OPENING DAY 2010
Spotswood 4, Edison 3
By Josh Rosenfeld
Spotswood was itching to take the field, and not just because Thursday’s season opener had been postponed due to a wet field.
``We we were anxious and amped up to play on Thursday but unfortunately, we couldn't play," Spotswood shortstop Cody Pace said. ``But we were also amped up because this would be win No. 100 for coach (Glenn) Fredricks."
Spotswood jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 4-3 victory over Edison to give Fredricks his milestone victory yesterday in Edison. The team celebrated the occasion by donning commemorative T-shirts and presenting Fredricks with an autographed bat, although the popular coach downplayed the accomplishment.
``That's secondary to the performance that (pitcher Chris) Stout had today," Fredricks said. ``To get in here, against a quality team like Edison, and do what he did to their batters for the better part of the game was amazing. It's a good start for our season."
Stout went the distance to earn the victory, scattering seven hits and striking out seven while walking two. The sophomore southpaw consistently got ahead of the Edison hitters, often with first-pitch curveballs, and battled through the sixth and seventh innings after Edison had pulled within a run of the lead.
``My team did a great job hitting and that gave me a good mind-set," said Stout, who threw five innings as a freshman in Spotswood's 3-2 decision over Edison last year. ``Shawn Weeks is a really good catcher and he knew what to call when I was pitching, when to throw a curveball or a fastball."
Pace ensured that Spotswood’s season got off to a rousing start when he led off the top of the first by drilling a triple over the right fielder’s head. Spotswood spotted Stout a 3-0 lead when John Relay and Weeks each drove in a run on a ground ball and Dean Vitale followed with an RBI single.
``The mentality that we have, especially as the away team, is that we want to score two to three runs in the top of the inning to start the game," Pace said. ``We achieved that goal today, 3-0, then we tacked on another run and the final was 4-3. It's huge to come out of the gate firing."
Thus emboldened, Stout threw strikes on his first six pitches and retired six of the first seven batters he faced, three by strikeout.
Edison scratched out a run in the third when Vinny Zanfordino singled, stole second and scored on another single by Nick Fabretti. Spotswood got that run back immediately in the top of the fourth when Anthony Pietanza drew a two-out walk, took third on Joe Cappa's double and scored on consecutive walks to Pace (intentional) and Matt Mangarella for a 4-1 lead.
That run proved to be decisive when Edison threatened in each of the last three innings but could not tie the score.
Edison added a run with its own two-out rally in the fifth when Rob Borwegan walked and scored on a double by Kyle Paganelli, who went 3-for-3. Edison closed to 4-3 in the sixth following consecutive singles by Nick Chicarilla and Bryan Duran to start the inning and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Sporer, but it failed to advance Duran after he stole second.
Stout set the tone in the bottom of the seventh by striking out lead-off batter Justin Duran after falling behind 2-0 in the count. Paganelli singled up the middle with two out, but the threat ended two pitches later when Stout induced a pop-up behind the plate to end the contest.
Mike Liming went 3-for-4 with three singles to lead Spotswood, while Cappa, batting ninth, delivered a single and a double.
Spotswood returns to action Monday when it makes up Thursday's postponement in a key Greater Middlesex Conference-Blue Division game at Bishop Ahr at 3:45 p.m.