It wasn’t quite the seven-run seventh inning over Middlesex in the county tournament, but in a world of survive and advance, it’ll do.
Fresh off its first-ever GMCT Championship, North Brunswick found itself down by a run heading into the seventh inning of its opening round Central Jersey Group 4 NJSIAA playoff game against rival South Brunswick. They had just three outs to work with.
Turns out they didn’t need any of them. And it happened so quickly, too.
EJ Accetura led off with a double, and Frandy Martinez singled to put runners at the corners for Yomar Carreras, who walked to load the bases. Power-hitting Zack Konstantinovsky – hot off a three-hit complete game to win the GMC Tournament title Sunday – hit a hard liner to short for an infield hit to tie the game. Up came Omar Carreras, who already had a walk-off homer to beat East Brunswick earlier this year, somewhat of a turning point for the Raiders.
But he didn’t need to swing for the fences. He just drove a simple single to right field to score Frandy Martinez, and give 5th-seed North Brunswick a come-from-behind 5-4 win to advance to Saturday’s sectional quarterfinals.
Bing, bang, boom.
The win puts the Raiders at 21-9 on the season, setting a new program mark for wins in a season, besting the 1983 team that had 20, according to Korbis Thompson, who covers North Brunswick baseball on the King James Radio Network. That team also won the Central Jersey Group 2 title, the first of two the Raiders have won – the other in 1984.
It was also the Raiders’ tenth win in their last eleven games. Since starting the season 5-6, North Brunswick – now No. 2 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten after the GMC final upset of St. JOseph-Metuchen – has won 16 of its last 19 games.
Next up, the Raiders travel to 4th-seed Northern Burlington (17-8) for the quarterfinals. Game time is TBA.
Click below to hear postgame reaction from North Brunswick head coach Mark Blevins: