NJSIAA tweaks state football playoff schedule again; some state finals may be played on weeknights

The NJSIAA’s Football Tournament Regulations for the upcoming high school football season include a big change to the finals schedule, as well as the location of state semifinal games.

The regulations, available here on the NJSIAA website, confirm that this year’s Group Semifinals will be held at the higher-seeded schools, rather than at neutral sites, and all finals will be played the week after Thanksgiving.

Last year, the first year high school football in New Jersey played down to Group champions – true state champs – the semifinals were held at Franklin High School in Somerset County for North 1 vs. North 2 games and Cherokee in Burlington County for Central vs. South games.

That, however, led to some long drives for one team or another, or sometimes both. For example, in the Group 1 semifinals between North 1 winner Mountain Lakes and North 2 winner Weequahic, both had to travel down to Franklin, about an hours’ ride on a weekend.

The deciding factor for higher seed would be the overall seed in the supersection. Using the two local teams that won sectional titles last year, that would have placed Central 5 champ Edison at South 5 champion Toms River North, since the Mariners were the overall top-seed in North 5, while the Eagles were No. 11. And in Group 4, North 2 champ North Hunterdon would have hosted North 1 winner Northern Highlands. The Lions were the overall top-seed, while Northern Highlands was seventh.

Under last year’s system – and in the past, before the playoffs were expanded past sectional title games in 2018 – finishing first or second overall in a supersection had no real advantage or detriment. Now, it will give some incentive to the team finishing first.

As for the finals schedule, last season – again, the first with group champions – the NJSIAA had non-public finals on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands, while all public finals were played the weekend after Thanksgiving, December 3rd and 4th, at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway.

This year, the NJSIAA has moved all seven finals – five public, two non-public – to the week after Thanksgiving. For teams that do not play on Thanksgiving, finals will be held Sunday through Tuesday (November 26-28) at either MetLife or Rutgers. Those that do have Thanksgiving games will play on Wednesday or Thursday (November 29 or 30).

NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire says the move was due to the lack of availability for its two championship sites. MetLife is busy with a Jets home game against the Dolphins on Black Friday and a Giants home game against the Patriots on Sunday, while Rutgers hosts Maryland in its regular season finale

It’s a non-traditional schedule in that it will be the first time any football championship game has been intentionally scheduled for a weeknight other than a Friday, although there have been several occasions in the past – particularly before the proliferation of all-weather turf fields – when games were moved due to bad weather.

Notably, Piscataway won back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003 during the week, all because of snow. In the first, they beat Hunterdon Central at home in Joe Kuronyi’s last game as head coach. Then, Dan Higgins won his first title with a victory over Union at the old Giants Stadium on a Thursday night, as late as December 11th. Ridge also won a title that same night at the Meadowlands. Two days earlier, New Brunswick won its first state title in the playoff era and completed its first undefeated season since 1926 with a title game win over Long Branch, in a game that kicked off on a Tuesday morning at Memorial Stadium.

NJSIAA moves baseball, track-and-field championships due to poor air quality from Canadian wildfires

The smokey, hazy conditions that have caused unhealthy air conditions across the Northeast has forced the NJSIAA to postpone and combine some of its championship events this weekend.

The Non-Public baseball finals scheduled for 4 and 7 pm at Veterans’ Park in Hamilton were moved from Thursday to Friday at the same time. The Group B final will be St. Mary-Rutherford against Gloucester Catholic at 4 pm at Bob DeMeo Field, followed by the Group A final – Don Bosco Prep against Red Bank Catholic – at 7 pm.

Meanwhile, the two-day NJSIAA group track meets were combined into a one-day event. They were supposed to take place at Delsea and Franklin High Schools Friday and Saturday, but now will be combined into events at both schools on Saturday only.

As of 1 pm, a revised meet schedule had not been put together, but running and field events will begin at 9:30 am at both locations.

The NJSIAA has been monitoring air quality since yesterday, in a story first reported by Central Jersey Sports Radio Wednesday morning. While forecasters expect conditions to get better Friday, and possibly into Saturday, many say it’s difficult to predict the weather patterns that could bring more smoky haze into the area as several wildfires continue to burn in Quebec.

The NJSIAA had said it would make decisions on a daily basis about games, so it’s unclear whether the Friday events, or even Saturday’s public baseball state finals would be moved further if unhealthy air quality persists.

Air quality levels were reported “hazardous” in most areas of the state on Wednesday, but by Thursday, many areas had improved to “unhealthy.”

NJSIAA monitoring air quality, but no changes yet to HS slate due to smoke from Canadian wildfires

As air quality continues to suffer around the entire Northeast, into the Midwest and down South due to lingering smoke from massive Canadian wildfires, the NJSIAA is monitoring the situation as it relates to high school sports, with several championships still to be contested through the weekend.

The Non-Public Group Finals for baseball are scheduled for Thursday afternoon and evening at Bob DeMeo Field in Hamilton’s Veteran’s Park, with the Public Group Finals set for Saturday, with games scheduled for 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.

Old Bridge will play in its first-ever state final Saturday at 4:00 when the Knights take on Ridgewood, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with pregame set for 3:45 pm. Click here to listen.

According to the US Air Quality Index, the air quality in Lawrenceville, just a few miles away from Veterans’ Park in Hamilton, is deemed “unhealthy” with an AQI of 180, meaning “Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”

Improvement could come Thursday at the earliest, according to some media reports, which also have said New York City currently has the worst air quality in the world. ABC7 reports that New York City schools are open, but “students will not be doing any outdoor activities during their school day.”

Additionally, some high school sports events have been cancelled or postponed in upstate New York, while a Yahoo! News report also cited the cancellation of outdoor school activities as far south as Washington, D.C.

The NJSIAA told Central Jersey Sports Radio in a statement today that it “is closely monitoring air quality data across New Jersey and local/state health advisories.  As start times for athletic events draw near, we will make decisions for each venue and sport based on currently available information.  Schools should monitor official NJSIAA communications only for updates and understand that all schedules are subject to change.”

The NJSIAA has numerous other outdoor sports in the midst of championships at the moment.

  • Softball non-public state finals are Friday, with publics on Saturday, both at Kean University in Union.
  • Boys’ lacrosse has public state finals at Hopewell Valley and Bridgewater-Raritan High Schools Friday, with non-publics at East Brunswick on Saturday.
  • Girls’ lacrosse has Non-public and public state finals on Friday and Saturday, respectively, Saturday at Hunterdon Central in Flemington.
  • Track-and-field has Groups 1, 4 and Non-Public A at Franklin High School, with Groups 2, 3 and Non-Public B at Delsea High School on Friday and Saturday. The Meet of Champions at Franklin isn’t until next Wednesday, June 14th.
  • The boys’ tennis singles and doubles tournament runs Saturday through next Thursday, June 15 at Veterans’ Park in Hamilton and Mercer County Park for the first two rounds, and at Mercer from the quarterfinals on.

Championship Weekend is set with seven CJSR-area teams vying for titles Friday, Saturday

With wins by Rutgers Prep and St. Joseph of Metuchen Wednesday in non-public sectional semifinal play, there will be seven teams from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage are vying for state titles this weekend.

In Non-Public North B semifinal action, third-seed Rutgers Prep beat seven-seed Gill St. Bernard’s 9-0 behind an explosive offense, and solid pitching from Max Treonze and Li Perez. The Argonauts (14-4) will play at top-seed St. Mary-Rutherford (19-9) Saturday at 10 am for the title.

In the Non-Public South A semifinals, second-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen exploded for a seven-run third inning and beat fifth-seed Notre Dame 11-3. The Falcons (21-9) will visit top-seed Red Bank Catholic (23-5) – the No. 1 team in the state – Saturday at 11 am for the championship. Click here to listen.

Prep and Joe’s join North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Bridgewater-Raritan, Spotswood and Middlesex – the five public schools who will go for sectional titles this Friday. Scroll down for the full championship schedule with dates and times.


Central Jersey Group 4 Final
(2) North Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 4 pm

North 2, Group 4 Final
(5) Bayonne at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan, 3 pm (Listen Live)

Central Jersey Group 2 Final
(3) Spotswood at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, 4 pm

Central Jersey Group 1 Final
(3) Middlesex at (1) Point Pleasant Beach, 4 pm


Non-Public South A Final
(2) St. Joseph-Metuchen at (1) Red Bank Catholic, 11 am (Listen Live)

Non-Public South B Final
(3) Rutgers Prep at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford, 10 am

Rutgers Prep-Gill North B semifinal highlights live coverage Wednesday on CJSR; St. Joe’s also in action

As the state tournament continues, with just eight CJSR-area teams remaining, we’ll be bringing you live coverage of the Non-Public North B semifinals, where an area team is guaranteed to make it to the title game in the section this Saturday.

Third-seed Rutgers Prep (13-14) takes on seventh-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (10-14) for a trip to the finals, where the winner will take on either 4th-seed Montclair-Kimberley or top-seed St. Mary-Rutherford.

Mike Pavlichko will have all the live play-by-play from Diamond Nation in Flemington with pregame at 11:45 am. Click here to listen.

The Argonauts will throw Max Treonze (5-0, 0.19 ERA) in his first start since suffering a broken nose after getting hit by a fastball in the Prep B Final against Pennington. Reliever-turned-starter Colin Chou (1-1, 3.29 ERA) will go for Gill St. Bernard’s.

Sophomore catcher Andrew Parisi has been killing it at the plate again for Rutgers Prep, hitting .492, while fellow soph Zach Fronio – who got the win on the mound in the quarters last Friday against Morris Catholic – leads the team with 30 runs batted in.

For Gill, it’s senior Zach Wendell leading in most of the offensive categories, hitting .494 with 15 stolen bases, while Chou has driven in a team-leading 22 runs.

St. Joseph seeks finals berth, too

Meanwhile, in a 4 pm game also at Diamond Nation in Flemington, second-see St. Joseph-Metuchen (20-9) will take on sixth-seed Notre Dame (20-4) in a Non-Public South A semifinal. The Falcons are this year’s GMC Tournament champions, with Jimmy Mulvaney besting Zach Konstantinovsky in the final, boosted by a Tyler Delvecchio home run. The Falcons have one of the most feared lineups in the GMC.

The other semifinal features the top-seed and No. 1 ranked team in the state, Red Bank Catholic (22-5), taking on fourth-seeded St. Augustine (17-7), which also is ranked in the statewide Top 20.


Non-Public North B
(4) Montclair-Kimberley at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford, 3 pm
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s at (3) Rutgers Prep, 12 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington) (LISTEN on CJSR)

Non-Public South A
(4) St. Augustine at (1) Red Bank Catholic, 4 pm
(6) Notre Dame at (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen, 4 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington)


Central Jersey Group 4 Final
(2) North Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 4 pm

North 2, Group 4 Final
(5) Bayonne at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan, 3 pm

Central Jersey Group 2 Final
(3) Spotswood at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, 4 pm

Central Jersey Group 1 Final
(3) Middlesex at (1) Point Pleasant Beach, 4 pm

SATURDAY, MAY 3: Non-Public Sectional Finals (TBA)

Five area teams to battle for public sectional titles Friday, as Bridgewater-Raritan, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Spotswood, Middlesex all advance

It was quite a night for baseball in Central Jersey. Besides the beautiful weather, five teams from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area advanced in the state playoffs Tuesday, and will play for sectional titles Friday.

Central Jersey Group 4

One section is guaranteed a winner from the GMC. That’s in Central Jersey Group 4, where North Brunswick and Old Bridge advanced with semifinal wins. The Knights blanked East Brunswick 8-0, while the Raiders were a 4-3 winner over Monroe on a walk-off solo home run in the seventh by Zack Konstantinovsky, his second home of the game. He also hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning. Opposing starter Harrison Lollin also homered for the Falcons.

Old Bridge has beaten North Brunswick twice already this season, with one of those games taking ten innings, interrupted by a lightning delay in the final at bat. But Konstantinovsky did not start either of those games, throwing only one scoreless inning in the extra-inning loss.

Click here for a recap with audio of the Old Bridge win over East Brunswick, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

North 2, Group 4

Bridgewater-Raritan will face unlikely finalist Bayonne after a 10-9 win in eight innings over Woodbridge. Joey Letko drove in Michael Fattore with a walk-off RBI single to win an up-and-down game in which the second-seeded Panthers led 7-2 after three innings, but found themselves up only 9-8 heading into the seventh, when Woodbridge tied it. The Panthers (23-6) will face fifth-seed Bayonne (24-6), which beat 8th-seed Westfield 14-3 in a mercy rule-shortened five-inning game Tuesday.

Click below for postgame comments from Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Max Newill:

Central Jersey Group 2

Third-seed Spotswood will play at top-seed Rumson-Fair Haven on Friday afternoon, after the Chargers beat Delran Tuesday, 5-3 at home. It’s Spotswood’s first trip to a final since 2010, when they beat Governor Livingston 7-5 to win Central Jersey Group 2.

Click here for a full recap with audio of Spotswood’s win over Delran.

Central Jersey Group 1

Third-seeded Middlesex will face a familiar opponent in the Central Jersey Group 1 final after beating second-seed Shore Regional on the road Tuesday, 7-2. This will be the fourth year in a row the Blue Jays (17-8) will play Point Pleasant Beach for the title, winning in 2019 and 2021 – with no season in 2020 due to COVID, but losing last season to the Garnet Gulls at home. This one will be on the road for Middlesex, with the last three finals clashes all being at Mountainview Park.

Aiden Kozak was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the win, while Michael Canavesio went the distance, scattering seven hits and two runs over seven innings, striking out seven.

Point Beach knocked out 5th-seed Manville 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday.

Below are Tuesday’s results, followed by the immediate upcoming schedule in all sections with CJSR-area teams remaining:


Central Group 4
(1) Old Bridge def. (5) East Brunswick, 8-0
(2) North Brunswick def. (6) Monroe, 4-3

North 2, Group 4
(5) Bayonne def. (8) Westfield, 14-3 (5 inn.)
(2) Bridgewater-Raritan def. (3) Woodbridge, 10-9 (8 inn.)

North 2, Group 3
(1) Millburn def. (4) South Plainfield, 3-2

Central Group 2
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven def. (12) Ocean Township, 2-1
(3) Spotswood def. (10) Delran, 5-3

Central Group 1
(1) Point Pleasant Beach def. (5) Manville, 10-0 (5 inn.)
(3) Middlesex def. (2) Shore, 7-2


Non-Public North B
(4) Montclair-Kimberley at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s at (3) Rutgers Prep, 12 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington) (LISTEN on CJSR)

Non-Public South A
(4) St. Augustine at (1) Red Bank Catholic
(6) Notre Dame at (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen, 4 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington)


Central Jersey Group 4 Final
(2) North Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 4 pm

North 2, Group 4 Final
(5) Bayonne at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan, TBA

Central Jersey Group 2 Final
(3) Spotswood at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, TBA

Central Jersey Group 1 Final
(3) Middlesex at (1) Point Pleasant Beach, TBA

SATURDAY, MAY 3: Non-Public Sectional Finals

Here’s what should have happened in Ridge-Westfield game, per NJSIAA rules. But did it?

There’s a lot that’s still unknown about exactly how things went down in the North 2, Group 4 quarterfinal game between top-seed Ridge and 8th-seed Westfield, which results in the Red Devils being disqualified from the state tournament due to a pitch count violation.

In a statement the NJSIAA provided via email to Central Jersey Sports Radio Saturday afternoon: “During Thursday’s quarterfinal game of the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 4 baseball tournament, Ridge High School violated pitch count rules. As a result, its pitcher was declared ineligible and, per rule, Ridge was required to forfeit. Westfield High School will now advance to face Bayonne High School on Tuesday (5/30).”

According to an NJ Advance Media report by Luis Torres, Ridge ace Connor Byrne was taken out of the game after throwing 82 pitches. This, after having thrown 69 in Monday’s opening round playoff game against Piscataway. That would have given Byrne 151 pitches thrown, one over the NJSIAA “hard limit” of 150 pitches per five calendar days.

That “hard limit” is in contrast to the single day pitch limit of 110 pitches, which is a “soft limit,” wherein a pitcher may stay in the game to finish the batter, whether the batter is out, reaches base, or that batter ends the inning or game. The hard limit means the pitcher must be removed even in the middle of an at bat.


That’s what we know. What we don’t know is why Byrne wasn’t removed at 150 pitches, or 81 on the day. Was Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell unaware of the hard limit, which is a new addition to the rules this year? Where was the official pitch counter in all this?

Per NJSIAA rules, here is what should have happened, before the first pitch of the game was even thrown:

  1. “During these state tournament rounds (State Tournament Rounds 1, 2, 3 & Sectional Finals), each school shall designate a pitch counter for their team. In addition, the home team must supply an “Official Adult Pitch Counter” who shall not be part of the coaching staff or team manager. The official pitch counter should be dressed in apparel that is considered neutral during the state tournament. The official pitch counter shall be situated in an area near the backstop and equally accessible to both teams. The official pitch counter will count pitches for both schools.” This means both Ridge and Westfield should have their own pitch counters, which is something that’s required all season long. The NJ Advance story says Westfield AD Sandra Mammary told Torres that both teams checked in with the official pitch counter after each inning.
  2. Before every game, both Head Coaches shall exchange their pitching logs as part of the pre-game conference with umpires. This shall include names, numbers and pitches thrown by each pitcher. We don’t know yet whether or not the official pitch counter, which was on site, according to Mamary, was provided this information. This would also tell the pitch counter how many pitches each pitcher was allowed to throw in the game.
  3. Pitch counts must be verified with representatives of both teams after each half-inning. If both teams agree on a pitch number, that number shall be recorded as the official pitch count. If one team disagrees on a pitch count, the official pitch counter’s number shall be recorded. Once the first pitch is thrown for the next half inning, there can be no protests or appeals to the pitch count. Again, from the comments by the Westfield Athletic Director, this appears to have taken place. At this point, the pitch counter and both head coaches should have been aware of the pitch limit on Byrne, since both head coaches would have received pitching logs as part of their pre-game conference with the umpires.
  4. The official pitch counter shall inform both coaches and the plate umpire when a pitcher reaches their maximum pitch count threshold. Coaches are responsible for their pitcher’s pitch count at all times. Here’s where the questions come in. The pitch counter should have informed both coaches and the plate umpire when the Byrne reached 81 pitches, the maximum he was allowed for the day. By all accounts in numerous media reports, that never happened. Byrne was removed after 82 pitches. As a backup, the Ridge coach also should have been aware of the rule and removed Byrne, which did not happen. Was there a discrepancy as to the pitch count when Byrne was removed? An update to the Torres story with a quote from Mamary says, “When that kid pitched his 82nd pitch, we stopped the game, we asked how many pitches they had because they are the home team and they confirmed that they had 82 pitches. The umpire said, ‘Yes, we have 82 pitches.’ (He) said back to my coach, ‘Yeah, there’s 82 pitches’. And we said, ‘OK. Now it’s kind of out of hands.'” So it also appears Westfield knew Byrne had thrown 81, and stopped the game only after the violation occurred, rather than when Byrne was at his limit.

Unless there’s a further discrepancy in the pitch count for Byrne, the only thing that’s clear is that the rule was violated, and per the rules, Westfield has the right to protest, which they did, and Ridge is disqualified from the tournament.

Rules are rules, whether they’re fair and intended to ensure the safety of student-athletes or not. Clearly, the rule was violated.

But it seems like there’s more than enough blame to go around.

Top-seed Ridge DQ’d from state tournament by NJSIAA after pitch count violation

As first reported by NJ Advance Media’s Luis Torres, the Ridge baseball team – the top seed in the North 2, Group 4 playoffs – has been disqualified from the rest of the state tournament after a pitch count violation.

The report says the violation came in the Red Devils’ 8-1 quarterfinal win over eighth-seed Westfield on Thursday, when ace Connor Byrne threw 82 pitches, following a 69-pitch outing Monday against Piscataway. That would have given him 151 pitches thrown in a period of four calendar days, one over the NJSIAA pitch limit for a five-day calendar period.

According to the NJSIAA pitch count rules, the five-day rule is a hard limit of 150 pitches. The rule says: “Once the 150-pitch limit in five calendar days is reached, the pitcher may not continue with the current batter.”

That’s different from the single-day rule, which says once the 110-pitch limit is reached, a pitcher may continue until the batter reaches base, is retired, or the third out is recorded to complete that half-inning or game.

The rule did not always include the caveat that a pitcher who reaches 150 in a five-day period must be removed immediately.

The report by NJ Advance Media said the game was protested by Westfield, to determine whether or not Byrne exceeded the limit.

The NJSIAA provided the following statement in an email to Central Jersey Sports Radio Saturday afternoon: “During Thursday’s quarterfinal game of the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 4 baseball tournament, Ridge High School violated pitch count rules. As a result, its pitcher was declared ineligible and, per rule, Ridge was required to forfeit. Westfield High School will now advance to face Bayonne High School on Tuesday (5/30).”

The NJSIAA rules state: “Failure to remove a pitcher when he has reached the maximum number of pitches thrown is the basis for protest by the opposing coach. If the protest is upheld, the penalty shall be forfeiture of the game.”

Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell, when reached via text message, said he was speaking to his team on a Zoom call. This story will be updated with additional comments, if available.

The result means Ridge – one of the favorites to win not only the section, but maybe even a statewide Group 4 title – is out, and Westfield is back in. The Blue Devils will now play at fifth-seed Bayonne Tuesday in one semifinal game, while third-seed Woodbridge and two-seed Bridgewater-Raritan square off in the other semifinal, for a trip to the North 2, Group 4 championship game.

It also means whichever CJSR-area team wins the Woodbridge-Bridgewater game would now be guaranteed to host the finals, since the teams in the other semi would both be lower seeds.

Three of five area non-publics advance in state playoffs, as Rutgers Prep, Gill St. Bernard’s and St. Joe’s all win

Just three non-public schools from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area remain in the state playoffs, with Rutgers Prep, Gill St. Bernard’s and St. Joseph-Metuchen advancing, while Pingry and St. Thomas Aquinas were eliminated.


Below are Friday’s results, followed by next week’s schedule in all sections with CJSR-area teams remaining:


Non-Public North B
(1) St. Mary-Rutherford def. (8) Hawthorne Christian, 13-1 (5 inn.)
(4) Montclair-Kimberley def. (5) Roselle Catholic, 10-0 (6 inn.)
(3) Rutgers Prep def. (6) Morris Catholic, 6-3
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s def. (2) St. Thomas Aquinas, 8-3

Non-Public South A
(1) Red Bank Catholic def. (8) Pingry, 4-2
(4) St. Augustine def. (5) Christian Brothers Academy, 5-4 (8 inn.)
(6) Notre Dame at (3) Donovan Catholic, 9-6 (Thursday)
(2) St. Joseph-Metuchen def. (7) Paul VI, 8-4


Central Group 4
(5) East Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 6 pm (live on CJSR)
(6) Monroe at (2) North Brunswick, 4 pm

North 2, Group 4
(5) Bayonne at (1) Ridge, 4 pm
(3) Woodbridge at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan, 4 pm

North 2, Group 3
(4) South Plainfield at (1) Millburn, 3 pm
(3) Randolph at (2) Cranford

Central Group 2
(12) Ocean Township at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, 4 pm
(10) Delran at (3) Spotswood, 2 pm

Central Group 1
(5) Manville at (1) Point Pleasant Beach, 4 pm
(3) Middlesex at (2) Shore, 4 pm


Non-Public North B
(4) Montclair-Kimberley at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s at (3) Rutgers Prep, 12 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington)

Non-Public South A
(4) St. Augustine at (1) Red Bank Catholic
(6) Notre Dame at (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen

FRIDAY, MAY 2: Public Sectional Finals

SATURDAY, MAY 3: Non-Public Sectional Finals

Batts walk-off grand slam wins it for North Brunswick, all-GMC Red semifinals on tap in CJ4, nine area teams advance

As if anyone needed any more evidence the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division may be one of the toughest in the entire state, one of its teams is guaranteed to be the state sectional champion in Central Jersey Group 4.

That’s because sixth-seed Monroe upset third-seed Jackson Memorial on the road, 9-8 Thursday, and second-seed North Brunswick got a walk-of grand slam from Justin Batts to beat 10-seed South Brunswick, 5-1, while fifth-seed East Brunswick and top-seed Old Bridge also won.

That makes it all four teams in the semifinals of CJ4 from the GMC Red Division, with Monroe playing at North Brunswick Tuesday in one game, while Old Bridge hosts East Brunswick on the other, with the winners meeting for a sectional title next Friday at the higher seed.


North Brunswick 5, South Brunswick 1

Zack Konstantinovsky pitched into the sixth, with a 60-pitch limit based on NJSIAA rules. But after Alejandro Jabar gave up a home run to tie the game, North Brunswick won in its final at bat. Yomar Carreras led off with a walk, and Konstantinovsky did the same. Omar Carreras singled on a line drive to left field that was too hard a hit to drive in a run from second. Then, Justin Batts – a transfer from Bergen Catholic who has played youth ball with many of the Raiders since he was eight years old – smacked a grand slam to right field to win the game.

Click below to hear Justin Batts talk about the exciting walkoff win with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Monroe 9, Jackson Memorial 8

The Falcons rallied to come from behind in a slugfest, the only upset win of the day in CJ4.

Each team scored a run in the first, but Jackson got four in the bottom of the second to take a 5-2 lead. Monroe answered, however, with a six-run third that put them up 7-5. Jackson got three more back with a Falcons run in between to make it 8-8 heading into the sixth where Monroe scored the deciding run, on a 5-3 fielder’s choice.

Click below to hear Monroe head coach Sean Field talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the win:

Below are Thursday’s results, followed by the upcoming schedule in all sections with CJSR-area teams remaining:


Central Group 4
(1) Old Bridge def. (9) West Windsor-Plainsboro North, 10-0 (5)
(5) East Brunswick def. (13) Manalapan, 7-1
(6) Monroe def. (3) Jackson Memorial, 9-8
(2) North Brunswick def. (10) South Brunswick, 5-1

North 2, Group 4
(1) Ridge def. (8) Westfield, 8-1
(5) Bayonne def. (13) Phillipsburg, 3-2
(3) Woodbridge def. (11) Watchung Hills, 3-2
(2) Bridgewater-Raritan def. (7) Hunterdon Central, 19-8 (5)

North 2, Group 3
(1) Millburn def. (9) Chatham, 9-8
(4) South Plainfield def. (12) Warren Hills, 10-0 (5)
(6) North Hunterdon def. (3) Randolph, 6-1
(2) Cranford def. (10) Ferris, 8-0

Central Group 2
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven def. (8) Bordentown, 7-2
(12) Ocean Township def. (4) Carteret, 9-2
(3) Spotswood def. (11) Wall, 4-3
(10) Delran def. (15) Manasquan, 2-1

Central Group 1
(1) Point Pleasant Beach def. (9) Riverside, 10-0
(5) Manville def. (13) New Egypt, 2-1
(2) Shore def. (7) South Amboy, 2-1


Non-Public South A
(8) Hawthorne Christian at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford
(5) Roselle Catholic at (4) Montclair-Kimberley
(6) Morris Catholic at (3) Rutgers Prep, 3 pm
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s at (2) St. Thomas Aquinas, 4 pm

Non-Public North B
(8) Pingry at (1) Red Bank Catholic
(5) Christian Brothers at (4) St. Augustine
(6) Notre Dame at (3) Donovan Catholic
(7) Paul VI at (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen, 4 pm


Central Group 4
(5) East Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 6 pm (live on CJSR)
(6) Monroe at (2) North Brunswick

North 2, Group 4
(5) Bayonne at (1) Ridge
(3) Woodbridge at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan

North 2, Group 3
(4) South Plainfield at (1) Millburn
(3) Randolph at (2) Cranford

Central Group 2
(12) Ocean Township at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven
(10) Delran at (3) Spotswood

Central Group 1
(5) Manville at (1) Point Pleasant Beach
(3) Middlesex at (2) Shore