Last year, Middlesex had a strong of four straight Central Jersey Group 1 titles snapped by Point Pleasant Beach. Losing on their home field at Mountainview Park made it even worse.
But one other streak involving the Garnet Gulls continues Friday, when the Blue Jays will play Point Beach for the fourth straight season in the sectional title game.
Much will be different about the matchup. To begin with, it’ll be down the Shore, with the previous ones all coming up in Middlesex County. Add to that, it’ll be the first time they’ll meet with Point (22-5) as the defending champion.
Friday’s game is in Point Pleasant at 4 pm.
Middlesex actually ended Point’s season four straight years: in 2017 and 2018 in earlier rounds, and then beat them in the CJ1 finals in 2019 and 2021 (with no baseball in 2020 due to COVID). Last year, the Garnet Gulls finally broke the hex.
The other thing different is that Middlesex (17-8) has only a handful of returnees from the teams that faced Point Beach the last two seasons, with Alfonso Esposito and Aiden Kozak probably the biggest two impact players back, along with others who have stepped up big-time in Michael Canavesio, Justin Gordon and Tommy Lavornia.
Click below to hear Middlesex head coach Justin Nastasi talk about his team’s season, and the Central Jersey Group 1 Final against Point Pleasant Beach: