PITMAN (N.J.) - Four lead changes occurred between the Paulsboro and Pitman High School baseball teams, and Stephen Devanney's heroics provided the final difference.
Devanney's walk-off two-run double pushed Pitman past Paulsboro, 9-8, on Friday.
"I just went to the plate looking for my pitch to hit and get at least a run in," Devanney said. "I didn't know coach Hopely was going to send Brayden (Sharkey) so when I saw him round third base, I got hype."
Pitman's Stephen Devanney launched a walk-off double as Pitman squeezed past Paulsboro, 9-8, at Alcyon Park in Pitman, New Jersey on Friday, April 14, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network
Pitman's Hudson Rue accumulated 3.1 innings pitched and allowed three hits, two runs and struck out four hitters. Sharkey collected the win on the mound and scored the game-winning run.
Luke Hinkle pitched 4.2 innings for Paulsboro and allowed seven hits and six runs. Pitman gathered 10 hits and Devanney accounted for three of them. Despite going 3-for-5 at the plate, he had a pair of at-bats that resulted in an inning-ending flyout to the shortstop with a runner on third base and an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with another runner in scoring position.
His biggest hit of the day came when it mattered the most.
Pitman coach John Hopely's decision to send his runner home was a risk he was ready to take.
"Honestly, I just thought to myself we already tied it, why not go for the win, and it worked," Hopely said. "Even if Sharkey was out at home, I liked where we would've came up in the order next inning so it was a risk I was very willing to take."
"We're a very close team," Devanney added. " We have great chemistry and I think it translates onto the field. We all hangout outside of baseball and we all know each other."