It wasn’t as dramatic as the grand slam Bobby Ulmer hit Monday to send Middlesex to the Group 1 title game – after all, it was a seeing-eye single – but its importance, ultimately, was even greater, owing to the bigger stage,
Mark Geist’s two-out single to left just past a diving Dean Licari at third base won Middlesex their third Group 1 title in the last four seasons, as they beat New Providence 4-3 in 13 innings, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.
Middlesex got a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI double by Matt Venutolo, and it held til the seventh.
But in the top of the seventh, New Providence got to Jays’ starter Raiden Yost for 3 runs – one allowed by reliever Stephen Young – to take a 3-1 lead.
Still, as Middlesex has shown time and time again in the postseason, they’re never out of it.
Matt Venutolo led off with an infield hit, then Mark Geist – who would later be the hero – walked. A bunt by Ty Nicolay moved the runners up. Stephen Young’s walk loaded the bases, before a sac fly by Anthony Long got Middlesex within one, and Ryan Vollmer’s single tied the game.
That’s the way it would stay until the 13th, thanks to the brilliant pitching of Stephen Yong, who came in with two outs in the seventh, and finished the game to get the win.
In the 13th inning, Bobby Ulmer – the walk-off grand slam hero Monday in the semis against Woodstown – drew a leadoff walk.
A.J. West laid down a sac bunt that moved Ulmer to third, and a grounder to second by Venutolo pushed him to third. That’s when Geist pushed a pitch past the third baseman, bringing Middlesex the championship.
The Blue Jays finish 22-4, winning their seventh state title in program history, in ten tries.
Click below to hear postgame reaction from Middlesex’s Group 1 title game win: