PRINCETON — For Sean Riordan and the Hall Red Devils, it was certainly a case of not how you started, but rather how you finished that counted against host Princeton at Prather Field Monday.
Riordan was tagged for three hits, a hit batsman and two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Riordan, however, didn’t allow another run and was backed by a pair of three-run innings to pitch the Red Devils to a 6-2 victory over the TRAC East rival Tigers.
Riordan got in the groove after the first inning, retiring 19 of the final 24 men he faced with just one hit.
“They came out swinging, getting on his first pitch and kind of tattooed him there,” Hall coach Tom Keegan said. “As the game went one, he adjusted well and really got through some innings with some efficient pitch counts for sure.
“With the busy week, we needed that out of him. Games are racking up this week.”
The Red Devils got things going in the third inning when lead-off man Ty Rybarczyk was hit by a pitch. He scored on a RBI double in the gap by Brant Vanaman, who took third on an overthrow. Cam McDonald had an RBI ground out to tie the game. A Tiger throwing error gave Hall its first lead of the game at 3-2.
“Cam had a selfless at-bat, situational productive out with a ground ball to second getting Brant home. Those productive outs led to a run there. Huge,” Keegan said.
Another 3-spot in the fifth did the trick for the Red Devils. McDonald drew a lead-off walk. Jimmy DeAngelo doubled ahead of an RBI hit by Debates. DeAngelo scored on a bunt by Resetich, and a PHS error allowed Debates to score to put the Red Devils ahead 6-2.
“It was 3-2, a good ballgame, but we didn’t get but one more hit. You got to keep on attacking and getting after it, and we didn’t,” PHS coach Wick Warren said. “I tip my hat to the kid (Riordan). He pitched a good ballgame. The left-fielder made some very good catches; they didn’t make mistakes. (Riordan) got in a real good groove, didn’t throw many pitches. He was in command of what he was doing, and it showed.
“Josh (Reinhardt) battled out there. You give a good team, and they’re a very good team, an opening, and they’’re going to jump on it.”
The Tigers (7-6, 5-3) got off to a good start with hits by Josh Reinhardt, Garrett Allen and Christian Parry while Conner Alter was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the first inning. Parry drove in two on his hit, but Allen was cut down at third base by the Hall relay. Riordan wiggled out of further trouble by retiring the next two men to limit the damage at two.
Vanaman led the Hall attack with three hits and an RBI in four at-bats. Debates and Resetich had two hits each.
Reinhardt, the Tigers’ starting and losing pitcher, had two of the four PHS hits. On the mound, Reinhardt was tagged for six runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
• Notes: Round 2 of the PHS-Hall TRAC series resumes at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Kirby Park in Spring Valley.
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