Anthony Hirujo Stifles No. 6 Wall in His First Varsity Start to Lead Matawan to Upset Win
By Patrick Hennessy - Shore Sports Network contributor
MATAWAN - Matawan entered Monday's game against defending Class B North champion Wall at 0-2 and looking to get back on the right track.
Junior Anthony Hirujo helped get them there by making his first varsity start a memorable one as he was lights-out in a 2-1 victory over the Crimson Knights, who are ranked No. 6 in the Shore Sports Network Preseason Top 10. Hirujo threw six innings of four-hit ball and only gave up one earned run that came off the bat of Wall senior Brendan Barcas, who was 2-for-4 in the game with an RBI in the loss.
The Huskies got off to a quick start as junior Chris Vetter scored senior Alex Cella with an RBI single in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. In the third inning, junior Dylan Dobbin, who had a big game at the plate in going 3-for-3, drove in senior Joe Piscopo with what would turn out to be the deciding run in the game.
"We knew we had to come out with a bang against such a strong team, and I just tried to put myself in a situation to get the job done,'' Dobbin said.
Piscopo was 2-for-2 in the game with a walk and a run scored. The recent Centenary College commit (for both baseball and basketball) has gotten off to a hot start this season. He helped Matawan get in the win column after an extra-inning loss to perennial power Red Bank Catholic and then a three-run loss to an up-and-coming Pinelands team on Friday morning.
"We came in with two straight losses against two very good teams, so we knew we had to come out and compete, and we got the job done,'' Piscopo said.
With a 2-1 lead after Dobbin's RBI, that's all the Huskies needed as Hirujo pitched through the sixth inning and then junior Colin Thompson came in to close the game in the seventh inning, striking out the final batter and sending the Huskies to their first win.
Although Dobbin and Piscopo propelled the Huskies' offense, the story of the day was Hirujo, who was very impressive in his first career varsity start.
"I was a little nervous coming into the game, but I settled down and knew that I had a great defense behind me that would back me up the whole game,'' Hirujo said.
With the win against the defending division champs, the Huskies now have momentum leading into Wednesday's divisional match-up against Neptune.