TOMS RIVER – Some of Ridgefield’s players had tears in their eyes as they quietly packed up their equipment in the dugout. Minutes earlier, the Royals suffered a season-ending loss. This much disappointment was rare for a team that put together a banner year.
“This is the best team in Ridgefield history,” coach Joe Gambardella said. “They’re heartbroken but they have nothing to be ashamed of.”
After a thrilling run through the state baseball tournament, the Royals (20-11) fell to Shore, 7-1, in the Group 1 final on Saturday at Toms River South High School in their first appearance in the state championship. Blue Devils starter Matt Cosentino kept Ridgefield off-balance with an effective curveball, and the Royals couldn’t muster up enough offense against the left-hander.
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