Tag: Bernards

Somerset County Tournament continues with four first-round games Saturday

With all three higher seeds winning their opening round games back on Wednesday, the Somerset County Tournament moves to the second round on Saturday with four games, as Rutgers Prep, Pingry, Watchung Hills and Immaculata join the fray.

In the opening round, 12-seed Hillsborough – last in the packed Skyland Conference Delaware Division – picked up just its first win of the year, a 6-3 victory over 13-seed Bound Brook. Cole Jara knocked in half the runs Wednesday with 3 RBI on a 2-for-4 afternoon at the plate; he also had a stolen base.

11-seed Bernards squeaked past 14-seed Manville, winning 3-1 at home on Wednesday, while 10-seed Franklin pounded out 12 runs against 15-seed North Plainfield in a 12-5 home victory despite Dylan Millman being the only batter in the lineup with more than one hit; the Warriors worked out nine walks against Canucks pitching.

Saturday, in the second round, Franklin (4-4) will visit undefeated 7-seed Pingry (6-0) up in Martinsville at 11 am. The winner moves on the the quarterfinals next Saturday, April 30th, at second seed Somerville. The other side of that bracket has Bernards (3-6) at 6-seed Rutgers Prep (6-2) at noon, with the winner travelling next weekend to 3rd-seed Montgomery.

The other half of the SCT bracket has 12-seed Hillsborough (1-5) at 5-seed Watchung Hills (4-6) at 2 pm, with the winner going to visit 4-seed Bridgewater-Raritan next weekend. The other half of that side of the bracket has 9-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (5-4) playing at 8-seed Immaculata (5-4). Both teams had first-round byes, and – due to a scheduling conflict – will play Monday at 4 pm out at Diamond Nation in Flemington. The winner will visit top-seed Ridge next Saturday.

Click above to find out more about Freedom Martial Arts, with locations in Bridgewater and Hillsborough.

Following the quarterfinals, the semis will be May 9th at 4 and 7 pm at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, the home of the Somerset Patriots. The finals are two weeks later, May 23 at 7 pm. The semifinals and finals can be heard live exclusively on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Four homers, 5th inning onslaught, power Rutgers Prep past Bernards to keep Argos atop Valley

Rutgers Prep, thanks to four home runs in the first two innings – was on its way to perhaps a mercy rule-shortened win against Bernards until the Mountaineer bats came alive in the fifth and made it a two-run game.

But the Argonauts answered back – and then some – in the bottom of the fifth, sending eleven batters to the plate and scoring seven times to go ahead 15-6, the score they would win by in a full seven innings.

Senior starting pitcher Nick Baldev (2-0) went five innings, and though he allowed six earned runs, struck out nine and only allowed six hits, to get the win for Rutgers Prep (5-1). Starter Henry Depew took the loss for Bernards (2-4), responsible for seven runs in two innings, plus one batter faced to lead off the third.

The Mountaineers scored first, going up 1-0 in the top of the first, but it was their only lead of the game, and it was short-lived. Prep evened it up with a solo homer off the bat of Andrew Parisi with two out in the bottom of the inning to tie it, then after an Anthony Brigante walk, Baldev hit his first career homer to left field to make it 3-1.

The Argos added three more in the bottom of the second – on a solo homer by nine-hitter James Jackman and another dinger from Parisi, this one a two-run shot, his third of the season – and scored twice more in the third to take a 8-1 lead.

Bernards finally got to Baldev in the fifth, as they batted around and scored five runs to cut the deficit to 8-6. But it was easy come, easy go for the Mountaineers, as Rutgers Prep countered with seven more runs in the bottom of the inning, to take a 15-6 lead.

Then, it was up to Nick Pizzie to close it out. The starting shortstop took the mound and threw two innings of no-hit ball, retiring all six batters he faced, fanning three.

Click below for postgame reaction from starting pitcher Nick Baldev and head coach Larry Santowasso:

Rutgers Prep, Bernards square off in critical Valley Division resked

April showers bring May flowers, and also rescheduled baseball games.

Originally scheduled for last week, Rutgers Prep (4-1) and Bernards (2-3) will finally get together for their first meeting this year, with a lot on the line.

To begin with, the Argonauts and Voorhees are both 3-0 in division, and Prep will want to keep pace, while the Mountaineers are right behind them and trying to move up in the Valley, with a 2-2 division mark.

Then there’s the small matter of the Somerset County Tournament seeding meeting, which is coming up quickly, scheduled for Monday night.

While Rutgers Prep is looking to build on a 14-8 season a year ago, Bernards is looking to get on the right track, still trying to find itself offensively.

You can hear the game live on Central Jersey Sports Radio Saturday morning, with first pitch set for 11:00, and pregame scheduled for 10:45, as Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the action. Click here to listen live.

Click below to hear previews of Saturday’s game:

Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso
Bernards head coach Jeff Falzarano

CJSR announces 2022 broadcast schedule, debuts Somerset County coverage

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of high school baseball will continue in 2022, debuting Friday, April 1 – Opening Day across New Jersey – and featuring Somerset County games for the first time.

The full broadcast schedule has been announced, with nine regular season games, plus the semifinals and finals of both the Somerset County and Greater Middlesex County Tournaments.

An in-town rivalry will begin the season this Friday as Somerville travels to Immaculata, with first pitch set for 4 pm, and pregame on cjsportsradio.com at 3:45, as Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action live from the Torpey Athletic Complex in Bridgewater. Click here to listen live.

Our first GMC game will lead off a two-game week next week, as South Plainfield visits Edison on Wednesday, with Rutgers Prep hosting Bernards on Thursday.

Also on the schedule are 2021 GMC Tournament Champion St. Joseph-Metuchen, runner-up Soouth Brunswick, Spotswood, East Brunswick, Monroe, East Brunswick Tech, South River, and Bridgewater-Raritan.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will carry the Somerset County Tournament semifinals on May 9, and the finals on May 23, from the home of the Somerset Patriots, TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, as well as the GMC Tournament semifinals on May 21, and the finals on May 28 from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech.

Additional NJSIAA Tournament coverage will be announced at a later date.

For the full schedule, click here.

Playoff update: Girls’ Basketball Public Sections

Central Jersey Sports Radio continues taking a look at the playoff picture, with Saturday’s NJSIAA cutoff for state tournament qualification almost immediately on the horizon. We’ve got a section-by-section breakdown of public girls’ basketball teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference and Somerset County. All power points are the official NJSIAA totals as made available on NJ.com as of 6:30 pm Thursday.

Central Jersey Group 4: While Hightstown (16-5) and Jackson Memorial (15-2) lead this section with 375 and 365 points respectively, Monroe (13-3, 357) should stay in third, with only Edison on the schedule tonight before Saturday, and the Eagles already are their lowest power point total, so they won’t gain. After Middletown South (13-4, 342) in fourth, there’s East Brunswick at 14-5, with 327 points. Most of these teams are fairly well in place, with maybe a chance they could nudge up or down one spot. Marlboro (11-7, 311) is sixth, followed by North Brunswick (12-7, 299) and South Brunswick (14-6, 297). Behind them are Montgomery (9-8, 282) and Old Bridge (11-6, 278) in tenth. Sayreville, though 6-12 (171 pts) should be in over Long Branch, which is 5-8 with 155 points.

North Jersey, Scetion 2 – Group 4: While it remains to be seen if Franklin (13-3, 367) is anything like its pre-pandemic self – they were en route to another Tournament of Champions appearance before COVID shut things down – they have steadily improved this year. Westfield (16-4, 409) is the top seed here, but the Warriors could be the definition of a “sneaky two-seed,” if such a thing actually exists. The shouldn’t get caught from behind either by Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which is in third at 14-3, with 366 points. Ridge, at just 9-12, with 293 points, actually checks in fifth, followed by Watchung Hills (9-6, 276) and Woodbridge (11-6, 267). Then Hillsborough is 9th, at 10-7 (264 points). In 14th and 15th, respectively, are Bridgewater-Raritan (3-17, 172) and JP Stevens (4-15, 171).

Central Jersey Group 3: Yes, the Colonia boys are in North 2, but the girls are in Central. That’s how it works when you have boys’ only and girls’ only schools. The Patriots (19-2, 382) are in second place, and the White Division champions of the GMC are likely to stay there. They won’t catch top-seed Ewing (15-1, 394) and the next closest team below them – Wall (14-4) – is 58 points back. Go all the way outside the top 8 and you’ll find South Plainfield (10-8) in 9th with 246 points. It’s unlikely could earn a home game by jumping up, because they can’t get any more residuals. Down at 12 is Somerville (9-8, 215), then JFK (9-8, 199).

Central Jersey Group 2: Manasquan (19-3) is the top team here with 485 points, then New Providence (17-1, 423), but third-place Middlesex (16-2, 369) is well behind them. The question is, can Bound Brook (15-4, 367) gain two points to jump fourth-place Rumson-Fair Haven (12-8, 368)? Not in residuals, and their highest power point total is 16. But if they beat 17-2 Woodbury Saturday? Sure could! Checking in at No. 8 is South River (14-5, 282), then Johnson (11-7, 246) and Spotswood (12-7, 240) in tenth. Metuchen is in 12th at 9-9 (198), and Piscataway Tech is solidly in, but 15th place at 8-10 (157).

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 2: The only area team here is Bernards (5-10, 182) checking in at No. 11. The top seed here is Madison (12-6, 328).

Central Jersey Group 1: After top team New Egypt, at 12-1, 316 points, there’s Woodbridge Academy (15-2, 303). Probably can’t make up that ground, but a 2-seed is nice, too. Somerset Tech (12-5, 254) is in fourth, seven points ahead of Shore (10-10) in fifth. Down to nine we find Perth Amboy Tech (6-9, 154), which won’t crack the top eight. Immediately behind them are Manville (4-13, 150) and Highland Park (6-13, 149). Dunellen (4-14, 121) is in 13th.

Hillsborough finishes No. 1 in Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, named Team of the Year

The Hillsborough Raiders’ first-ever perfect season – with a 13-0 mark, the Division 5B title, Central Jersey Group 5 title, and South Group 5 regional championship – has earned them the honor of being Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Team of the Year for 2021.

Hillsborough’s stellar season left them all alone atop the final CJSR rankings, moving up from the Number Two position they held from Week 5 through Week 8. (There were no rankings during the playoffs.)

The Raiders were followed by Union, the Division 5A champion whose season was unfortunately cut short when Superintendent Sr. Scott Taylor withdrew the team from the second round of the NJSIAA playoffs after a handful of players tested positive for COVID-19. The Farmers – who finished 9-2 with a forfeit loss in the playoffs and a regular season-opening loss to Millville, which won the South 4 regional title – were the top seed in North 2, Group 5, and widely considered a favorite for a state title, and to reach the North 5 regional championship game.

Cranford, which dominated Sparta in the North 2, Group 3, title game to win the crown, finished third in the final rankings. At 11-1 on the year, their lone loss came in the North Group 3 regional championship game to West Essex. They were the Division 4 champions.

Somerville (8-3) checked in at No. 4, with the Division 3 title to its credit. The Pioneers only had one regular season loss – to Northern Highlands in game two – and a forfeit loss to Phillipsburg due to a COVID issue. They were knocked out of the playoffs in the sectional semifinals by Cedar Creek, which finished 13-0 to win a state title. Their two on-field losses were to teams with a combined 25-1 record.

Ridge (7-3) checked in at No. 5, the second-place team in Division 5B behind Hillsborough. The Red Devils had a tough regular season loss to Phillipsburg, and an impressive playoff win over Woodbridge, 38-0, before falling at Ramapo in the sectional semifinals.

Sayreville (8-3) finished sixth. The Division 5D champions were perfect in their division, and went on an 8-0 tear after dropping their first two games at home to Bridgewater-Raritan and Woodbridge. The first of those wins was a 35-22 slugfest against North Brunswick, which went to the sectional finals.

Phillipsburg (7-5) finished 7th, followed by North Brunswick (8-4) in 8th and Woodbridge (7-3) in 9th.

Bernards – the Division 2A champions – finished tenth. The Mountaineers were sectional semfinalists, losing at home to Haddonfield, which hung on to beat Point Pleasant Boro for the South 2 regional championship at Rutgers Saturday, when Point missed what would have been a game-tying PAT with just a few seconds remaining on the clock.

Also receiving votes were St. Thomas Aquinas (9-0) – the Division 2B champions – and division runner-up Delaware Valley, which finished 7-3. Aquinas had one of Middlesex County’s best-ever defensive seasons, winning its first seven games on the field (one of their first eight wins was a forfeit) by shutout. They beat DelVal in a highly-anticipated Week 9 game 12-9 in a mudbath in North Edison.

Below are the final CJSR rankings.

Instant Replay: (3) Haddonfield 24, (2) Bernards 14 (Central Group 2 Semifinals)

Click below to listen to the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland from Friday, November 12, 2021.

It’s a Central Jersey, Group 2 semifinal game.

Second-seed Bernards fell 24-14 to third-seed Haddonfield, ending its season at 8-3.

Mike Pavlichko and Max Scheiner call the action from Olcott Field in Bernardsville, NJ.

1st Half
2nd Half

Turnovers plague Bernards in semifinal loss to Haddonfield

No turnover is good. Some come at less disastrous times than others.

The four Bernards committed Friday night all came at the worst possible times.

And they wound up costing the Mountaineers dearly, as the second-seeded home team lost 24-14 Friday night to third-seed Haddonfield at Olcott Field, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Autoland.

The first came on a well-executed opening drive of the game, as Bernards was marching downfield at will. Junioor Nick Kouflie fumbled as he ran down the left sideline, and the ball bounced right into the hands of Haddonfield’s Charlie Klaus, who returned it into Mountaineer territory/ They would quickly score to go up 7-0.

Bernards tied it up, Haddonfield went ahead again, but Bernards tied it again, and into the locker room they went tied at 14 apiece.

In the second half, Bernards defense was “bend but don’t break,” allowing a field goal that put the Bulldawgs up 17-14. But then on back-to-back possessions, the ‘Neers’ two quarterbacks each threw picks. And one more came on the final possession after Haddonfield couldn’t get one last first down to run out the clock.

Bernards finishes 8-3 on the season.

They also played the game without feature back Michael Leanza, who missed the last three full games of the season after suffering a fractured tibia against South River. Friday’s game was Bernards’ first loss with Leanza out of the lineup.

Click below for postgame reaction from Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau:

Here’s where you can find links to all our Week 2 Playoff previews, and more

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the Big Central Conference in the NJSIAA state playoffs continues with previews of a number of games this weekend.

Check back after this weekend’s games for postgame reaction on cjsportsradio.com.

Listen to Episode 12 of “This Week in the Big Central” driven by Autoland by clicking below:

Game Preview Links:

Playoff Notes and Observations: Opening round is in the books

Bernards hoping Leanza is back for sectional semis, but still confident

Haddonfield’s Hahn gets more touches than the typical Bulldawgs back

Phillipsburg sticks to the script in reaching sectional semis, looks to ride the tide right into the finals

BREAKOUT STORY: Phillipsburg’s only win against Clifton was a loss

MacNair to return for Somerville as Pioneers face unbeaten Cedar Creek in sectional semis

Trojans will face another test when they open the playoffs against a South Jersey parochial power

The Schedule (Big Central teams in bold):


(3) North Brunswick at (2) Cherokee, 6p (CJ5)
(6) Ridge at (2) Ramapo, 6:30p (N1-4)
(1) Hillsborough vs. (5) Williamstown, 7p (CJ5)
(7) Edison at (3) Toms River, 7p (SJ5)
(3) Phillipsburg at (2) Clifton, 7p (N2-5)
(5) Colonia at (1) Irvington, 7p (N2-4)
(3) Sayreville at (2) Middletown South, 7p (N2-4)
(1) Cranford vs. (4) Pascack Valley, 7p (N2-3)
(5) New Providence at (1) Pt. Pleasant Boro, 7p (SJ2)
(2) Bernards vs. (3) Haddonfield, 7p (CJ2) (CJSR)
(4) Hillside at (1) Raritan, 7p (CJ2)


(4) Somerville at (1) Cedar Creek, 12p (SJ3)
(6) St. Thomas Aquinas at (3) St. Joseph-Hammonton, 1p (NP-B)