit this time. After getting a grounder to third, Cavallaro launched a double, but the starter still accrued awe from Wood’s vantage point in left. “He’s destined for great things. It’s amazing to watch him play,” said the senior, and a fly out and a strikeout made good on the words.

Two walks in the top of the fourth did have John Jay threaten again. But a run was not pushed across, and with the help of a few John Jay miscues, Byram responded in the bottom.

Rothenberg reached on an error with one out, Ettinger walked and a high pickoff throw by Storch moved the runners. Second and third, a grounder to third was not handled by Civetta, and the lead was cut to 4-1.

Of course, the bats hoped to get the run back in the fifth, and a hit by pitch, a walk and two wild pitches put Jackson Moreo and Storch on second and third. Unfortunately, Civetta popped to first, and Rhodes struck out.

So Byram inched closer. Cavallaro led off with his second double, Storch issued a walk and then gave up a one out, run scoring single. Two consecutive fly outs to Arbogast in right didn’t surprise Lawrence, though. “Jacob is outstanding,” he asserted. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

But breathing room is always nice, and the sixth inning bats gave the winning pitcher the chance to exhale. Fassert drew a one out walk, went to third on a high pickoff throw and Bisignano got the insurance run in with a sacrifice fly to left.

Then Wood took care of the deductible. He singled, and the run came around on an overthrow and a balk.

Much obliged for the big cushion, Storch did let two runners on in the 6th. No problem, he retired the last five batters, and that gave Wood the chance to really be part of the celebration. “This is the greatest group of guys I’ve ever played with,” he concluded.

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Rich Monetti

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    Rich MonettiWritten by Rich Monetti

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