Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

River Dell Upends Bergen Catholic

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

River Dell Upends Bergen Catholic

Article excerpt

EMERSON -- River Dell is back in the semifinals of the Bergen County baseball tournament for the first time since 2002.

Senior ace Ryan Duran threw an outstanding game and Brandon Martinez walked with the bases loaded to push home the deciding run in the top of the seventh as the 10th-seeded Golden Hawks stunned No. 2 Bergen Catholic, 3-2, in Saturday's quarterfinal action at Emerson High School.

"We've been flying under the radar a little, but we know we're legit," said coach Brandon Flanagan, whose team is ranked No. 7 in The Record baseball Top 25. "This really shakes it up."

The Golden Hawks (22-5) will face No. 6 Rutherford in Saturday's semifinal at Demarest. The other semifinal features No. 4 Old Tappan against No. 1 St. Joseph.

Junior second baseman Brett Lubben opened the seventh inning with a walk. Christian Estevez laid down a sharp bunt in front of the plate, and Lubben beat the throw to second.

Tim Barnes then beat out a bunt down the third base line for his third hit to load the bases against BC ace Jeff Granger. Then the Crusaders seemed to let a little air out of the rally when second baseman Joe Esposito snagged a Evan Drummond line drive and fired to first for a double play.

Granger intentionally walked Duran, who had two hits and an RBI, to reload the bases, but Martinez, one of the top hitters in North Jersey, worked out a walk to force in the go-ahead run.

"It was about staying calm and pretty much keeping the line moving," said Martinez, who also singled home the tying run in the third inning.

Duran, who is in the midst of a remarkable comeback from knee surgery in December, limited the Crusaders to three hits. He struck out six, and allowed only one runner over the last four innings.

"How good is that kid on the mound?" Flanagan said. "Once we tied it [in the third inning], I knew I had my guy out there. …

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