Two good sectional playoff runs collided in Monmouth County on Tuesday, with Marlboro moving on, and Old Bridge’s season coming to an end.
The 12th-seeded Knights finished their season at 9-18, but were one of the last two GMC teams standing in the state tournament heading into yesterday’s road game against the Mustangs in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals.
But Old Bridge lost the game 5-2, following a nearly two-hour lightning delay. Marlboro – which knocked off top-seed Manalapan in the quarterfinals – moves on to the championship game against either 3rd-seed Middletown South or 2nd-seed Hunterdon Central.
Their game was rained out yesterday and will be made up at 2 pm Wednesday.
Starter Justin Herbstman pitched two full innings and had started the bottom of the third – walking the leadoff man and throwing one pitch to the next batter – when play was halted. He didn’t return, as Christian Krause started a string of three other pitchers to finish the game.
Marlboro nickled-and-dimed Old Bridge for a run in the first and another in the fourth before scoring three in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead they would never relinquish.
In the top of the 6th, Old Bridge would score twice, the second run helped by an error, to cut the deficit to 5-2.
After holding the Mustangs scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, Old Bridge would threaten, getting runners at the corners with two outs via a walk and a single before Marlboro picked up a K to end the game.
Click below to hear Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue talk about the CJ4 semifinal loss, the 2021 season, and look ahead to 2022: