|VIDEO: Kinnelon bumped from baseball states by Westwood|
Despite earning a home game, the Kinnelon baseball team was hardly coming into the state tournament on a hot streak. The Colts quickly found themselves in a deep hole against Westwood, and despite a valiant attempt to rally, ended up on the short end of a 7-5 score.
Kinnelon entered the North 1, Group II playoffs as the seventh seed despite coming in on an eight-game losing streak. The Colts were just 6-17 overall, but had several quality wins that helped boost their ranking under the new power point system in use for the first time this year.
Westwood, the 10th seed, jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning against Colts' ace R.J. Giannetti, helped out in part by an error. Then in the second, another error extended the inning, and the Cardinals pounced to score five runs and grab a 7-0 lead. Nick Markey had a two-run double and Sam Hutchinson added a two-RBI single.
After the second inning, Giannetti and the Colts' defense settled down. The senior righty only allowed a couple more baserunners the rest of the way.
Meantime, Kinnelon scored three times in the second inning, keyed by a Kyle Presti two-run single. The Colts had runners in each of the next four innings against Westwood starter Matt Rivera, but the righty managed to wiggle out of each potential jam.
Finally, in the seventh, the Colts loaded the bases and Nick Shah delivered a two-run single. But with the tying runs in scoring position, Rivera ended the game by inducing a popout and then recording a strikeout.
With the defeat, Kinnelon's season comes to an end, while Westwood advances to the second round, where it will get an unexpected home game after 15th seed Pascack Hills upset Lakeland.
For sports video highlights of this state tournament baseball game, click play in the box at left.