WEST DEPTFORD (N.J.) - After a mercy rule loss to divisional rival Audubon in its season opener, the Paulsboro High School baseball team needed to right the ship.
Paulsboro's Hunter Zubec delivers a pitch during a game against West Deptford at Union Field in West Deptford, New Jersey on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network
The Red Raiders responded with a 7-5 win over West Deptford, the No. 12-ranked team in the preseason Baker's Dozen Top 13 high school baseball rankings, in a Colonial Conference Liberty Division matchup on Wednesday.
Hunter Zubec hit a single in the top of the first inning to plate leadoff hitter Johnny Marcucci and give Paulsboro a 1-0 lead.
Paulsboro starting pitcher Dante Onorato tossed 4.2 innings, tallied four strikeouts, allowed four hits and an earned run.
In the top of the fourth inning, Doug King extended the Red Raiders' lead to 2-0 with an RBI single.
West Deptford answered back with a solo home run from Rutgers commit and starting pitcher Nick Tomasetto. Tomasetto threw five innings, allowed three hits, one earned run, and struck out seven.
The Red Raiders exploded with five runs in the top of the sixth inning on a slew of West Deptford errors that resulted in a 7-1 advantage. West Deptford didn't hesitate to respond. The Eagles climbed back with four runs as Cole DuBois, Joey Socorro, and Tomasetto drove in runs in the bottom half of the frame.
In the seventh inning, Zubec settled in and slammed the door shut on West Deptford's comeback attempt with a strikeout to seal the victory. The Eagles cut into a huge chunk of the Paulsboro lead with Zubec on the mound, but he knew he just had to let the game come to him.
"I think my composure and trusting my fielders helped me close that game out," Zubec said. "Yeah, they made some mistakes in the field, but I know they have my back regardless."
Adversity has been no stranger to the Red Raiders early in the season.
"Things obviously didn't go our way in the season opener against Audubon," Paulsboro coach John Marcucci said. "These kids have a lot of fight and don't back down so to bounce back and win an ugly game like this says a lot about this team's determination."