Bears Handle St. Mary’s in Briggs Classic

Franco in action vs. Longwood (PC: Gabby Sun)

On Sunday afternoon, the baseball team turned back St. Mary High School (NJ), 10-3, in the Johnny Briggs High School Classic at historic Hinchcliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ.

The Bears lit up the scoreboard in the top of the 1st when Aiden Ruiz singled, Jayden Stroman walked, and both runners moved up on a balk. A Jojo Franco ground out plated Ruiz to give The Brook a 1-0 lead. Franco took the mound and got into early trouble when he walked the first two batters. A one-out double followed to give the Gales a 2-1 lead, but the senior settled down with a pair of strikeouts to limit the damage.

The Bears answered back in the 3rd when Nico Marino led off with a triple to center before Ruiz and Stroman walked to load the bases with nobody out. Two batters later, Franco roped a line drive to left for a bases-clearing double that gave the Bears a 4-2 lead. Franco needed just nine pitches to get through the bottom of the 3rd to maintain the Bear edge.

The Bears extended their lead in the 4th. Juju Martinez walked, Ruiz singled, and Stroman walked for a third time to load the bases. A Jordan Serrano walk and Franco single followed to push across two runs and extend the Blue & White lead to 6-2. Logan Charboneau earned a bases-loaded walk and Travis Stroud II cracked a two-run double to center as the Bear lead swelled to 9-2. Mateo Lopez followed with a walk and Martinez singled home a run for a 10-2 advantage. Eight straight Bears reached base in the 4th as the visitors took control of the contest. St. Mary’s got a run back in the bottom of the 4th, but it proved to be their last.

Franco led the way on both sides of the ball with 2 hits and 5 RBIs at the plate while earning the win on the mound. Stroman and Alex Baaden combined for 3 strikeouts and no hits over the final 1.1 innings to nail down the victory.


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