Article originally featured here in The Trentonian.
A pitchers’ duel early in the high school baseball season may not be that surprising, but the one at the Hun School’s Wilf Family Field Saturday was the real deal.
When Hun senior Jack Erbeck squared off with Peddie postgrad Latrell Reid, hits and runs were hard to come by because both of these hurlers are just that good.
Hun had to manufacture a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, then hold off one more Peddie scoring chance in the seventh to remain undefeated with a 2-1 win.
“Hats off to their pitcher. He was good,” Erbeck said of Reid. “We battled and fought and finally were able to get the job done. This will help us because we’re not going to be able to put up 10-15 runs a game all year.”
Erbeck, who is headed to Fairfield University, and Reid, who is headed to Jacksonville State, went the distance, yet neither surpassed 100 pitches.
Each team had scoring chances, but could not cash in until Aaron Kats grounded into a fielder’s choice with runners at the corners in the top of the fifth. Kats hustled down the line to make sure he was not doubled up for an inning-ending double play. Cam Bariteau, who singled to start the frame ahead of another single by Mike Tyle, scored.
“We have a totally young team that hasn’t come very close to beating them in some time, so this will help us,” Reid said.
Having the lead was big for coach Erik Treese’s 3-2 team, which had had runners in scoring position in the second inning when Bariteau doubled with two outs and advanced on a wild pitch, then again in the third when Reid walked and stole second with two outs.
Coach Tom Monfiletto’s 6-0 Raiders only managed two base runners off Reid in the first four innings. McGwire Tuffy doubled with two outs in the first, then Carson Applegate walked, but was caught stealing in the third.
But with a 1-0 count on Erbeck in the bottom of the fifth, it looked like the game had just been tied when he launched a long fly ball toward the left field foul pole. Erbeck’s towering drive curled and was ruled foul by the home plate umpire.
Blaney Soper followed with a single, but a diving catch by Peddie center fielder Jimmy Famularo on a fly ball by Anthony Bencardino and a bullet throw from shortstop Justin Moreno to nip Dylan Galgano ended Hun’s hopes that inning.
No problem. Erbeck set the Falcons down in order in the top half of the sixth, then the Raiders went back to work.
Ben Petrone drew a leadoff walk, then Applegate doubled to left-center.
Reid reached back to strike out pinch hitter Jake Sloss and Tuffy before Dan Melnick also walked. A wild pitch on the fourth ball to Melnick allowed Petrone to race home with the tying run.
“I felt great the whole game,” Reid said. “Once I got the first strikeout that inning, I was ready to go. But then I made a mistake. I should have let the runner steal.”
Considering the Raiders had averaged 11 runs per game in their first five contests and the Falcons were averaging close to eight rpg, it was very different for both sides.
Reid was talking about Melnick, who took off for second base on a delayed steal. While Reid was paying attention to him, Applegate took off for the plate and scored under Reid’s high throw for the second run.
Famularo then led off the top of the seventh with a double down the third-base line off Erbeck. But Erbeck reached back to strike out Bariteau, Tyle and Tim DeGray to strand Famularo at second.
“This brings us back to reality,” Erbeck said. “We need to keep working everyday and keep striving to be better.”
Peddie (3-2) 000 010 0 — 1 4 0
Hun (6-0) 000 002 x — 2 3 0
2B: Bariteau, Famularo (P), Tuffy, Applegate (H); RBIs: Kats (P).
WP — JErbeck (2-0); LP — Reid (1-1).