Monroe-Woodbury advances in OCIAA Class AA baseball playoffs

CHESTER. Crusaders defeat Valley Central Vikings 7-2 at the Frozen Ropes athletic field.

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  • Photos by William Dimmit Daniel Moruzzi rounds first after driving an RBI-single to right in the fourth inning.

  • Joseph Gonzalez clears the bases with this triple in the fifth inning.

  • Brett Rende signals safe after beating out a dropped strike three in the sixth.

  • Dylan Beers struck out 12 Vikings while picking up the win.

On a beautiful Memorial Day afternoon, the Crusaders took on the Vikings of Valley Central in the opening round of the OCIAA Class AA playoffs.

The Crusaders entered the game with a 13-7 record and the No. 3 seed; the Vikings entered the game with a 8-11 record and the No. 6 seed. The Crusaders beat the Vikings 4-0 in their only meeting earlier in the season.

The Vikings loaded the bases in the first inning with one out but Crusader starting pitcher Dylan Beers struck out the next two Vikings to end the threat.

The Crusaders finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning when Sean Lynch walked and scored on Daniel Moruzzi’s single to right.

In the fifth the Crusaders scored more times to take control of the game. First, Brett Rende scored when Steven Campione drew a bases loaded walk. Then Joseph Gonzalez cleared the bases with a triple to right to put the Crusaders 5-0.

The Crusaders added to their lead in the sixth when Lynch drove in Rende with a single to left and Campione drew another bases-loaded walk to give the Crusaders a 7-0 lead.

The Vikings were able to rally in the top of the seventh but were able to only score twice.

Beers picked up the victory for the Crusaders, going 6.2 innings, allowing six hits while striking out 12.

The Crusaders 7-2 victory advances them in the playoffs where they were scheduled to face the winner of the Middletown-Pine Bush game on Wednesday afternoon.

- William Dimmit

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