By: Nick Gallagher
The Hun Raiders came into DeMeo Field, inside Veterans Park, on Saturday night with the #1 seed already locked up for the Mercer County Tournament. They showed the Steinert Spartans why they are the #1 seed, getting the win 2-0.
The Raiders got off to a quick start offensively. They sent five men to the plate in the first inning. Carson Applegate (1-for-4) led off with a single followed by a stolen base. Andy Blake (2-for-4) had a sacrifice fly which moved Applegate up to third base. Then, Shortstop McGwire Tuffy (1-for-4, 2 RBI) followed with a sacrifice fly of his own which was deep enough to score Applegate from third base giving the Raiders the 1-0 led.
Hun Pitcher Andy Blake (W) 5-0 (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) kept the Spartans off-balance all evening. Steinert managed just two hits all night off Blake coming from singles by Tyler Nielsen (1-for-3) and Jack Hardiman (1-for-3) in the second inning. The Spartans couldn’t seem to help their pitchers out and were unable to get anything going offensively all night. They left two men on base in the second inning which was their only threatening opportunity.
In the top of the fifth inning an error by Steinert shortstop C.J. Pittaro led to Andy Blake stretching a routine single into a double. Tuffy followed with his second RBI single of the night giving the Raiders the insurance run and a 2-0 led. Gio Sciarrotta was the first Spartan to reach base safely with a walk in the fifth inning after Blake retired eight batters in a row. Blake recovered after the fifth by retiring the final eight batters in a row to get the complete game shutout win for the Raiders.
Blake was opposed by Matt Marcille for Steinert (L) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, he kept the Spartans in the game with only allowing the one earned run. Marcille dominated the Raiders five hole through nine hole hitters who went a combined 1-for-14 against him. With the only runs of the game coming from the Raiders top of the order through, who went a combined 3-for-12.
A team as good as the Raiders have been all year came into the game at 15-1 on the season and who have been on an offensive tear as of late and Marcille did his job neutralizing a well-balanced Raider offense.
Anthony Wilk came in to pitch the seventh inning and worked himself out of a bases loaded jam allowing just 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB. Both teams look to bounce back offensively as the Mercer County Tournament gets underway on Monday afternoon.
|Hun Raiders at Steinert Spartans|
|W: Andy Blake L: Matt Marcille|
The #1 seed Hun Raiders host the #17 seed Ewing Blue Devils in the first-round matchup of the Mercer County Tournament on Monday at 4:15pm.
While the #6 seed Steinert Spartans host the #11 seed Hightstown Rams at 4pm.
Stay updated to wbcbsports.com this week for the Mercer County Tournament.