|VIDEO: Hitting barrage lifts Morris Knolls past Ridgewood in semifinal|
Morris Knolls scored nine runs in the first four innings as it advanced to the baseball sectional finals with a win over Ridgewood. Cody Greenhagen drove in four runs for the Golden Eagles in their 11-4 home triumph.
Greenhagen went 3-for-3, including a two-run homer that capped a five-run fourth inning rally. That big frame gave second-seeded Morris Knolls a 9-0 lead and pretty much secured the victory.
Overall, the #2 through #5 hitters for Knolls went 9-for-11 on the day. Jackson Baird also had a home run among his two hits and had three RBI. Evan Steidl had a booming double as part of the big fourth inning and drove in three runs as well, while Vinnie Oliveri went 2-for-3 with a double.
Pitcher C.J. Abrahamsen fired four scoreless innings against a hot-hitting Ridgewood team before running into trouble in the fifth. The Maroons got three in that frame, and added one more run on a Doug Licitra homer in the sixth, but Blake Meza was able to close the door for Morris Knolls.
Frank Paleno had a two-run double for third-seeded Ridgewood, which finished its season at 18-8.
Morris Knolls improved to 20-8-1 with the triumph. The Golden Eagles moved on to the North 1, Group IV sectional final, where they met Union City.
Behind a three-hit shutout from Baird, Knolls would defeat Union City to capture the sectional title. Bobby Hanson and Jake Moran drove in three runs apiece in that win. The Golden Eagles' season would come to an end with an 8-5 Group IV state semifinal loss to Westfield.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school baseball state tournament sectional semifinal game, click play in the box at left.