Category: High School Baseball

Instant Replay: Group 1 State Final – Middlesex 4, New Providence 3 (13 inn.)

The Middlesex Blue Jays won their seventh overall state championship – and sixth in the Group Final era – by beating New Providence 4-3 in 13 innings on a walk-off single by senior catcher Mark Geist.

Scorll down to hear the full game broadcast, as originally heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The victory was Middlesex’s third straight in walk-off fashion, fourth if you count their mercy-rule walkoff against Florence in the sectional semifinals.

Middlesex won the Central Jersey Group One title 2-1 over Point Pleasant Beach on June 11th on a bases loaded fielder’s choice, which turned out to be a throwing error on the Gulls’ second baseman. As thrilling as it was, the score was only tied at one, and the bases were loaded with nobody out, much less of a pressure situation than would come a few days later.

On the following Monday, trailing 5-3 after allowing a grand slam to South 1 champ Woodstown in the group semifinals, Middlesex was down to its final strike with junior Bobby Ulmer at the plate, and he hit an 0-2 pitch with two out over the left field wall for a grand slam of his own, to give Middlesex a stirring 7-5 win.

Which made it all the more intriguing when the Blue Jays took a slim, 1-0 lead into the seventh against New Providence in the state Group 1 final. Three outs away from a championship, the Pioneers nickeled and dimed Middlesex for three runs to take a 3-1 lead.

But as Middlesex had proven in the postseason, they may be down, but are never out.

They tied the game at three and sent it to extra innings.

Then more extra innings, then still more.

Ultimately, after Stephen Young came on in relief in the seventh and held New Providence scoreless for 6 and 2/3 innings, Middlesex got its shot.

Perhaps fittingly, it was Ulmer – the local legend born just a few days earlier – who got the rally started with a leadoff walk. A sac bunt moved him to second, and a groundout to the right side of the infield moved him to third.

That’s when senior catcher Mark Geist’s seeing eye single between third and short brought home Ulmer with two out, and set off a celebration that continued back in Middlesex with an escort from police and fire trucks when they arrived back home from Veterans’ Park in Hamilton.

Click below to hear the complete game broadcast, including the 45-minute pregame show featuring interviews with players and coaches, as well as Middlesex Athletic Director Mike O’Donnell. Listen as Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino bring you the call:

Instant replay: Middlesex 7, Woodstown 5 (Group 1 semifinals)

In a game that featured two grand slams, Bobby Ulmer’s walkoff in the bottom of the seventh will be the stuff of legend.

Oh, who are we kidding? It already is.

In an 0-and-2 hole, the junior slugged a pitch from reliever Lucas Prendergast over the left field wall to give his Blue Jays a 7-5 win over Woodstown, sending Middlesex to the Group 1 finals for the fourth time under head coach Justin Nastasi in his six season at the school.

Click below to hear the complete Central Jersey Sports Radio broadcast of Middlesex’s 7-5 win over Woodstown in the Group 1 semifinals:

Instant Replay: Middlesex beats Point Beach 2-1 for CJ1 title, heads to state semis

The strong suit of the Middlesex Blue Jays in the NJSIAA playoffs has been pitching.

Not that the hitting hasn’t been good, but the pitching has been stellar.

Middlesex got both Friday afternoon, as the top-seeded Blue Jays beat 6th-seed Point Pleasant Beach for the third straight time in the Central Jersey Group 1 finals to win the section for the fourth straight season, and the fifth time in six seasons under head coach Justin Nastasi.

Middlesex got two on in the bottom of the seventh with the game tied at one, then Stephen Young was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Point appeared to get what it wanted: a chopper hit to second base by Anthony Long with the infield in. But a wide throw home on the force out attempt let Mark Geist come in to score, giving the Blue Jays a 2-1 walkoff win.

Not a lot of hits. Timely hits.

The win gives Middlesex a shot at a fourth straight trip to the statewide Group One finals. They won in 2017 and 2018, but lost in the Group One semifinals to Glassboro in 2019.

Click below to hear the complete game broadcast of Middlesex vs. Point Pleasant Beach in the Central Jersey Group 1 championship game:

Instant Replay: Middlesex gains another CJ1 final with 11-0 “walkoff” against Florence

It’s another trip to the Central Jersey Group 1 Championship Game for Middlesex.

The top-seeded Blue Jays beat 12th-seed Florence in the sectional semifinals Wednesday afternoon at Mountainview Park by a score of 11-1, behind solid pitching from sophomore Aidan Kozak, and two big innings offensively.

Kozak got the last-minute start in place of Raiden Yost on what head coach Justin Nastasi called a “gut feeling.” And the sophomore didn’t disappoint.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, Kozak struck out ten and allowed just two hits. He allowed just four baserunners in his five innings of work.

Most importantly, it leaves Yost and ace Stephen Young free and clear of pitch count limits for Friday’s sectional title game against 6th-seed Point Pleasant Beach, the third straight meeting in the sectional final between the Blue Jays and the Garnet Gulls.

At the plate, Middlesex banged out nine hits, including a two-run homer from catcher Mark Geist in the fourth inning, and a three-run homer by Ryan Vollmer later in the frame.

The Blue Jays had gotten out to a three-nothing lead in the second on a bases loaded walk by Ty Nicolay, and a two-RBI double by Young.

Then, the Blue Jays put the game away in the fifth, with a small, but strong, thunderstorm approaching.

In the midst of two pauses when thunder forced the umpires to get together for a quick discussion, Geist drove in a run to make it 9-0 with an RBI single before Vollmer delivered the decisive blow, a two-RBI single over the head of centerfielder Nick Corsi – who had started the game on the mound – that invoked the mercy rule.

Click below to listen to the complete Central Jersey Group 1 semifinal game broadcast:

Instant Replay: 7th Heaven for St. Joseph as Falcons win GMC title behind another Goldan gem

Andrew Goldan wasn’t on the mound when his 2nd-seeded Falcons recorded the final out.

He couldn’t be, because of his pitch count limit.

But Colin Leyner put the exclamation point on it for him, striking out Joey Chegus to finish setting down 5th-seed South Brunswick 1-2-3 in the seventh, giving the Falcons a 2-0 win and the GMC Championship.

St. Joe’s improved to 7-1 all-time in GMC title games, all since 2004, which was their first appearance.

And they did it once again behind the strong arm of Andrew Goldan.

Here was the line for the junior Sunday afternoon: 6 2/3 innings, 2 hits, no runs, one hit batter, and ten strikeouts, including the first two hitters he faced in the top of the seventh.

Here was the line for Goldan in the GMC Tournament: 20 1/3 innings, 9 hits, 5 walks, 20 strikeouts, with a 0.34 ERA.

Not only was he unstoppable Sunday, but he was unflappable, escaping some tricky situations.

There was first and third with one out in the second after he plunked South Brunswick’s Jared Lauri on the back of the helmet with one out, and allowed an infield hit to Ryan Kessler. But he fanned the next two batters to escape.

Two innings later, he allowed a leadoff single to Pete Cortez, who advanced to third when Kessler reached on a throwing error byt the Falcons’ shortstop. Again a pair of Ks left Goldan and St. Joe’s unscathed.

In the fifth, Logan Blevins led off with an infield hit, then a walk by drawn by Frankie Sanchez left first and second with two out. But Cortez grounded into a force out, 4-6.

Those were the only innings South Brunswick managed any baserunners.

Click below to hear the full game broadcast – including the extended pregame show – of the GMC Tournament Championship Game, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving:

Instant Replay: St. Joseph back in GMC finals on another strong outing from Goldan

There was one pitch he wanted back, but in the end it didn’t matter.

Junior Andrew Goldan three-hit Edison Monday afternoon, as 2nd-seeded St. Joseph of Metuchen beat the 6th-seeded Eagles 3-1 in the GMC Tournament semifinals heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

The win earned Joe’s its seventh trip to the finals since 2004, where they are unbeaten in six prior trips, the last coming in 2017.

Goldan finished the day with six strikeouts, and the only run he allowed was on a one-out homer in the sixth inning by Edison shortstop Walker Zampella. He buckled down to get a ground out and fly out after that, and despite a minor threat in the top of the seventh by the Eagles, was never in any serious trouble.

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The Falcons also managed only three hits in the game, as Mark Gialluisi scored in the first on a single by Robbie Carvelli.

St. Joe’s added two more runs in the third, when Carvelli singled again with two on, and Tyler Delvecchio grounded into a 4-6-3 double play with a runner on third.

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Falcons’ head coach Mike Murray said after the game Goldan would get the start in the final against South Brunswick, next Sunday at noon at Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech. The game can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, with air time set for 11:30.

Click below to hear the complete game broadcast of St. Joe’s GMCT semifinal win over Edison:

Instant Replay: Surprise homer, solid pitching, send South Brunswick to GMC Finals

Fifth-seed South Brunswick rode a lights-out pitching performance from the tandem of Joey Tuttoilmondo and Frankie Sanchez to a 2-0 victory over 10th-seed North Brunswick in the GMC Tournament Finals Monday afternoon on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Tuttoilmondo – the starter – went five innings and struck out 12 Raiders while allowing just one hit, in getting the win.

Then Sanchez – who was dominant in his last start Tuesday in a quarterfinal win over Middlesex – fanned four more over the final two innings to get the save.

The Vikings’ got on the board in the fifth when shortstop Justin Gallagher skied a ball down the left field line that just stayed fair as it cleared the left field fence for a home run. It was Gallagher’s first extra base hit all season.

They added a run on a sac fly by Pete Cortez, allowing Tony Chegus to score from third, although it ended up as a 7-5-4 double-play when courtesy runner David Rybinski was caught well off second base as the throw came in from left field.

The Vikings will take on second-seed St. Joseph of Metuchen in the GMC Tournament’s championship game next Sunday at noon on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Coverage begins at 11:30 am from Ray Cipperly Field.

Click below to hear the full game broadcast of South Brunswick’s 2-0 GMC Tournament semifinal win over North Brunswick:

Instant replay: South Brunswick finally beats Middlesex to set up GMCT semi date with North Brunswick

The Middlesex Blue Jays have been a thorn in C.J. Hendricks’ side for a while now.

The South Brunswick head coach beat them in his first season as Vikings’ head coach, but had lost his last four meetings with them dating back to 2017.

The streak ended Tuesday.

Fifth-seeded South Brunswick topped 4th-seed Middlesex 8-1 on Tuesday in the GMC Tournament Quarterfinals on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, thanks in large part to a five-hit complete game shutout by star pitcher Frankie Sanchez.

POSTGAME AUDIO: Lauri’s 3-run HR, Sanchez’ 12 K effort power South Brunswick to GMCT semis

And it was Jared Laurie’s bat that turned out to make the difference, cranking a three-run homer in the fourth of Middlesex standout pitcher Jared Young, the starter who had hit a solo shot on the first pitch of the bottom of the first to stake himself a 1-0 lead.

The win sets up a “Battle of the Brunswicks” as the Vikings will face 9th-seed North Brunswick in the semifinals Saturday at noon at East Brunswick Tech.

Click below to listen to the complete game broadcast of South Brunswick’s win over Middlesex in the GMC Tournament quarterfinals:

Instant Replay: Edison tops South Plainfield 7-2 in GMCT quarterfinals

The 6th-seeded Edison Eagles moved on to the GMC Tournament semifinals with a 7-2 quarterfinal win over GMC White Division foe South Plainfield.

The third-seeded Tigers had beaten Edison 11-1 and 7-5 this season, but Edison exacted revenge when it mattered most, in the county tournament.

In a game broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, the Eagles scored three times each in the third and fifth innings, and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

Senior centerfielder Evrin Virola knocked in three runs, including two on an RBI double in the third inning. He was 2-for-4 on the evening.

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All while freshman Jaxon Appelman turned in a big performance on a big stage, under the lights against a perennial contender in Middlesex County. The righty threw 6 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, allowing only two unearned runs, both of which scored after he had already exited the game in the seventh inning.

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The win puts Edison in the GMC semifinals against 2nd-seed St. Joseph of Metuchen Saturday afternoon at 2:30, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to listen to the full game broadcast of Edison’s quarterfinal win over South Plainfield:

Instant replay: Spotswood walks off East Brunswick 6-5 in extra innings to retain Commander’s Cup Trophy

The Bill Thompson Memorial Commander’s Cup Trophy only had to make a short journey to its home for the next year after Wednesday’s 16th annual meeting between Spotswood and East Brunswick.

Tyler Lewandowski’s two-RBI double off the left field wall in the bottom of the 8th made up for his wild pitch in the top of the inning that gave East Brunswick a one-run lead, and it gave Spotswood a 6-5 walkoff win over the Bears.

POSTGAME REACTION: Listen to hero Tyler Lewandowski and head coach Glenn Fredricks talk about the win.

The win was the fourth straight for the Chargers in the series, who last lost in 2016. They’ve taken five of the last six against East Brunswick, and won both home games in the series. The Chargers also lead 3-1-1 in extra inning games, though the Bears lead the overall series 8-7-1.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action of Wednesday’s 16th annual Commander’s Cup Trophy game: