Coming into the season, Harrison baseball coach Marco DiRuocco envisioned a precise blueprint for the Huskies’ success. On Friday, April 13, his squad executed that gameplan perfectly, using timely hitting, flawless defense and good pitching shine in their home opener, as they topped league foe Byram Hills 4-3.
Eric Kopczynski took the mound for Harrison and acquitted himself well, pitching six strong innings of four-hit baseball before Luke McCarthy came on in the bottom of the seventh for the save. McCarthy gave up a leadoff single but buckled down to get the final three outs, retiring Bobcats’ slugger Antonio Aversa on a flyout to end the game.
According to DiRuocco, both Kopczynski and McCarthy found success by trusting their teammates in the field.
“If you can throw strikes and rely on your defense, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “Our identity is slowly developing as a team and we’re primarily built around our pitching, our defense and timely hitting.”
Scotty Lobel and Erik Moloney both went 2-for-4 on the afternoon to pace the Harrison offense, and Moloney also accounted for the winning run, taking home on a passed ball in the fourth inning.
“That was a perfect example of how little things can add up to big things,” DiRuocco said. “[Moloney] got a good read on the passed ball, he reacted correctly, and that was a big run for us.”
With the win, the Huskies (3-2) earned a season sweep over the Bobcats (4-2) and will now turn their attention to the rest of the tough teams in the league. On April 16, after press time, they begin a two-game set with undefeated Ardsley. On April 20, the Huskies will kick off the 7th annual Dave Basso Tournament before settling into another two game series with rival Rye, which includes the Andrew Gurgitano Memorial Game on April 28.
“We’ve definitely got a lot going on in the next few weeks,” DiRuocco said. “We play a lot of good teams, both in our league and with our pickup games.”
Buoyed by the teams play as of late, DiRuocco said he just hopes to see more of the same from his squad as they make a second-half push.
“Really, we’ve just got to stay the course and keep doing what we’ve been doing,” he said. “The one thing I’d like to see is having a better walk-to-strikeout ratio; that’s the kind of thing that’s going to be very important in the coming weeks.”