Rain pushed Monday’s first round GMC Tournament action back a day, but Tuesday was clear sailing – not just for playing the games, but for most of the higher seeds.
Ninth-seed South Brunswick was the only lower seed to win Tuesday, as the Vikings won at 8-seed South Plainfield behind another stellar performance from Joey Tuttoilmondo.
The senior set two program strikeout records with his 17 Ks against the Tigers. First, he broke Jacob Ciccone’s career strikeout mark of 180 from 2016-2019, ending the day with 186. What’s astounding is that he did it in three years, missing his sophomore year when the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
Later in the game, he set a new single-season mark, passing Mark Langone’s record of 85 set in 1979. Tuttoilmondo now has 87 on the year.
South Brunswick won on a two-RBI single by Teonis Pimentel in the top of the seventh, and reliever Mattox Lim came in to get the final out in the bottom of the inning for the save.
Click below to hear South Brunswick head coach Tim Sweeney talk about the win:
The Vikings will go on to Wednesday’s quarterfinals at North Brunswick Community Park, where they’ll play top-seed St. Joseph of Metuchen, which stopped 16th-seed South River’s 14-game win streak with a 5-0 home win over the Rams.
The Falcons – blessed with tremendous pitching depth – got a solid outing from Jimmy Mulvaney, who struck out six through six innings of one-hit ball.
That sets up Joe’s with two equally talented starting pitchers should they make it to Saturday’s semifinals, a potential stretch of three tournament games in five days. Andrew Goldan is expected to get the nod over Donovan Szak Wednesday against South Brunswick’s Nolan Watlington.
The Falcons won both regular season meetings with the Vikings this year, 4-2 and 14-3, back in mid-April.
Click below to hear St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray talk about the win:
In the other half of that side of the bracket, 4th-seed Old Bridge – the only team in the GMC to beat St. Joseph this year – blanked St. Thomas Aquinas 7-0 at Fred Cole Field. Giovanni Fuda drove in three runs for the Knights, who made their season debut in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten this week.
Old Bridge will play the 5th-seed Woodbridge, which beat 12-seed Metuchen 7-5 Tuesday night under the lights, in a back and forth affair.
A pair of mid-April losses to the Bulldogs, 7-0 and 11-1, might have cost the Barrons a higher seed in the tourney; it left them tied with Middlesex for the White Division title heading into the last two games before the seeding meeting. They dropped both to the Blue Jays.
Not only have the Knights and Barrons not played each other this year, but the two haven’t met on a baseball diamond since April 29, 2013, when Old Bridge won 2-0 at Woodbridge.
Click below to hear Woodbridge head coach Mike Monaco break down the Metuchen win, and preview the matchup with Old Bridge:
On the other side of the bracket, it will be 2-seed Monroe and 7-seed East Brunswick meeting in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The Falcons got by 15-seed Edison 3-2 at home, while the Bears routed 10-seed Spotswood 11-1.
Monroe beat East Brunswick in a pair of close games earlier this month, 3-2 and 2-1.
East Brunswick and the Chargers will meet again Thursday in the Commander’s Cup Trophy Game, which will be broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio. First pitch is at 4 pm. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action, with pregame at 3:45. Click here to listen.
The other quarterfinal matchup on that side of the bracket will be third-seed Middlesex against 6th-seed North Brunswick. The Blue Jays got by 14th-seed Perth Amboy 7-5, while North Brunswick shutout 11th-seed Colonia on the road, 7-1.
The Raiders were the higher seed by had to play the game at Colonia – which has turf – since none of their home fields could be played on after Monday’s rain storms.
Middlesex and North Brunswick split a doubleheader earlier this year – heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – as the Raiders took the opener 4-3, but the Jays won Game Two 15-10
GMC TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE:
All games at North Brunswick Community Park:
(4) Old Bridge vs. (5) Woodbridge
(3) Middlesex vs. (6) North Brunswick
(2) Monroe vs. (7) East Brunswick
(1) St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. (9) South Brunswick