By Jeff Appelblatt
Spring break started strong for Freehold Township High School’s baseball team, which is good for a team that entered the nine-day span away from the classroom without a win.
The Patriots went back to school April 17 after winning three of four games.
The first win was April 8 — the day after school let out. Freehold Township beat New Egypt High School (3-2), 5-2. Bryan Reed threw an 85-pitch complete game for Freehold Township, striking out nine.
Nick LoDispoto led the way around the bases for the Patriots. He had a pair of hits, an RBI and a stolen base.
A few days later, the Patriots welcomed Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) to Freehold Township and sent the club out with its first loss of the season.
Senior Mike Pirrotta certainly had a day to remember. Not only did he pitch five scoreless innings on the road to victory against CBA (6-1), but he helped himself when he came up with an RBI single in the fourth to put the Patriots up for good, 1-0.
“He stepped up against a really quality opponent,” Freehold Township coach Todd Smith said about his pitcher after the game.
The coach hoped that beating such a good team could mean good things the rest of the way.
“This [was] huge for us because it’s just going to build our confidence,” Smith said.
Confidence showed itself a day later at Howell High School. The Rebels (2-4) went up 8-2 in the third inning, but Freehold Township worked itself back into the game, starting with three runs in the fourth inning to cut Howell’s lead to three.
The Patriots scored another three runs in the sixth before it took a home run by Reed in extra innings to close out the Rebels, 11-9.
The entire break wasn’t perfect for the Patriots (3-3). Brick Memorial High School (2-5) scored two runs in the sixth inning to take the lead and defeat Freehold Township, 4-3. Ryan Ford hit his first home run of the season for Freehold Township in the loss.
Now the Patriots are back to balancing school and baseball. The team returned to the diamond April 18 vs. Colts Neck High School (3-3). The Patriots travel April 20 to Matawan Regional High School to face the Huskies (4-3) at 3:45 p.m.