WARREN, NJ - Watchung Hills took a two-run lead in the first inning, but Hunterdon Central came back to
score eight runs in the fifth inning as Watchung Hills fell to Hunterdon Central, 9-2, in Tuesday's home baseball opener.
Watchung Hills is a very young team with only one returning starter and Hunterdon Central is the favorite in the Skyland -Delaware Division and was ranked No. 14 in The Star-Ledger preseason Top 20.
Mike Novello allowed only two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work in earning the victory for Hunterdon Central.
As the only returning starter from last year's 20-win team, Justin Howell will be one of the leaders of young Warrior team. The senior second baseman hit .371 last season with 13 RBI and an on-base percentage of .448 to go with a .983 fielding percentage.
The Warriors are:
No.18 Dan Bongiorno -2015, No. 20 Matt Burman- 2015, No.6 Kevin Cagnetta-2015, No. 2 David Dassinger -2014, No. 17 Jimmy DiGiorgio- 2015, No. 13 Justin Howell - 2014, No. 14 Russell Jacques- 2014, No. 7 Brandon Kaye-2014, No. 22 Nick Kohler-2016, No. 8 Derek Lamble -2015,No. 14 Tyler Lombardo-2016,
No. 2 Matt Mastrobattista -2016, No. 8 Eric Plesko- 2016, No. 4 Nick Ponturo-2015, No. 24 Nick Richter-
2015, No. 21 Anthony Rocchietti-2015, No. 15 Chris Roth- 2016, No. 23 John Rowe-2014, No. 12 Tyler Santucci-2014, No. 5 Ross Sylvestri-2014, and No. 11 Jake Wilinsky- 2015.
Watchung Hills will take on rival Immaculata on Thursday, April 3.