Baseball: Montclair fights hard, falls just short in NJSIAA quarterfinal loss to Randolph
by Andrew Garda
The Montclair High School baseball team never gave up, and gave the Randolph Rams all they could handle and then some, but couldn't quite pull off the upset, losing 6-5 in nine innings.
In a game which saw four lead changes before an errant throw by reliever Matt McGoey sailed over third baseman Josh Moed's head and allowed the Rams to get the winning run home, the Mounties never quit. Every time the Rams got a lead, MHS would find a way to generate hits and runs.
Meanwhile, starter Makhi Booker threw the ball well, save for a rough fifth inning that saw Randolph score three runs, including a big two-run home run over the 310 mark in right field by the Rams' Jack Carroll.
While the home run gave Randolph a 5-4 lead, the Mounties didn't hang their heads and in the seventh inning, a banged up John Lewis reached first on an 0-2 pitch. Lewis had injured his hamstring while stealing a base earlier in the game and while he had gutted out the rest of the game, co-head coach Ron Gavazzi needed someone who could run and subbed Tobin Willms for him on the basepaths. Willms promptly stole second and then Dylan Wright then tripled to score him and tie the game.
Unfortunately even with just one out, the Mounties couldn't get another run, as Wright was caught on a fielder's choice at home plate on an Evan Chaladoff infield hit.
Both teams went in order in the eighth inning, and then Montclair saw McGoey, Moed and Wright go 1-2-3 in the ninth.
After that, with McGoey on the mound in relief, Randolph was able to get a runner to third, McGoey tried to pick him off and the Mounties season came to an end.
** An earlier version of this piece referred to Tobin Willms as Tobin Williams. The former is correct, and the article has been altered to reflect that.
Check out Thursday's edition of the Montclair Local for a complete breakdown of the loss, quotes from the coach and more.