In the first game of 2019, Matt DeLuca pitched like it was still last year.
Coming off a breakthrough sophomore season, DeLuca held host New Milford to one hit and no runs through six innings as the Ridgefield High baseball team opened with a 6-0 non-conference win on Saturday. DeLuca struck out seven batters and didn’t allow any walks.
Jack Bohrer relieved DeLuca in the bottom of the seventh and completed the one-hit shutout. Bohrer walked two batters and struck out two.
Ridgefield was limited to seven hits but took advantage of New Milford errors to score four unearned runs. First baseman Nick Cullinan went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored for the Tigers. Catcher Sean Livingstone added two hits and drove in two runs.
After three scoreless innings, Ridgefield went ahead with two runs in the top of the fourth. Cullinan singled and Johnny Briody walked, with both runners moving into scoring position on a double steal. Livingstone then doubled to left field, scoring Cullinan and Briody.
The visitors added three runs in the top of the fifth, as New Milford committed multiple errors. Cullinan’s single was the Tigers’ lone hit of the inning.
Ridgefield got its final run in the top of the seventh inning. Cullinan reached on a two-out error and went to second on Joey Pastore’s single before scoring on Briody’s RBI single.
The six runs were more than enough support for DeLuca, who kept New Milford hitless through five innings. The Falcons’ got a baserunner aboard on an error in the bottom of the first but then went down in order in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings.
New Milford’s Colin Murphy broke up DeLuca’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth and went to second base on an error and third base on a groundout. But DeLuca struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Bohrer walked two of the first three New Milford batters in the bottom of the seventh before getting a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.