A complete preview of the 2022 GMC Tournament semifinals

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live play-by-play coverage of both GMC Tournament Semifinal games today from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech, presented by Dayton Toyota Service, Route 130 in South Brunswick!.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action starting at 11:35 am with the pregame show for Game One.

Thanks also to all our local sponsors for supporting the broadcast, and the fine student-athletes from all four schools:

  • Dayton Collision
  • Bellamy & Son Paving
  • Baseball Warehouse
  • New Jersey State Federation of Umpires, Mickey Sedlak Chapter
  • Woodbridge Township & Mayor John McCormac

Scroll down for a closer look at today’s games, including pitching matchups, each team’s path to the semifinals, team notes and stats, past coverage from this season, and each team’s tournament history.

Click above to learn more about how to be an umpire and join the NSJFU.

(6) NORTH BRUNSWICK (16-8) vs. (7) EAST BRUNSWICK (13-10), noon

How they got here: North Brunswick def. (11) Colonia 7-0 in the first round, def. (3) Middlesex 14-13 in the quarterfinals. East Brunswick def. (10) Spotswood 11-1 in the first round, def. (2) Monroe 4-2 in the quarterfinals.

Starting Pitchers: Zach Konstantinovsky for North Brunswick (5-1, 0.75 ERA). Michael Marchese for East Brunswick (5-3, 2.64 ERA)

Team Notes – North Brunswick:

For North Brunswick, Konstantinovsky – as always – is doing it at the plate and on the mound. The Rutgers-bound senior has struck out 94 batters, while walking only one, and he’ll need that pinpoint control and attack on the Barrons’ batters, as he’ll be limited to just 64 pitches, having already thrown 86 in six innings of first-round work against Colonia. At the plate, he’s second on the team behind Omar Carreras (.458) with a .385 batting average, knocking in a team-leading 24 RBIs. He also leads the Raiders with four home runs. The bats exploded in the 14-13 come-from-behind, almost-blew-it win against Middlesex in Wednesday’s quarterfinals on their home field at Community Park. Frandy Martinez and Konstantinovsky were both 3-for-4 with a home run, Martinez knocking in five runs and Konstantinovsky two.

More Coverage on North Brunswick:

Team Notes – East Brunswick:

East Brunswick may have ten losses, but four have come by just one run, and eight by three runs or less. It may not add up to wins, but they play tight games, and showed they can win them against Monroe in the quarterfinals, knocking out the No. 2 seed with a 4-2 victory after losing both regular season contests with the Falcons, by 3-2 and 2-1 scores. Ryan Basham is hitting .342 and leads the team in that and nearly every other offensive category, including singles (15), doubles (8) and triples (2), as well as slugging percentage (.486). He also pitched well against Spotswood in their second meeting of the week, Thursday in the Commander’s Cup game, another 4-2 win, to keep head coach Chris Kenney from having to use his bullpen. That’s a big deal, with the Bears playing their fourth game in five days today. (It would have been five, but Senior Day against Hightstown was rained out Friday).

More coverage on East Brunswick:

Tournament History:

Before last year’s appearance in the semifinals against South Brunswick, the Raiders’ hadn’t made the semis since 2010, when they went all the way to the finals.  They were a 16-seed and just 4-11 going into the semis that year. They beat Cinderella 20th-seed Carteret (which was just 9-12) to move on the finals for a second straight year, but the Raiders fell to South Brunswick, 9-2. Had they won, they would have become the lowest seeded team to win the GMC Tournament.  That was their second straight and second overall trip to the finals, having lost to St. Joseph 6-0 the year before, in 2009.

North Brunswick hasn’t been to the finals since that 2010 season. Their only two appearances came that year, and the year before. The Raiders were blanked by St. Joseph in the 2009 final 6-0, and lost 9-2 to South Brunswick in the 2010 title game.

It is East Brunswick’s first trip to the GMC Tournament semifinals since they won the whole thing in 2016.  They beat South Brunswick 10-0 in the semis to advance to the title game, where they beat JP Stevens 1-0 to win the Championship.

(1) ST. JOSEPH-METUCHEN (19-6) vs. (5) WOODBRIDGE (19-4), 2:30 pm

How they got here: St. Joseph def. (16) South River 5-0 in the first round, def. (9) South Brunswick 14-4 in the quarterfinals. Woodbridge def. (12) Metuchen 7-5 in the first round, def. (4) Old Bridge 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

Starting Pitchers: Donovan Zsak for St. Joseph (4-0, 0.75 ERA). Matt Troche for Woodbridge (4-1, 3.72 ERA)

Team Notes – St. Joseph:

St. Joseph has six losses, but only one coming to a GMC team, that being Old Bridge, which Woodbridge knocked off to get to this game. Zsak is a dominant pitcher who could get drafted right out of high school, even if missing all of last season due to injury. This is his first full year of high school ball since his freshman year, 2019, though he did pitch in the Mike Murray-organized Last Dance tournament in the summer of 2020. He’s got great control, striking out 43, while walking ten. Blessed with a bevy of arms they can throw at you all week, no pitch count issues here for the Falcons. Zsak is completely available, as is Andrew Goldan, who started against South Brunswick in the quarterfinals, but came out in the fourth with a comfortable lead. At the plate, pick your poison, with four players hitting .350 or better, including Mark Gialluisi at .476 and Josiah Brown at .419, then Tyler DelVecchio at .368, and Andrew Goldan at .364. The Falcons can also go yard, hitting nine homers, getting three each off the bats of Brown and Gialluisi, the latter of whom hit a grand-slam in the bottom of the sixth against South Brunswick that invoked the ten-run rule in walk-off fashion.

More Coverage on St. Joseph

Team Notes – Woodbridge:

Woodbridge has only lost to two teams this season, getting swept a pair by both Metuchen and Middlesex, who are both up from the GMC Blue this year; the Blue Jays won the White Division with the two victories over the Barrons right before the tournament seeding meeting. Senior Brett Lukachyk – whose brother Drew, a sophomore, may pitch in relief today – is tearing the cover off the ball, hitting .472 with 24 runs batted in. In a mild “upset” of fourth-seed Old Bridge in the quarterfinals, Ty Kobylakiewicz was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, but knocked in two runs, including what turned out to be the game-winner. The Barrons tuned up with a 10-0 win over Linden Thursday, which saw Josh Vazquez go a perfect three-for-three at the plate, with a trio of singles and 3 RBIs. Matt Troche gets the ball here, with Vazquez and Nunez out due to pitch counts and their starting efforts in the first two rounds of the tournament earlier this week.

Tournament History:

St. Joe’s is the defending champion, having beaten South Brunswick in last year’s GMCT Final, 2-0, behind a complete game from Andrew Goldan. In other recent history, St. Joseph made it to the semifinals in 2019, but lost to Old Bridge 2-1.  Their last title before last year was in 2017, when they blanked Monroe in the title game 1-0.

READ MORE: “Goldan!” St. Joes wins seventh GMC Tournament title behind scoreless, 10 K effort from Andrew Goldan

Woodbridge is seeking its first trip to the finals in almost a quarter century. In their only trip to the GMC title game, the Barrons beat in-town rival JFK 1-0. The Barrons’ last appearance in the semifinals was in 2017, when they lost 3-1 to Monroe, which eventually lost 1-0 to St. Joseph in the title game.

Potential Finals Matchups:

  • St. Joseph and East Brunswick have played once in the finals, with the Falcons winning 8-1 in 2005.
  • St. Joseph and North Brunswick have played once in the finals, with the Falcons winning 6-0 in 2009.
  • Woodbridge has never faced East Brunswick nor North Brunswick in the finals.  Their only trip was a 7-1 win over JFK in 2000.

Trivia:

We’ll send a Central Jersey Sports Radio t-shirt and hat combo to whoever can guess the correct answer to our trivia question, which we’ll give out in the fourth inning of Game One of the doubleheader, between East Brunswick and North Brunswick.

The first person to correctly tweet the answer to @cjsportsradio.com will win a heather grey, super soft t-shirt and a grey New Era cap with our logo on it. Good luck!

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