Editor's note: Information for this story was submitted by the team managers for the Ridge 15-year-olds Babe Ruth All-Star team.
The Ridge 15-year-olds All-Star team defeated Ridgefield for the second time in the State Tournament playoffs, with Tuesday's solid 6-3 victory advancing the Basking Ridge players to the State Championship game, scheduled for Thursday night.
The state winner will head onto the Babe Ruth nationwide regional tournament, and then could potentially reach the Babe Ruth World Series.
In Tuesday's game, Ridgefield took the early lead in the top of the first, it didn't take Ridge long to get moving, with Liam McArthur jump-starting the advance. Ridge and the winner of the other semifinal game will head to the state tournament at 7 p.m. on Thursday, said team manager Pete Matarazzo.
The 15-year-olds had reached the level of playing the semifinal game by beating Union City 13-3 in a game the previous night, on Monday.
On Saturday, playoffs among six teams in New Jersey before the game against Union City.
After Ridgefield's early lead, McArthur led off the bottom of the frame with a triple, and was brought home by Ryan McLaughlin's ground out. One batter later, Connor Scherzer belted a triple of his own and scored on a wild pitch.
In the third inning, McArthur led off with a single and stole second. McLaughlin walked and Ian Solomon singled home McArthur. McLaughlin was driven in by a T.J. Rusiniak sacrifice fly to increase the Ridge lead to 4-1.
Ridgefield cut the Ridge lead in half with a single run in the fourth. But Ridge put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth. With two out, Rusiniak singled and then Bobby Moskow hit a towering home run over the second fence down the right field line which bounced into the entrance ramp to the helix.
Pitcher Solomon went the distance on the mound, giving up only one earned run on five hits over seven innings and striking out five.
Ridge as a team scored 6 runs on 6 hits.
Liam McArthur scored two runs, after grabbing a piece of three hits (one triple, two singles.
Other runs were scored by McLaughlin, Scherzer, Rusiniak and Moskow.
The remainder of those six hits came from Scherzer (a triple) and singles from Rusiniak and Moskow.