In the end, the decision was a no-brainer.
The Greater Middlesex Conference – in the face of a miserable weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday – has moved the semifinal games of its baseball tournament to Monday, Memorial Day.
League President Mike Pede told Central Jersey Sports Radio of the move just after 9 am Friday.
The forecast for Saturday and Sunday calls for on-and-off showers and drizzly weather, with windy conditions and unseasonably cool temperatures in the upper 50s. Normal for this time of year is more in the upper 70s range.
Pede says he and Middlesex AD Mike O’Donnel, the league’s baseball rep, made the decision based on a number of factors.
Pede says they didn’t want the semifinals to be contested in iffy weather, especially with a much nicer day – mid 70s and partly sunny – forecast for Monday.
He also didn’t want teams to play on different days, as if one team got their game in and the other didn’t because of the rain. Pede said that could give one team an advantage over the other in the finals with an additional day of rest for their pitching staff.
The move by the GMC should not affect what pitchers are available for the finals, slated for Sunday, June 6. NJSIAA rules say pitchers who throw up to 110 pitches – the maximum allowed in a single game – need four days’ rest before they can pitch again. There would be five days of rest in between the semifinals and finals.
However, it could affect plans for the state tournament. Edison, South Brunswick and North Brunswick all have first round games in the Central Jersey Group 4 bracket on Wednesday, while St. Joseph-Metuchen has a first round bye in South Non-Public A until Friday.
Falcons’ head coach Mike Murray, whose team is in the semifinals and will face Edison, told Central Jersey Sports Radio in an interview about a half-hour before the decision was announced that he hoped the GMC would announce its plans early, and not wait and see, going day by day, leaving people on hold with their plans for the holiday weekend.
Soon after, the GMC made the call.
The game times for Monday at East Brunswick Tech’s Ray Cipperly Field will be the same as they were for this Saturday. Both games will be broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.
The opener at noon will feature 9th-seed North Brunswick and 5th-seed South Brunswick, while the 2:30 game has 6th-seed Edison taking on 2nd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen.
Air-time will be 11:45 am on CJSR, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action. You can listen live by clicking here.
Below are links to game previews and interviews with all four coaches for Monday’s games:
SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Hendricks expects lower scoring game when Vikings meet Raiders in GMCT semis
NORTH BRUNSWICK: North Brunswick seeking first trip to GMC finals in over a decade
EDISON: Edison looks to keep special year rolling when Eagles face St. Joe’s in GMCT semis