SWEDESBORO--- Before anyone was settled into their seats on Tuesday afternoon, Haddonfield put crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
The Bulldawgs raced out to a three-run lead by jumping on Kingsway early in the count in the first inning.
Haddonfield parlayed that momentum into an 8-3 victory over the Dragons to move to 7-0 on the season.
“I think we just came out aggressive,” Haddonfield’s Chris Brown said. “That was our game plan. We knew this is a good baseball team that we’re playing today so we had to get out and jump on them early, get a quick lead and control the rest of the game.”
Steve DiTomasso opened the game with a double, Brown followed with a single, Alex Kadar produced a run on a fielder’s choice, Chris Mariani plated a run on a double and Dylan Heine drove in the third with a sacrifice fly.
“We jumped on them with the first and second pitch mainly,” Mariani said. “We did that through the first four or five batters.”
The first-inning rally set the tone for Dylan Heine on the mound. Heine tossed 5 ⅔ solid innings and kept the Dragons off balance with his offspeed repertoire.
“We worked a lot of offspeed today,” Mariani, the Haddonfield catcher, said.
Haddonfield’s lead was never in serious danger, and Mariani’s two-run single in the sixth opened up the gap to five runs.
“I was just trying to put the ball on the ground and see what happens with two outs,” Mariani said. “I had to put it in play.”
“I was seeing a lot of curveballs, but I was sitting fastball. The curveballs weren’t coming over for strikes so I just waited on fastball.”
Brown made an appearance on the mound in relief of Heine, and he worked with Mariani on the same approach that Heine had to start the game.
“I approach (the pitchers) the same,” Mariani said. “As long as they are hitting their spots, I have confidence in them to hit their spots. We worked a lot of offspeed today. They did really well with that.”
“I was just trying to hit my spots,” Brown said. “Coming in for Dylan, who had a heck of a game, I wanted to make sure he came out with a W. If they put the ball in play, I trust my fielders.”
The victory reaffirmed how strong Haddonfield can look in big games, and it will have to prove that plenty of times this season, including in upcoming games against Paulsboro, Triton and Audubon.
“It just shows what kind of team we can become,” Brown said. “We just have to bring it every single day. Not play down to a competition. Just always be playing at our best so we can have big wins like this come playoff time.”
H: 310 103 0-8
K: 000 111 0-3
WP: Dylan Heine LP: Matt Lipka
2B: H: Steve DiTomasso, Chris Mariani
K: Ben Maiers
3B: K: Josh Crowding