Lack of pitchers for busy schedule hampers South team

By John E. Powers, Sports Writer
   Four baseball games in five days.
   For any size school, that would present a big pitching problem.
   For tiny South Hunterdon Regional High School, it’s a major obstacle.
   The youthful Eagles (2-9) experienced that kind of week last week, going 1-3. South opened the week last Monday with a 4-3 win at Bound Brook, then lost to Belvidere 11-0 Tuesday, to Somerville 18-6 Thursday and to Delaware Valley 11-1 Saturday in a Hunterdon-Warren Tournament first-round game.
   Second-year coach Toby Jefferis also has been hurt by the injury to No. 2 pitcher Ryan Marriott, who broke his collarbone recently and is gone for the season. The Eagles now have just three seniors on the roster now — Kyle Hart, Robbie Williamson and Anthony Danese.
   Danese (1-4) earned the win against Bound Brook. Sophomore Brandon Scesney took the loss against Belvidere.
   Hart got the loss against Somerville, and Danese was the losing pitcher against Delaware Valley.
   ”One of the problems we’re facing is that when we get late in games, guys (pitchers) are getting tired,” Jefferis said.
   He is even using freshman Charlie McClelland in relief to get him some innings at the varsity level.
   ”He’s probably not ready to be at the varsity level yet, but he’s going to be a good pitcher,” Jefferis said. “He’s doing well now. He is throwing strikes.”
   South Hunterdon earned its second win of the season a week ago Monday against Bound Brook as Scesney’s RBI single in the seventh broke a 3-3 tie. Danese pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine and walking three. He allowed just one earned run.
   McClelland struck out three in relief of Scesney in the loss to Belvidere, a game that ended in a mercy rule, five-inning contest. Belvidere’s Corey Quigley allowed just three hits and no walks.
   Danese and Williamson both went 2-for-4 against Somerville. Danese also had a triple and an RBI.
   The Eagles were in Saturday’s game at Delaware Valley. The Eagles trailed just 4-1, going into the bottom of the fifth, but the Terries scored two in the bottom of the fifth and seven in the bottom of the sixth to hand the Eagles another mercy rule loss.
   Sophomore Kyle Battell scored the South Hunterdon run, and Battell and sophomore Erik Romeo had hits.
   ”We’ve really been hurt by one bad inning a game,” Jefferis said.
   The Eagles should be in good shape this week. They were scheduled to play just one game — at Bernards — Thursday afternoon.
   Danese is scheduled to start.
   The Eagles lost to the Mountaineers 12-3 April 3. South Hunterdon rallied to tie the game at three in the fifth inning, but Bernards scored nine in the sixth to put the decision away.
   ”We’re working at it,” Jefferis said. “We can still win four or five games. It’s just that we have to learn how to finish these games off.”