Colonia wins pitchers duel, as Kroner outlasts Appleman, and helps his cause at the plate

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: J.T. Kroner is getting it done on the mound and at the plate for Colonia.

It’s been true all year, and it was true Monday afternoon as the Patriots blanked Edison at home 1-0 on Pat Barbato Way.

Kroner threw 109 pitches and got the win, fanning 10 batters in a two-hit shutout. His RBI triple in the third inning scored Harriosn Brindley, and wound up being the difference.

Edison freshmanJaxon Appelman wasn’t far off Kroner’s pace on the mound though. He allowed just one run and only four hits, while striking out 11, and walking only two.

Both pitchers went the distance.

The teams will rematch Tuesday on Central Jersey Sports Radio, as the home-and-home series shifts to Edison. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action, with pre-game set for 3:45 from Boulevard of the Eagles, and first pitch set for 4 pm.

You can hear the game by clicking here.

Edison looks to right ship in home-and-home with Colonia

After winning five straight to start the season, Edison has dropped four of its last six, but the opponents have been tough.

They’ve dropped two to South Plainfield, the GMC White Division leader whose only blemish was a tie this weekend against North Brunswick. Another loss came to Middlesex, the Blue Division’s top team. And they split with North Brunswick, a literal tough out in the division.

Pitching has been a part of it, as has defense, according to head coach Vinny Abene. But the bats have cooled a bit, too.

The Eagles scored an average of 11 runs a game in their first five, but have only plated 11 runs total in their last six games.

Of course, three runs in the sixth to beat in-town rival JP Stevens this weekend was no slouch of an effort, and the Eagles hope to maintain that timely hitting when they face divisional foe Colonia in a home-and-home series that starts on the road this afternoon at 4 pm.

Freshman Jaxon Appelman is scheduled to get the start in Monday’s series opener.

The teams will play in Edison tomorrow at 4 pm, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio by clicking here. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will have the call, with pregame starting at 3:45.

The game will be sponsored locally by Ideal Tire of Edison, the Edison Boys’ Baseball League, and NIck’s Meat Depot.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Edison head coach Vinny Abene about the series with Colonia:

Colonia ace Kroner set to start big divisional series against Edison

Having gone 2-3 in their last five games – including what head coach Mike Scialfo called a disappointing split against in-town rival JFK – the Colonia Patriots have a big series Monday and Tuesday against Edison.

And who better to kick off that big series than J.T. Kroner. The Rutgers-bound senior has been lights out, most recently pitching a complete-game one-hitter in the Pats’ win over Kennedy last week.

Colonia hosts Edison in a 4 pm game Monday, while the two will play in Edison Tuesday at 4pm, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio by clicking here. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action LIVE from the Boulevard of the Eagles.

Tuesday’s game is sponsored locally by the Edison Boys’ Baseball League, Ideal Tire of Edison, and Nick’s Meat Depot.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko discuss the Edison series with Colonia head coach Mike Scialfo:

New Carteret head coach will bring back old-style Carteret football

Run the ball, and stop the run.

It was a recipe for success for many years for successful Carteret coaches like Jeff Weiner, Bob Molarz and Matt Yascko.

So, while new Rambler head coach Kevin Freeman looks to the future, he’s also looking to the past, as part of an effort to keep things simple for a 2021 squad that will be his first as a head coach, and the first varsity season for virtually the entire team.

Click below to hear new Carteret head coach Kevin Freeman talk about how he got the job, and his plans for the Ramblers in 2021 and beyond:

Freeman’s hire was approved last week by the Board of Education.

No stranger to the Carteret program, Freeman was an all-state linebacker for Weiner in the 1990s, then played defensive end at West Virginia for Don Nehlen. He’s shown here in his playing days for the Mountaineers.

He was hired in 2019 by then-Carteret head coach Matt Yascko to coach the offensive line and linebackers.

Freeman will have a unique challenge, in that Carteret shut down all fall sports last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, any senior on the team would have only played in the Rambler program as a sophomore.

For now, Freeman’s emphasis is on the weight room, which he believes will be the great equalizer for Carteret in 2021. He’ll keep the game plan simple: run it, and stop the run on defense.

Freeman returns only two players with varsity experience.

Click below to hear Freeman talk about those two players: OL/DE Jehu Andrews and LB/FB Mark Gonzalez:

St. Joseph-Metuchen tops Old Bridge 4-1 on strong outing from Goldan

Junior starting pitcher Andrew Goldan no-hit Old Bridge through five innings before being pulled due to his pitch count, leading St. Joseph-Metuchen to a 4-1 road in in GMC Red Division action, as heard Monday afternoon on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Goldan walked three and struck out six in five innings of work, allowing no hits and no runs, and facing just three more than the minimum number of batters.

The Falcons jumped on the board in the first inning, as leadoff man Xavier Arana – who’d walked – came in to score on an attempt to steal third when Old Bridge catcher Giovanni Aresta’s throw sailed into left field.

St. Joe’s picked up two more runs in the fourth on a double by nine-hitter Josiah Brown, and Colin Leyner’s RBI double in the fifth added another run.

POSTGAME REACTION: Goldan no-hits Old Bridge through five en route to St. Joe’s win

Old Bridge didn’t get on the board until the bottom of the seventh, when pinch-hitter Matt Hefter drove in drove in Nick Ong, who’d led off with a triple. But the game ended with a runner on when Jason Gilman grounded into a 6-2 double-play, as Brown – the St. Joe’s shortstop – fielded the ball while gliding across second base to retire the baserunner, then threw to first to get the final out.

Click below to hear the complete game broadcast of St. Joe’s 4-1 win over Old Bridge:

Goldan no-hits Old Bridge through five en route to St. Joe’s win

St. Joseph junior Andrew Goldan knew he could only throw about 75 pitches heading into Monday’s game at Old Bridge.

Having had a ten-day layoff between appearances due to some tendinitis in his throwing arm, and having thrown over 40 pitches in a relief win over South Brunswick Saturday, head coach Mike Murray had him on a strict pitch count.

So despite having no-hit the Knights through five innings of work, Goldan’s day was done. And it was a sold day’s work, which the bullpen closed out for a 4-1 win over Old Bridge in a GMC Red Division game.

He faced only three more batters than the minimum and set Old Bridge down 1-2-3 in three of his five innings. The final book said no runs, no hits, three walks and six strikeouts and rarely went deep in the count, only reaching three balls on the three hitters he walked.

The win improves St. Joe’s to 7-3 overall, and 7-0 in the GMC Red Division, where they remain tied with Monroe for first place. The Falcons improved to 7-0 in the division with a 3-1 home win Monday over Perth Amboy.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from St. Joe’s 4-1 win over Old Bridge.

St. Joseph junior pitcher Andrew Goldan
St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray

St. Joseph puts unbeaten streak on the line Monday in first of home-and-home with Old Bridge

With a combination of good pitching and timely hitting – isn’t that always the case? – the St. Joseph-Metuchen baseball team is off to a fast start, particularly in the GMC White Division.

Andrew Goldan has done both.

He’ll get the nod today on the mount for the Falcons (6-3) against Old Bridge (2-4) when the two meet at Fred Cold Field in Old Bridge. Game time is at 3:45, with air-time set for 3:30 on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action by clicking here.

The broadcast is sponsored in part by Baseball Warehouse and Derby Appliances.

Goldan is coming off a ten-day layoff due to tendinitis, but got into the swing of things in a late week/weekend series against South Brunswick. Against the Vikings Thursday, he hit a solo homer to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead, then had a walk-off single to win their rematch Saturday.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray about the season so far and Monday’s matchup with Old Bridge:

Audio: Listen to all of Woodbridge freshman Eddy Nunez’ 14 strikeouts against Colonia

Though he allowed six runs in six innings of work, Woodbridge freshman Eddy Nunez was on fire Saturday afternoon, striking out 14 batters in Game Two of a doubleheader won by Colonia 7-6.

That appears to be a record for a Barron freshman, topping what head coach Mike Monaco believes was the previous record: a 13-strikeout effort by now-Rutgers ace Harry Rutkowski back in 2014. Rutkowski fanned 13 in a 3-2 loss at Sayreville in his freshman debut.

Rutkowski graduated from Woodbridge in 2019 with 19 career double-digit strikeout games. His best effort in the “K” department came on Opening Day in 2015, when he fanned 16 Governors in a 2-0 win over South Amboy. That mark also is believed to be a single-game record for the Barrons.

Click below to listen to an audio montage of all 14 strikeouts by Woodbridge freshman Eddy Nunez, as called by Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

After a late start, Old Bridge hopes to keep its newfound groove going against St. Joe’s

When the Old Bridge baseball team scheduled its April 19th Opening Day game for a ceremony to honor longtime former coach Fred Cole by naming the field after him, they had no idea the varsity team wouldn’t be able to make it.

A COVID shutdown not only kept the current Knights from the ceremony – though the JV team was able to attend – but it kept them from playing until six days later, and against Don Bosco Prep, at that.

With a team that has only one returning player with varsity experience – centerfielder Jason Gilman – that was a tall order, and as Old Bridge tried to find itself, the Knights got off to an 0-4 start, with losses to Bosco, St. Peter’s Prep, and two games to Monroe, the GMC Red Division leader.

But against Piscataway, the bats exploded, for a 6-1 victory Thursday – their first at newly-named Fred Cole Field – and a 15-10 road win against the Chiefs Saturday afternoon. They’re now 2-4, and looking for more Ws.

Monday, they take on St. Joseph-Metuchen (6-2) at home, in a game you can hear LIVE on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action. Game time is 3:45, air-time is 3:30. Click here to listen.

Monday’s game is sponsored in part by Baseball Warehouse, and Derby Appliance.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue about the Knights’ early season:

Individual pitching highlights Woodbridge and Colonia split doubleheader in battle of cross-town rivals

It might sound counterintuitive to say that pitching highlighted a doubleheader in which a combined 23 runs were scored, but both Woodbridge and Colonia got some highlight efforts Saturday afternoon as they split a doubleheader in Colonia.

The twinbill – heard Saturday on Central Jersey Sports Radio and sponsored by Woodbridge Township – was made necessary when Thursday’s matchup under the lights at Woodbridge was called due to rain in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Patriots up 4-3.

In Game One, the Barrons won 6-4 to extend their winning streak to five games. Starting pitcher Matt Medvetz went five innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 earned runs, striking out 9 Colonia batters. His performance was much-needed considering the Barrons’ ace, Josh Vazquez – like Pats’ ace J.T. Kroner – threw over 50 pitches in Thursdays’s rainout and was unavailable Saturday.

Click below to hear a replay of Game One. (Woodbridge 6, Colonia 4)

Due to technical issues, the game is joined in progress beginning with Woodbridge leadoff hitter A.J. Bosch at the plate in the top of the first inning.

In Game Two, Colonia’s Tyler Mendez – making his first varsity appearance – came on in relief of starter Harrison Brindley and pitched five solid innings out of the ‘pen. Though he allowed four runs, it was the length of the outing that was key, preventing head coach Mike Scialfo from having to go further into his bench.

But even in defeat, Woodbridge got a thrilling and gutsy performance from freshman Eddy Nunez, who struck out 14 in six innings of work. That’s at least a recent best for a freshman at Woodbridge, though whether it’s a record is unknown.

Current Rutgers ace Harry Rutkowski struck out a season-high 13 in his freshman debut on April 12, 2014 in a 3-2 loss at Sayreville.

The strikeouts were the thrilling part. The gutsy part came in the fourth inning when Nunez, already nine strikeouts into his day, was drilled on the right shoulder – his throwing arm – by a line drive off the bat of Colonia second baseman Benjie Pabon.

It caromed to first baseman Matt Medvetz, who stepped on the bag for the out, and after a brief delay, Nunez walked it off, stayed in the game, and struck out five more batters.

Click below to hear a replay of Game Two. (Colonia 7, Woodbridge 6)

Colonia snapped a three-game skid with the Game Two victory, improving to 3-3. Woodbridge had its five-game win streak snapped in the second game, and drops to 5-3.