Every time Kenny Roder takes the mound, the game transforms into a hyped event for anyone involved in Hoboken baseball and beyond.
In the eyes of any opponent, however, it's not exactly a party to which they'd like to go. The latest foe to draw an unfortunate invite to the Roder Rodeo? North Bergen.
Though the Bruins tested Roder consistently and their own pitcher, A.J. Gale, turned in a great outing of his own, the Redwings once again benefited from having arguably the most dominant hurler in the Garden State on their side.
The 5-foot-7 lefthanded ace, who is blessed with a 90 miles-per-hour fastball and knee-buckling curve, tossed seven brilliant innings on Monday afternoon and helped Hoboken escape with a 1-0 victory over North Bergen.
"I knew that everybody they have could hit well," Roder said, "so I tried to mix it up."
Roder entered having struck out 91 batters in just 42 innings. In his previous start five days ago, he whiffed 18 and surrendered just two hits in seven innings of a 1-0 blanking against Hudson Catholic.
The only run support he was given in this one came in the second inning, when Abe Groomes beat out a throw across the diamond at first and enabled Danny Barton, who originally reached on an error, to cross the plate.
Gale, a junior who proved why many Division I schools such as Seton Hall University and UConn are showing interest, surrendered just one hit and seven walks while striking out seven.
Meanwhile, Roder was just a notch better. He consistently stayed around 88-90 mph and used his wide array of pitches to stifle the Bruins lineup, which boasts eight players batting at least .300. He coughed up just three hits and two walks, while fanning 14.
Three starts ago, Roder struck out 16 St. Anthony hitters in the school's first seven-inning perfect game in almost 50 years. If he continues this type of rousing success, the Redwings -- now 10-8 on the season -- could be big-time sleepers come playoff time.