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Raritan baseball team is grinding out through the state tournament

Raritan High School's Baseball Team celebrates a victory in the New Jersey Baseball Central Group II Sectional Championships during a game against Metuchen High School on June 1. The Raritan Rockets defeated the Metuchen Bulldogs 1-0 at Myrtle Field in Metuchen.

Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

Raritan High School’s baseball team has “grinded it out” during this spring’s state tournament.

Case in point came on June 1 when Raritan trimmed Metuchen High School, 1-0, to win the Central Jersey, Group 2 state sectional tournament title in Metuchen.

With the game tied at 0-0 in the top of the seventh inning, senior second baseman Zack Johnston was able to work a walk to get on base. After a single and an error, Johnston moved to third base. The moment would come on a passed ball that allowed Johnston to score the game’s only run..

Coach Jeff Struble explained that his Raritan squad stood strong as the season progresssed.

“We just been preaching the same thing from couple of weeks ago when were having some up-and-down games,” Struble said. “Just to grind it out and continue to grind. When we do that, and stay humble in our approach and be there for each other, we played well. As we got closer to this stage, the guys started playing well and taking it one game at a time. These guys bought in when they needed to. When we execute offensively and defensively, we’re tough to beat. A lot of people doubted us. A lot of people weren’t sure what we were. We just tried to keep those things aside and keep doing what we do. These guys are tough. I’m so proud of these guys. We’re in every game. And, it’s a credit to those guys and it’s awesome.”

“We grinded,” Johnston said. “We grinded throughout the whole game. Coach kept saying try to get to them. Try to get hits, try to get runs. We were able to do that and get the run on a passed ball.”

The Rockets sport a 20-5 record as they continue to win the Group 2 state title.

“We’re going to try to continue this success,” Struble said. “Last year, we didn’t finish the job. We had a chance and Governor Livingston [High School] and couldn’t get it done. It was real emotional after that. But, we made a pact, and they came out in the offseason. Continue to get better, and when the season got here, they put in the work and made it happen.”

“I think we’re going to win it all,’ Johnston added. “I have a lot of confidence in these guys. I think we can win it all.”

The Rockets were scheduled to face Haddonfield Memorial High School on June 5 in the semifinals of the Group 2 state tournament.

 

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