North Brunswick, No. 10 Middlesex split doubleheader, as Raiders and Blue Jays each rally late

Middlesex sophomore Alfonso Esposito pitches against North Brunswick at Mountainview Park on April 15, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Game One was a low-scoring affair, and the bats came alive in Game Two.

But each team – North Brunswick and 10th-ranked Middlesex – rallied late to win a game each and split a doubleheader after a rainy forecast postponed Friday night’s opener to the home-and-home series in North Brunswick.

In the first game, the Raiders – designated the road team due to the rain out – fell behind 2-0 after one inning, and trailed 3-0 heading into the fourth. But North Brunswick got on the board with two runs that inning, and tied the game at three in the fifth on an RBI single by starting pitcher Zach Konstantinovsky, essentially getting the junior Rutgers-commit off the hook for a loss.

Headed to extra innings tied at three, the teams played a scoreless eighth, but in the bottom of the ninth, North Brunswick broke through. Konstantinovsky led off with a single, and stole second. After Omar Carreras flied out to center, Frankie Garbolino singled and moved the lead runner to third.

Konstantinovsky came in to score when Pat McCann grounded a shot up the middle, which hit the mound, and died on the natural grass surface as the two Blue Jay middle infielders couldn’t get to it in time to make a play at the plate, giving the Raiders a 4-3 win.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from North Brunswick head coach Mark Blevins and starting pitcher Zack Konstantinovsky:

Rutgers-bound junior Zack Konstantinovsky didn’t get the win in Game One of a doubleheader against North Brunswick, but he scored the winning run in a 4-3 victory in 9 innings. He struck out 15, allowing just three runs, two earned. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

In Game Two of the doubleheader, North Brunswick struck first, as the Raiders scored four runs to open the game, though Middlesex chipped back with two in their half of the first inning.

North Brunswick went up 7-2, saw the lead shring to 7-6 by the end of three, then added two in the fourth to make it 9-6. The Blue Jays picked up two in the fifth to get to within a run again at 9-8 before they would explode for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Blue Jays sent eleven batters to the plate in the decisive inning on only three hits. There were two walks, a hit batsman, and one reach on an error.

Then, Stephen Young – who allowed North Brunswick’s game-winning run in the opener and was chased from his start in the first inning of Game Two – came in with runners at first and second and nobody out to get his team out of the jam. He struck out Kyle Anderson, walked Aaron Neder, and then got Yomar Carreras to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double-play.

With the twinbill split, North Brunswick is now 4-4; Middlesex is 5-2.

Click below to hear from left fielder Bobby Ulmer – who had two doubles, a triple – and three RBI on the day – and pitcher Stephen Young:

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