Knights Remain Golden After Defeating the Mean Green

Boys baseball brings home first Bergen County title in 18 years


Alexa Essmann

The boys pose for a team picture after capturing the 2022 Bergen County Title.

If you log onto Snapchat after any game day, you will be flooded with “Momentum” captions of the boys baseball team after each of their past 24 wins throughout the season. But, heading into the championship game of the Bergen County Tournament, the boys didn’t just look to continue that momentum—they wanted to reach the climax of their season. They wanted to make history.  

After defeating Ramsey 6-2 in the semi-final game, the Golden Knights found themselves up against the reigning county champions, St. Joseph’s Regional High School. With two Golden Knights sidelined with injuries, one sidelined due to COVID-19, and starting pitcher Alex Kranzler left ineligible to pitch due to the NJSIAA protocols regarding pitch count, the boys had their work cut out for them as they looked to defeat the Green Knights.  

Overcoming each hurdle that was presented to them, the boys brought up freshman Kai Ross to play second base, Kranzler moved to center field, and senior James Keating took the mound for the boys on championship day. “I feel like the rhythm I set for our team was to keep attacking them to be sure not to shy away,” said Keating. 

The Golden Knights adjusted quickly to the lineup changes, and after trailing 2-0 early in the first inning, the boys tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the third. The Golden Knights began to pull away with a three-run lead at the bottom of the fifth, but the Green Knights quickly answered back in the top of the sixth to again tie the game 6-6. 

As the game reached the seventh and final inning, senior Louis Mosca came in to relieve junior Grant Maryott who had switched out for Keating in the sixth inning. Mosca was calm and collected after Coach Byron had made the decision to put him in, and explained to him his role: “We just discussed what pitches had to be thrown to get the job done,” Mosca said. 

As Mosca took the mound, he found himself up against a batter who was already hot after extending the Green Knights’s lead to two runs in the third inning. “[He] had hit a home run earlier in the game on an inside fastball,” explained Mosca. “I knew I had to work him away.” 

And that’s exactly what the team did. 

Mosca’s last pitch of the game forced a pop-up to first base, an easy out that would earn the Golden Knights their first Bergen County Tournament title in 18 years. 

While earning the school’s second-ever county title was historic, it’s not the one win that matters most for the boys, it’s the #momentum that comes from each consecutive win the Golden Knights earn. “The county win was a huge one for us,” said Mosca, “but we aren’t done yet.” 

The boys line up to receive their trophies post game. (Ava Petrilli)

With a league title and county championship to prove their success thus far, the boys will take this #momentum as they head into the state tournament. “We just go out every day and compete—don’t take a game for granted,” explained Kranzler. “We all have each other’s backs…at the end of the day we all love each other and compete for one another which definitely helps in every game let alone the close and important ones like this.”

The Golden Knight’s journey to end the year with a triple crown and bring home a state ring begins on Wednesday, June 1 as the boys take on the 16 seeded Tenafly Tigers at home.