Tag: Immaculata

INSTANT REPLAY: SCT Quarterfinals – (1) Bridgewater-Raritan 5, (9) Immaculata 0

Top-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan got a combined one-hitter from three pithcers en route to a 5-0 win over 9-seed Immaculata in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals, presented by Zoned Sports Academy, and heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Bridgewater, NJ on April 25, 2023:

Combined one-hitter sends top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan to SCT semis with 5-0 win over Immaculata

Immaculata led off Tuesday’s Somerset County Tournament quarterfinal game with a single, and when two walks followed – even after the leadoff man was caught stealing – things were looking a little iffy for top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan and starter Matt Fattore.

But Fattore got out of the inning with a fly out and a strikeout, and the Panthers ended up with a combined one-hitter to get them past No. 9 seed Immaculata, 5-0 – as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Zoned Sports Academy – and advance to Thursday’s 4 pm SCT Semifinal at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

Bridgewater (11-1) will play 12-seed Rutgers Prep, which beat upset 4-seed Somerville 3-2 at Torpey Field.

After a brief conversation with head coach Max Newill as he came off the mound – Fattore wanted to stay in – he got moved to first base due to some arm soreness, and Noah Matheson came in to pitch.

The senior – sporting a 1.40 ERA on the season – pitched four no-hit innings to get the win, while Corey Rible tossed the last four, also without allowing another hit.

The Panthers got what turned out to be the only run they would need in the fourth inning. Matt Fattore beat out an infield hit, then moved to second on a walk to his older brother, Michael. Kevin Lee hit a ball to short, and reached on a 4-6 fielder’s choice beating out the double-play ball at first.

With runners at the corners, Lee took off before the next pitch to the plate, pitcher Josh Thompson threw to second base where Jayson Labrador was covering, but when Matt Fattore took off from third, he realized he couldn’t make the throw to the plate; arm trouble sidelined him has a fielder for the first two weeks of the season, and after some time at first, this was his first game of the year at second base.

So, he conceded the run, and Bridgewater had a 1-0 lead.

They would then add four more in the fifth, thanks to a two-RBI single by Jimmy Turchi and an RBI single by Mike Fattore.

The win went to Matheson, who’s now 2-0 on the year. Starter Josh Thompson took the loss to fall to 0-3 for Immaculata, now 2-7.

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Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Bridgewater-Raritan senior pitcher Matheson
Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Max Newill

Top-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan ready to go in quest for Somerset County Tournament title

Getting the No. 1 seed in the county tournament has its perks. Chief among them, you get to sit out the first two rounds of the tournament.

That said, No. 1 seed Bridgewater-Raritan took some time off and didn’t play this past weekend, though they did get a tune-up in against West Morris Monday, an 11-3 win that leaves them 10-1 on the season.

Tuesday afternoon, they will entertain 9-seed Immaculata (2-6) in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals, in a game you can here right here on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater.

Pregame is set for 3:30, with first pitch set for 3:45 pm. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action; click here to listen.

The only blemish on the season for the Panthers was a 10-3 win over Roxbury.

Otherwise, a veteran group has done exactly what it needed to all season long: get good, timely hitting, and solid pitching. The team ERA is just 2.24, while the Panthers are hitting .330 as a team, and have only won three games by three runs or less.

Another example of the timely hitting came Monday against West Morris, up 5-3 in the top of the seventh on the road. The Panthers were looking for insurance runs, and scored six of them.

That’s the kind of year it’s been for the Panthers, who are led on offense by Matthew Fattore, who’s hitting .500, has ten RBIs and three home runs on the season. They can hit for power, with six home runs on the year.

Fattore will be on the mound Tuesday as well. In three starts he has allowed just one earned run, two total.

Click below to hear Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Max Newill talk about the Panthers and Tuesday’s matchup with Immaculata:

Three “upsets” and a Pingry no-no highlight second round Somerset County Tournament action

Sixth-seeded Pingry was the only higher seed to win a Somerset County Tournament second round game Saturday afternoon, as the Big Blue made short work of 11th-seed Manville, 13-1 in first round play, with starter Alex-Payne throwing a 5-inning no-hitter.

Three lower-seeded teams were winners, including 9th-seed Immaculata, 10th-seed Bernards, and 12th-seed Rutgers Prep.

Here’s a recap of Saturday’s action, with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage presented by Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater.

#6 Pingry 13, #11 Manville 1

The Big Blue got a gem of a ballgame from senior Alex Payne, who threw a mercy rule-shortened no-hitter, allowing just one unearned run in a five-inning 13-1 win over Manville.

Pingry (5-3) got big days at the plate from Jake Francis, who went 2-for-2 with a single, double and four RBIs; Nick Lorenzo, who was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in; and Jason Weaver, who knocked in another three runs in the win over the Mustangs (7-3).

Pingry head coach Anthony Feltre

Next up for Pingry is a trip to Montgomery, where the third-seeded Cougars (5-4) await. The Big Blue have beaten Montgomery in each of the last two years.

#12 Rutgers Prep 5, #5 Franklin 4

Just 11 days ago, the Argonauts lost 15-3 at home to Franklin. But Saturday, on the road, Prep pulled out a 5-4 win behind five solid innings from Maryland commit Zach Fronio, who struck out ten, allowed two hits, and just one unearned run on the mound, and drove in the game-winning run at the plate.

The Argos led 4-0 after two-and-a-half innings before Franklin added a run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-1. Once Fronio came out, Joey Dwek surrendered three runs in the bottom of the sixth that saw the Warriors tie the score at 4-4. But he’d make amends soon after.

To start, Rutgers Prep (4-7) would get a run back in the top of the seventh. Evan Laub led off with a double, then Andrew Parisi struck out. But Fronio – just 1-for-4 on the day to that point – knocked in Laub with an RBI single up the middle.

Dwek then sealed the deal in the bottom of the seventh, keeping Franklin (4-6) off the board for the win.

Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Next up, the Argonauts visit 4th-seed Somerville (6-3) on Tuesday in the quarterfinals. The Pioneers had a double-bye in the tournament.

#10 Bernards 5, #7 Hillsborough 0

Tyler Helpinstill continued his hot hitting for the Mountaineers, going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in while Matt Falzarano went 2-for-2 and drove in two more in a 5-4 road victory Saturday afternoon.

Starting pitcher Charlie Gonella was solid as well, pitching 5 shutout innings, allowing just three hits, while Evan Hoecklele pitched two no-hit innings in relief.

Bernards is now 5-3 after starting the season 1-4, while Hillsborough drops to 3-8.

Bernards head coach Jeff Falzarano

After playing South River Sunday at 10 am in the Autism Awareness Challenge in North Brunswick – a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio with pregame at 9:45 – Bernards will play Tuesday in the SCT quarterfinals at second-seed Ridge.

#9 Immaculata 5, #8 Bound Brook 1

The Spartans jumped ahead of the Crusaders 5-0 on the road by the time they were done hitting in the third inning, and only gave up one run the rest of the way in a 5-1 win over Bound Brook. Immaculata got two runs in the second and three in the third, and the offense was led by Josh Thompson, who had a 2-for-3 day with two singles and two runs batted in. Danny Ferguson also had an RBI.

Three pitchers combined for a five-hitter, with starter Greg Zimmerman going three innings and allowing three hits, Nick Bozzo throwing the next three inning – without allowing a hit – and Josh Thompson closing it out.

It was just the second win of the season for Immaculata, which is just 2-6 and snapped a five-game skid with the win, one which saw them get shutout twice in their last three games.

Next up, the Spartans will travel to top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan on Tuesday for a quarterfinal matchup you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with first pitch set for 4 pm.

Somerset County Tournament resumes Saturday morning with four second round games

The Somerset County Tournament kicks into high gear Saturday with four second round games, all played at the home of the higher seeded teams. Here’s a look at all four matchups, with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the SCT presented by Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater:

#11 Manville (7-2) at #6 Pingry (4-3), noon

Of course, the main goal is to advance in the SCT, but Manville baseball has had a lot of lean years, and at 7-2, a win against Pingry would equal their win total from 2019, when the team was 8-13. And that was he first time they’d won more than five games in a season since at least the start of the last decade. But the Mustangs aren’t resting on their laurels. They have three players hitting .400 or better, including senior Josh Barrios at .400, and senior Geoffrey Mathis and junior James Mascola hitting .500 on the year. Mathis has a team-leading 16 RBIs and has hit two home runs on the year, adding a pair of doubles and a pair of triples. Pingry hasn’t shown the form yet it did last year, when the Big Blue had a 23-3 campaign and won the Prep A Tournament. But that can happen when you lose your hits leader in Liam Royster and strikeout leader on Thomas Santana to graduation. Hitting .320 last year, Pingry is hitting just .199 on the year, and scored only 23 runs through seven games. Senior Jake Francis is their top pitcher, allowing no earned runs and striking out 26 while walking only three in 18 innings pitched, and he’s hitting .222 with a team-leading eight runs batted in. Will this be the year they beat Pingry? It hasn’t happened in at least 19 years of our research, during Manville’s entire time in the Skyland Conference.

#10 Bernards (4-3) at #7 Hillsborough (3-7), 11 am

This is a rare meeting between the two schools, as they have only played each other twice since 2012. The Raiders won both matchups, 2-0 in the 2012 SCT quarterfinals and 7-6 in the 2014SCT semis. The difference is both of those years, Hillsborough had a winning record: 17-14 the year of the first meeting, and 15-8 the second time around. The Mountaineers got off to a rough 1-3 start but have since won three straight over Voorhees, Warren Hills and Roselle Park, outscoring those three opponents 46-1, with the Blue Streaks the only team to score off Bernards – and an unearned run, at that. Bernards is hitting a monstrous .428 as a team, no doubt buoyed by the last three games. Nevertheless, senior Tyler Hepinstill is hitting .688 with 11 hits in 19 at bats. Charlie Gonella is hitting .476 with six runs batted in, and Matt Giunta has knocked in a team-leading eight runs. On the pitching side, the team ERA is 3.15, good enough to keep any decent-hitting team in a ballgame. Hillsborough, meanwhile, is struggling, having started the season 0-4, and dropping five of its first six games. They’ve lost two straight coming in, but to no slouch teams: Ridge (8-0) and Hunterdon Central (8-7). It’s a team trying to figure it out at the plate, hitting just .207, while the team ERA is 4.48 on the season. Then again, playing in the Skyland Delaware Division can do that to a team. With Ridge, Hunterdon Central and Bridgewater-Raritan, that division is simply loaded.

#12 Rutgers Prep (3-7) at #6 Franklin (4-5), 11 am

This is an intriguing one, as Rutgers Prep is one of those teams that has a ton of talent, including standouts Zach Fronio and Andrew Parisi coming back, among others, but just hasn’t figured it out yet as a group this season. What can you say when a guy like Parisi is hitting .520 (13-25) and leads the team in walks with 13, for a whopping .840 on base percentage? Fronio is hitting well also (.423) and so is freshman Ethan Nepomuceno (.400). Can the pitching get it together? That may be the issue against Franklin, which won at Prep 15-3 just eleven days ago. The Warriors are led by sophomore Izaiah Robinson (.419, 9 RBI) and junior Jacob Cruz (.400) at the plate, though pitching has also been an issue, allowing nearly six runs a game. Looking at common opponents here is interesting, too. In its last three games, Prep beat Phillipsburg 7-5, Watchung Hills 8-0, and lost to Montgomery 11-10. Franklin lost to the Stateliners earlier in the season, 3-1, but beat Montgomery back on the 13th by a 10-1 score. They also beat Gill St. Bernard’s on opening day, 4-3, while Rutgers Prep blanked them 25-0. The Argos could pull an upset if the right team shows up this morning.

#9 Immaculata (1-6) at #8 Bound Brook (4-4), 11 am

This will be the first meeting between the schools at least in the past decade or so. The Spartans are just 1-6, but played Ridge to a tight 2-0 loss on Opening Day, lost 3-2 to West Morris, and 6-2 at Bridgewater-Raritan – the tournament’s top seed – in a regular season game just five days ago. So, they can hang. But they’re not hitting well as a team, just .259 at the moment. Playing in the Delaware Division surely has a lot to do with it, seeing some great pitching in-league on a day-in, day-out basis. The leading hitter among regulars in the lineup is sophomore Jayson Labrador at .381, then Colin Kassai at .360, but there’s a drop-off after that. But playing Bound Brook may be more their speed right now, making this a good matchup. The Crusaders may be 4-4, but after a hot 3-0 start, the Crusaders have lost four of their last five, although the last one was a tight 4-3 loss to red-hot Manville, which is 7-2 and having its best season in years. The Crusaders are hitting well, .319 as a team, led by senior Jake Anderson at .500, with five runs batted in. Sophomore Nick Anderson is right behind him at .478 and a team-leading 11 RBIs. The team ERA is well under four, with Anderson getting it done on the mound; he’s got a 1.34 ERA with 15 2/3 innings pitched, striking out 20 and walking only six.

Ridge retains top ranking in Week 1 Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

Through the first week of the high school baseball season, there was little movement at the top of the Bellamy & Son Paving rankings, even though all four teams – in fact, every team in the preseason rankings – took at least one loss.

Note: All team records are as of Sunday, April 9 and do not include games on Monday, April 10.

Ridge (2-1) remained No. 1 after opening with a 2-0 win over Immaculata and a 7-3 win over Rutgers Prep Saturday, sandwiched around an out-of-area loss to Hunterdon Central, 1-0.

North Brunswick (2-1) held in second split a pair with South Plainfield, winning the opener on the road, but falling at home two days later. The Raiders bounced back with a 10-0 blanking of Monroe Saturday.

St. Joseph-Metuchen (2-2) remained in fourth despite starting 0-2 with losses against Monroe at home, then at Old Bridge, because they rebounded with a road win against the Falcons and a shutout home win at home against the Knights.

Woodbridge (2-1) stays at No. 4 after starting 2-0 thanks to a home-and-home sweep of Colonia, before losing to Sayreville 3-0 Saturday afternoon.

The next two teams saw the biggest moves of the week.

Unranked Old Bridge (2-1) joined the rankings at No. 5. The Knights topped JP Stevens 10-0, then came up with a big win over defending Red Division champ St. Joe’s 10-8 at home, before falling to the Falcons in Metuchen 3-0 on Saturday.

And Bridgewater-Raritan moved all the way up from tenth to sixth on the strength of a 3-1 start, with wins over Watchung Hills, St. Joseph-Montvale and Hillsborough. Their lone loss was to out-of-area Roxbury, 10-3 on Saturday.

As a result of the Panthers’ move, the next four teams all moved down a spot.

East Brunswick (2-1) checks in at No. 7, after splitting a pair with South Brunswick, then winning at South Plainfield.

In eighth is Monroe (1-2), which had a big division win over St. Joe’s, 6-5 on Opening Day, but then lost the rematch, and was shutout by North Brunswick.

Ninth is Pingry, which is 2-1 after wins over Warren Hills and at Bernards to start the season, but ended the week Saturday with a 2-1 out-of-area loss to North Hunterdon.

And in tenth is Immaculata (1-2). The Spartans lost a tough one, 2-0 on Opening Day to Ridge, then came back with a 8-7 win over Watchung Hills on the road, before falling in a non-league game at West Morris, 3-2.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Week One rankings:

Veteran Thompson will get the ball as young Immaculata faces state-ranked Ridge on Opening Day

The high school baseball season opened Monday across New Jersey, but two championship programs from 2022 will open Tuesday afternoon in Flemington.

That’s when defending Non-Public North B champ Immaculata (No. 9 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten) takes on defending Somerset County Tournament Champion and state-ranked Ridge (No. 1 in the Bellamy Top Ten) in the first game of the season for both schools.

It’s a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning at 3:45, with first pitch at 4:00 from Diamond Nation in Flemington. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action; click here to listen.

The Spartans, a bit inexperienced in 2022, may be a bit more experienced in some ways, by virtue of their run in the state tournament which took them to the group finals, where they lost to Ranney Prep, ranked No.2 in the state preseason.

But they are also younger, with just one senior on the roster, righty pitcher Greg Zimmerman.

But on Opening Day, the ball will go to junior Josh Thompson, who went 7-3 last season. He struck out 36 and walked 19 in 58 innings pitched, with a 3.98 ERA.

Thompson can also hit, a big plus since head coach Kevin Cust’s Spartans will be without the defensive play of infielder Jayson Labrador for the next two weeks due to injury. But he will be able to hit, and Cust says Labrador will DH for another position player because “we can’t lose his bat in the lineup.”

Labrador hit .329 last year with 11 runs batted in.

Click below for a preview of the game with Immaculata head coach Kevin Cust:

No. 1 Ridge looks to start ’23 strong as Red Devils face No. 9 Immaculata on road to open season

By all accounts, the Ridge baseball team is the top-ranked team out of Somerset County in all the preseason rankings. Which would have to make them the favorite to win the Somerset County Tournament.

But you can’t do that without starting the season strong, and a good way to do that is to win on Opening Day.

That comes Tuesday when top-ranked Ridge travels out to Flemington’s Diamond Nation to meet No. 9 Immaculata to begin 2023. First pitch is set for 4 pm with pregame at 3:45. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action. Click here to listen.

READ MORE: Ridge will look to defend Somerset County Tourney title with a mix of veterans and newcomers

Ridge has a mix of newcomers and veterans, both at the plate and on the pitching staff, and head coach Tom Blackwell Sunday night wasn’t ready to commit to a starter yet between his 1a and 1b, Connor Byrne and Brendan Callanan, both of whom are expected to be top pitchers for the Red Devils this season.

Click here to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Taskonas talk with Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell about the season opener:

Young Immaculata trying to figure it out as Opening Day approaches

The 2022 Immaculata baseball team got off to an inauspicious start. They opened with a blowout against Somerville at Diamond Nation and started the year 0-3.

They then lost three games in a row heading into the state tournament.

Not exactly how Kevin Cust drew it up, but he didn’t exactly hit the panic button either.

Throw out those games, and in a 14-13 season, the Spartans were otherwise 14-7, and went on to win the Non-Public North B title in the state tournament, falling to a Ranney team in the Group Finals that is now the No. 2 team in the state of New Jersey heading into 2023.

So where does that leave Immaculata heading into 2023?

A young team, with a number of seniors graduated, and just one senior this year: right-handed pitcher Greg Zimmerman.

So if last year was inexperienced, this year’s team is younger but has a little more under its belt.

The best example of that is Jayden Capindica. As a freshman last year, he hit .303 with two home runs and 21 runs batted in. But 13 of those RBIs came in the four games ‘Lata played in the sectionals of the state tournament, with five of them coming against Gill St. Bernard’s in the North B title game.

Young, but with some experience.

Click below to hear Immaculata head coach Kevin Cust talk about the 2023 edition of Immaculata baseball:

Ridge debuts at No. 1 in preseason Bellamy & Son Paving H.S. Baseball Top Ten

The Ridge Red Devils – coming off a 24-4 season, a Somerset County Tournament championship, and a heartbreaking 11-inning loss in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals to end their season – will begin 2023 right where they left off: Number One in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten.

Not only does Ridge take the top spot in our preseason rankings, but the top four teams remained the same. The rest saw some significant movement.

The Red Devils have some key pieces back from last year’s club, including pitchers Connor Byrne and Brendan Callanan, while Callanan, Luke Somelofske and Julian Kielb – the team’s top run producer a year ago – are among the top hitters returning.

In second, it’s North Brunswick, which won its first-ever GMC Tournament Championship last year, beating defending champ St. Joseph of Metuchen in the final. The Falcons check in at No. 3.

The Raiders went 22-10 last season, and have a lot of key hitters back, including Omar and Yomar Carreras and Frankie Garbolino, while Rutgers-bound strikeout whiz Zach Konstantinovsky returns for his senior season. Last year, “Zack K” threw 67 innings, struck out 120 hitters, and walked only two, with a miniscule 0.73 earned run average.

The Falcons finished 22-9 last year, and were the Red Division Champions. Their returning lineup is loaded, with standouts like Mark Gialluisi, Robbie Carvelli, Josiah Brown and many more returning, though they lose two of the best pitchers in the league – Donovan Szak and Andrew Goldan, both of whom are now at Rutgers.

Checking in at No. 4 is Woodbridge. The Barons were 25-7 last year and a North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finalist, having won an epic 11-inning game at Ridge, but falling to Hunterdon Central in the final. The Barrons return their top pitcher in Eddy Nunez, as well as key offensive players like senior Ty Kobylakiewicz, and juniors Drew Lukachyk and A.J. Bosch.

In fifth is Rutgers Prep, which was 19-6 last season and won the Skyland Conference Valley Division, and made it to the Somerset County final, falling to Ridge. A young team in 2022, they still won’t have a lot of seniors, but players like sophomores Andrew Parisi (.537, 54 RBI, 11 HR) and Zach Fronio (42 2/3 innings pitched, 1.34 ERA) will have lots of experience to call upon.

East Brunswick checks in at No. 6. A Central Jersey Group 4 finalist, the Bears were 17-13 last season, and lost an epic GMC Tournament semifinal game to North Brunswick 1-0 in 12 innings.

Monroe – 16-11 a year ago – is in seventh, while Pingry comes in eighth. The Big Blue were 23-3 last season and had just one regular season loss, to Ridge. Their other two losses were in the county and state tournaments.

Immaculata – 14-13 a year ago – comes in ninth. A young ballclub went 14-13 last season, but lost some key offensive players and some big arms, like Aiden Rumain, Matt Warzeniak and Christian Martell.

And Bridgewater-Raritan, which has a veteran group returning from last year’s 15-13 team debuts in this year’s poll at No. 10.

Below is the complete Bellamy & Son Paving Preseason Top Ten: