BRIDGEWATER – The majority of the players on Somerville High School’s baseball team were winning games together long before high school.. Voorhees’ players would at this point settle for just a sample of how that feels.
The difference was very clear in the Pioneers’ 17-1 season-opening mercy-rule clubbing Wednesday at Torpey Athletic Complex.
Somerville scored four runs in the second, eight in the third and five in the fourth in Chris Banos’ debut as coach.
“We did a nice job of putting the ball in play and made them make plays,” said Banos, the former Dunellen coach. “Our hitters did a really nice job of making the strike zone smaller and when they got strikes they jumped on them.”
Junior lefty Andrew Prescott threw four innings for the win with Rob Durling pitching the fifth. Prescott struck out six, walked three and allowed two hits. He also picked off two runners at first in the second inning after just missing a couple Vikes leaning the wrong way in the first.
In August of 2012, Prescott and most of his current teammates were part of the Branchburg Bulldogs, who won the under-14 Babe Ruth World Series in Salt Lake City. Somerville catcher Tommy Scharnikow, first baseman Kellen Hardy, left fielder Austin Markowski, designated hitter Jake Kobuta, second baseman Joe Mosca and third baseman Paul Huff all played on that team.
“It was big, something I can tell my kids about,” said Prescott.
All of the former Bulldogs did something to help beat Voorhees, which suffered its 22nd straight loss. The Vikings, 0-19 last year, took a 1-0 lead in the first. Ryan Cahill slapped a single into the shortstop hole, stole second and moved to third on John Wernicki’single. Cahill scored when Kyle Pierson grounded back to Prescott. Wernicki drew Prescott’s attention between first and second and Cahill beat the throw home.
“”We had some fight,” said Voorhees coach Cory Kent,
Five errors, five walks and three hit batters and a few misjudged fly balls were a big part of the Vikings’ undoing.
“Winning breeds winning and they responded to it really well and just kind of hopped on our mistakes, they are a really well coached and a talented team,” said Kent, who’s plays next Saturday at Phillipsburg.
“Once we get over the hump, I have a feeling the kids will start believing,” added Kent. “That’s the biggest thing, make a diving play, make the big pitch. We have to start believing.”
Right now it’s Somerville that believes with its new coach and group of players who built a winning feeling before they were 10 in Branchburg. Next up is a game Saturday at South Plainfield.
“We got over our first inning jitter, I think we might have felt that it was going to be easy because of their (losing) streak,” said Prescott.