By Nolan Buser

April 11, 2023

HAMILTON, NJ. – Hamilton West (2-3) was able to fend off a sixth inning comeback by Ewing (1-2) in Tuesday afternoons Valley Division matchup, defeating the Blue Devils 8-5.

Both Hamilton and Ewing entered the 2023 season with rosters dominated by underclassmen, as the two teams lost 16 seniors from last season combined. Ewing does not sport one senior in their starting lineup.

It is safe to say this inexperience contributed to Tuesday’s game in the form of errors, as both teams suffered from missed-throws and poor defensive plays.

A four run first inning gave Hamilton an early lead. The inning saw Ewing make a stretch of three straight errors, ultimately placing them in an early 4-1 hole.

The Hornets would extend their lead in the bottom of the second when Hamilton sophomore Triston Bonilla hit a two run RBI triple to make the score 6-2. A lead they would maintain for the next three innings.

“I think this can get us on track,” said Bonilla. “We are a very talented team and we could be 5-0 right now, but things happen and things can’t go our way every time.”

Things seemed to not be going Hamilton’s way yet again this season after freshman Joe Maglione stepped in for pitcher Robert Reyes, giving up three hits and a walk, allowing Ewing to cut the game to one score, 6-5.

The three-run inning was put to a halt when Bonilla took the mound in relief.

The bottom of the sixth inning saw Hamilton put together two runs. One off the hands of an Andrew Maddalena RBI double, the other a Bonilla RBI single. Making the score 8-5 Hamilton heading into the final inning.

“It felt good, I really like pitching with a lead. It is nerve racking sometimes but I was locked in and ready to go and get the next batter,” said Bonilla.

Bonilla maintained his spot on the mound for the top of the seventh, and would go on to close out the game, giving Hamilton their third win of the young season. He finished with two hits and four RBIs batting, as well as two strikeouts and zero runs allowed in his 1 and 1/3 innings pitched.

“I think going forward we can be really good, we are very young and over the next couple years we will be really good,” said Bonilla.