Hillsborough Baseball Grabs First Win Over Westfield


by Anne Mae Bloch

Jayden Bloch went yard as Hillsborough grabbed its first win of the season.

Nick Holt, Editor-in-Chief

With a new head coach, an unfriendly schedule, and their starting center fielder out for the year, this 2021 campaign has not been nice to the Hillsborough Raiders.  Facing multiple Rutgers commits on the mound certainly isn’t the most welcoming start for coach Tom Augello and his team, but our Raiders have started to become a little bit more comfortable.

After starting the season 0-5, Hillsborough faced Westfield in their first Saturday morning home game of the season.  On paper, this game didn’t look like the most favorable one, the opposing Blue Devils were off to a hot start this season, winning their first 5 games, all by more than 4 runs.  Though, Hillsborough wasn’t messing around this game.

The Raiders got off to a hot start early in this one, taking a 2 run lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a dropped third strike and some poor fielding by the Blue Devils.  In the second, Hillsborough stacked on top their lead, kicking off the inning thanks to junior Evan Adinolfe’s walk, followed by juniors Kyle Elmalis and Owen Bartolomeo getting bases loaded, with senior Luke Crawford up to bat.  The star shortstop got one run in on a sac fly, with senior Scott Bruno reaching first on an error and junior Justin Ciambrone blooping a single to extend the lead to 5-0.

This one was full of action, Westfield’s Jake Watson responded with a Home Run over the left field wall, but the inning was quickly shut down, as Luke Crawford might have made the play of the year for the Raiders, making a leaping grab, spearing the ball out the air, and turning two for the double play.

Later in the fourth, another fantastic defensive play saved extra bases for Westfield, Left Fielder Evan Adinolfe made an uber athletic play, with a catch on the run in the gap, keeping the damage under control.  To follow Adinolfe’s clutch play, Hillsborough once again got the bats going.  Two singles by the seniors Crawford and Bloch kicked the inning off, with the big hitting Scott Bruno backing them with an shot deep, batting in Crawford.

Fast-forward to the bottom of the sixth, the boys were swinging once again, as senior Jayden Bloch hit a two-run bomb, adding onto his magical day, going 2-3 with 2 RBIs, a HR, and a walk.

Though, the job wouldn’t have been completed with out a beautiful ace of a game by junior Jack Smith, who allowed only 6 hits on the game and 2 earned runs, later getting relieved by junior Ronak Parik, who escaped bases loaded, closing the game out in fashion, as the Hillsborough Raiders grabbed their first win, 10-4 over Westfield.

“We really needed to get that first win off our chest,” junior Evan Adinolfe said, “Now it’s time to string together a few more wins this week.”

The future is looking bright for the Raiders, who face the 0-7 Phillpsburg Stateliners at 3:45 p.m. on May 4, the first of three in a row.  Let’s see if our Raiders can start to piece together a couple of wins.