Author: Mike Pavlichko

Colonia stops three-game skid with 7-6 victory in backend of doubleheader with Woodbridge

It was a starting pitching performance that keyed Woodbridge in their 6-4 win in the opener of Saturday’s twinbill with in-town rival Colonia.

For the Patriots, a solid relief outing did the trick.

And it was from a kid who’d never pitched a varsity game before.

Junior Tyler Mendez relieved starter Harrison Brindley with two on and no one out in the third inning of Game Two, and got the next three hitters out. And though he allowed four more runs over the next four innings, it was enough to help the Patriots to a 7-6 victory as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

He only allowed four hits in his five innings of work, and fanned nine en route to the win out of the bullpen.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko speak with Tyler Mendez about his pitching performance and Colonia’s 7-6 win:

Woodbridge extends win streak to five with 6-4 win over Colonia in twinbill opener

After both team’s aces pitched in Thursday’s rainout, with neither available for Saturday’s doubleheader, Woodbridge coach Mike Monaco was looking for some help from the rest of his staff.

He got a pleasant surprise, and a senior delivered.

Matt Medvetz hadn’t pitched since Opening Day on April 19th against Edison, when he came out of the game with arm issues. Monaco had hoped he would be back Saturday to give the rest of this staff some rest.

Medvetz delivered, and then some.

The senior pitcher threw five innings to get the win, allowing just two earned runs on three hits, while striking out nine. Both runs came in the first, after which Medvetz settled down to even his record at 1-1.

But most importantly, it allowed Monaco to get some breathing room for the rest of the day.

Medvetz also helped his cause at the plate, doubling in a run in the first inning to help the Barrons to a 3-0 lead.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko speak with Mike Medvetz about his winning performance against in-town rival Colonia.

Colonia looks to stay unbeaten in GMC White in home doubleheader against cross-town rival Woodbridge

Though Colonia is just 2-2 in the early part of the 2021 high school baseball season, the Patriots have two out-of-conference losses, to Sparta and Immaculata.

That means they’re unbeaten in the GMC White Division, with a pair of wins over North Brunswick. And they’ll hope to continue that trend Saturday morning when they play a 10 am twin bill against Woodbridge, after rain wiped out their game in the third inning Thursday night.

The Patriots were leading 4-3 in the bottom of the third with Woodbridge at bat, and the Barrons had two runners on when the game was called.

The cancellation means they’ll restart that game from scratch Saturday, though the teams’ aces – who started Thursday’s game – won’t be able to pitch. Both Josh Vazquez for the Barrons and J.T. Kroner for the Patriots threw more than 50 pitches, which means two days rest is required and they wouldn’t be available until Sunday at the earliest.

WOODBRIDGE PREVIEW: Woodbridge takes four-game win streak into Colonia for twin-bill following rainout

Listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio for pregame coverage starting at 9:45 am as Mike Pavlichko will call all the action of both games. You can listen by clicking here. The game is sponsored by Woodbridge Township.

Click below to hear Colonia coach Mike Scialfo talk about his team’s season so far, and the matchup against Woodbridge:

Woodbridge takes four-game win streak into Colonia for twin-bill following rainout

Their aces were on the mound Thursday night, but Mother Nature had other plans.

Josh Vazquez of Woodbridge and Rutgers commit J.T. Kroner of Colonia were duking it out when the rains came, and stopped their game after 3 1/2 innings with the road Patriots ahead 4-3.

In the world of baseball, the stats don’t count, but at the high school level, the pitches do.

Since both eclipsed the 50 pitch mark, neither is available for what will now be a 10 am doubleheader Saturday at Colonia, which you can hear in its entirety on Central Jersey Sports radio by clicking here.

COLONIA PREVIEW: Colonia looks to stay unbeaten in GMC White in home doubleheader against cross-town rival Woodbridge

Coverage begins at 9:45 am with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action. The game is sponsored by Woodbridge Township.

The Barrons (4-2) enter the game on a four-game winning streak after two season-opening losses to Edison, while the Patriots (2-2) are looking to end a two-game skid, having dropped a pair of our-of-conference games to Sparta and Immaculata.

Click below to hear Woodbridge head coach Mike Monaco discuss the season so far, and preview Saturday’s doubleheader against in-town rival Colonia:

Return specialist Shawn Martin hopes to write next chapter at Southern Connecticut, but not before taking the diamond one last time

Shawn Martin returned four kickoffs for touchdowns last football season for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, amassing 414 yards on just six returns.

Sure, he only returned six, but that’s because no coach in his right mind would dare tell his players to kick the ball to the young man who would be the Central Jersey Sports Radio Special Teams Player of the Year.

But ask him now what his favorite return is? It’ll have nothing to do with football.

The 2019 football season was normal, of course, and 2020 was affected by COVID – but at least it happened.

Martin missed the entire baseball season last year when it got wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, only getting in a handful of games in the Last Dance Baseball Tournament.

So, right now, his favorite return is the one he just made this week back to the baseball field with his Scotch Plains teammates. (They just played their first game this week after a COVID-related pause.)

Martin is headed to Southern Connecticut State University, to play wherever he can get on the field for the owls, after a tumultuous recruiting season that tended to be the norm for high school athletes around the country, unless you’re a four- or five-star kid.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko caught up with Martin this week before his Raiders’ baseball team left for an afternoon game at A.L. Johnson.

Click below to listen:

Scotch Plains-Fanwood kick return specialist Shawn Martin

It was a big year for Barth, and he’s looking for an encore – and then some

Not many people came close to what Somerville’s Cookie Desiderio – the Central Jersey Sports Radio Offensive Player of the Year – did on the football field in 2020.

Of the few who did, Charlie Barth was one of them. And as CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year, the New Providence standout showed he could excel on both sides of the football.

READ MORE: When does he rest? Charlie Barth of New Providence is Two-Way Player of the Year

Plenty of football players come onto the field for offense and defense, but usually excel at one side more than the other. Not so with Barth, who led the Big Central, and was 4th in the state in rushing with 1,702 yards in a shortened seven-game regular season that included two weeks of “postseason.” He notched a touchdown every 7.4 carries, second in the league to Desiderio, and reached the goal line 25 times. On defense, he led the Big Central with 115 tackles, the tenth best total in the Garden State.

We caught up with Barth as we presented him a commemorative football for his efforts, while his former lacrosse teammates practiced behind him. Barth played lacrosse as a freshman, and didn’t have a season last year due to the COVID-19 shutdown, but is sitting out this year to spend more time in the weight room getting ready for what hen hopes will be a big senior season on the gridiron.

New Providence standout Charlie Barth and his head coach Chet Parlavecchio talk about Barth’s excellent 2020 season, and look ahead to 2021.

Somerville’s dynamic duo – Cookie and AJ – taking divergent paths after H.S., with big hopes for the future

One is taking a prep year more than 200 miles from the field where he wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

Not to be outdone, the other will travel about a thousand miles from the Gus Vanderbeek Athletic Complex to train with some of the best future college stars in the nation.

But both are looking toward big college futures beyond that.

The coronavirus pandemic left a lot of uncertainty in college football recruiting circles, unless you were being recruited by a big FCS school that played in the fall. Sure, schools like Rutgers had their share of question marks with the transfer portal, but an extra year of NCAA eligibility left a lot of FBS schools that played this spring with more questions than answers, and that trickled down all the way to high school, affecting guys like Somerville’s star running back Cookie Desiderio, and disruptive defensive end A.J. Pena.

Desiderio was named Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2020, averaging a touchdown every 5.8 carries, the best such ratio in the state. He’s going to the IMG Academy in Florida.

LOOK BACK: Cookie Monster! Somerville’s Desiderio named Big Central Offensive Player of the Year

Pena was named CJSR’s Defensive Player of the Year, with 44 tackles and 12 sacks in just seven games. He’ll be prepping at the Milford Academy in upstate New York.

LOOK BACK: A disruptive force, Somerville’s Pena named Defensive Player of the Year

We caught up with the pair recently, as we presented them with commemorative footballs marking their honors, as well as head coach Dallas Whitaker, who accepted the CJSR Team of the Year ball. The Pioneers finished 7-0, the only undefeated team in the Big Central Conference.

STELLAR SEASON: Somerville is Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first “Team of the Year”

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talking with Somerville’s Cookie Desiderio, A.J. Pena, and head coach Dallas Whitaker:

40 teams from across New Jersey set to compete, raise awareness at Autism Challenge this weekend

When it started in 2008, there were just eight Greater Middlesex Conference teams taking part.

Thirteen years later – after a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 – this weekend’s Autism Awareness Challenge at North Brunswick’s Community Park will feature 40 high school baseball teams from all over the Garden State – including 16 from the GMC and another five from Somerset County.

The theme is “More than just a game,” says Mike Garlatti, who heads up Baseball Warehouse in Highland Park, is a Colorado Rockies scout, and is a former Rutgers assistant under the late Fred Hill on the team that was a win away from the College World Series in 1990).

Garlatti started the Teamwork Unlimited Foundation a couple of years after the 2008 event, which didn’t even have a fundraising component; it was simply dedicated to raising awareness about autism, after his son was diagnosed and found to be on the spectrum.

The Foundation now distributes money raised to autism support services and related groups. Scholarships are also handed out.

Garlatti spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio about this weekend’s event. Click below to listen, and scroll down for a YouTube video about the event, as well as this weekend’s full schedule:

Mike Garlatti of Teamwork Unlimited Foundation talks with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko about the 2021 Autism Awareness Challenge.

2021 Autism Awareness Challenge

Friday, April 23

4 pm: Piscataway Tech vs Carteret, St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Spotswood
7 pm: South Plainfield vs. Millburn, Somerville vs. St. Joseph-Metuchen

Saturday, April 24

10 am: JP Stevens vs. Governor Livingston, Metuchen vs. Bernards
1 pm: Cranford vs. South Brunswick, Voorhees vs. West Morris
4 pm: Red Bank Catholic vs. Delbarton, Ridge vs. Mendham
7 pm: Randolph vs. Jackson, Middletown South vs. Ramapo

Sunday, April 25

10 am: Rahway vs. South Amboy, East Brunswick Tech vs. South River
1 pm: Gill St. Bernard’s vs. Livingston, Edison vs. Barnegat
4 pm: Holy Spirit vs. Pope John, Don Bosco Prep vs. Old Bridge
7 pm: Passaic* vs. Elizabeth, North Brunswick vs. Hillsborough

*Passaic was a late replacement for Sayreville.
Dates, times and matchups subject to change.

All games will be streamed on GameKast Live.

Follow Team Work Unlimited Foundation on Twitter at @teamworkunlimit for schedule updates and more, including how to make a donation.

Edison gets a gem from LaPelosa to take out Woodbridge on Opening Day

Dom LaPelosa worked quickly, and after giving up a run in the top of the first, settled in to pitch a gem of a ballgame.

And it helped Edison beat Woodbridge 10-4 on Opening Day in the first official high school baseball game played on the school’s year-old, brand-new red and gold field.

LaPelosa – who got the win – gave up a run on an RBI triple by Barrons starter Matt Medvetz, but that was all he’d let up. LaPelosa got on a roll, especially in the middle innings.

To wit, he struck out four straight batters at one point, fanning the side in the fourth. He retired seven straight following a leadoff double in the third before giving up a one-out single in the fifth. And he retired 12 of the final 14 batters he face.

LaPelosa finished with eight strikeouts and two walks, allowing just four hits and one earned run in picking up the win.

Offensively, first baseman Sal DellaFave helped break the game open in the 5th inning. Up 7-1 with two on and one out, he blasted a mammoth three-run homer about 350-feet over the wall in left center off reliever Brendan Schmitt.

Starter Matt Medvetz took the loss for Woodbridge.

After the game, Mike Pavlichko spoke with LaPelosa, while Chris Tsakonas spoke with DellaFave and Edison head coach Vinny Abene. Click below to listen.

Edison starting pitcher Dom LaPelosa
Edison 1B Sal DellaFave
Edison Head Coach Vinny Abene

Instant Replay: LaPelosa’s gem and Edison bats power Eagles to 10-4 win over Woodbridge

The entire 2020 high school baseball season was wiped out by COVID-19, but Edison had no trouble making up for lost time.

Starting pitcher Dom LaPelosa struck out seven and allowed just four hits and an earned run, while Sal DellaFave clubbed a 350-foot homer to left-center that gave the Eagles a 10-4 Opening Day victory over Woodbridge.

The two will complete the home-and-home series to start the season with a 4 pm game at Woodbridge on Tuesday.

Click below to listen to the full game broadcast, as Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the action on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click here for Central Jersey Sports Radio’s full broadcast schedule, and check back often as we plan on adding more games.