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High School Baseball:
Riverside's Valiant Effort Comes Up Short

Saturday, April 24, 1999

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

The first round of play for the Moorestown baseball tournament was originally scheduled for Friday, but rain forced all games to be played on Saturday. The Riverside Rams and Haddonfield Bulldogs got things started in a dramatic way. The Rams are known for getting the early lead on their opponents and coasting to the victory. The Bulldogs stole their script and jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held off the charging Rams 14-13.

Riverside and Haddonfield started the Moorestown baseball tournament off in what looked like an easy first round game. The Bulldogs wasted no time scoring runs early and often to jump out to a 14-0 through the first five innings. With such little time and a ton of runs to make up, it would seem as if the Rams had no chance of winning this game. That was not the theme of this game as it didn't go as expected. Riverside scored 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs and force Haddonfield to bring in a new pitcher. Now with the bases loaded and two outs, senior Jeff Pippin worked a five pitch RBI walk to make the score 14-6. The next batter Rick West (senior) didn't waste any time driving the third pitch delivered to him for a double and cut the lead to six. Riverside kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

Now with 2 innings left to make up 6 runs, Riverside remained patient and loaded the bases with no outs. Up to the plate was senior Nic DiCarlo who worked the pitch count to full. With clutch hitting, DiCarlo's single plated two runs. Shawn Taylor (senior) completed the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly and the Rams were only down 3 runs going into the final inning.

To make this miraculous comeback complete, Riverside needed to keep the runs coming during their final at bat. Senior Brian Lazaruk started things off with a leadoff double that got the Rams on their feet sensing victory. Mike Bloomquist (senior) delivered a one out single that scored Lazaruk. Jose Melendez (senior) was safe on a fielder's choice that put men at first and second with one out. DiCarlo stepped up to the plate representing the winning run. DiCarlo singled to center which scored one and now Riverside was only one back, 14-13 with one out. After a called third strike on Jon Compton, Shawn Taylor (senior) stepped up to the plate needing a base hit to tie or even win the game. Taylor worked a walk and it was back to Pippin needing a hit to win the game. A foul ball caught by the first baseman against the fence ended the contest and preserved a 14-13 Haddonfield victory.

Photos by Art Redd

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