Tag: North Brunswick

By the numbers: GMC Tournament semifinals and finals set records for fewest runs, hits

It was one for the record books.

Make that three for the record books.

The two GMC Tournament semifinal games and the GMC Championship combined to see the fewest amount of runs scored and the fewest amount of hits in the event’s history, which dates back to 1986.

Already the semifinals had set a record: just six runs and eight hits combined in the two games, where South Brunswick beat North Brunswick 2-0 and St. Joseph beat Edison 3-1.

The Raiders had two hits in the game, while the victorious Vikings only had one hit. In the second game, St. Joe’s managed three hits, while Edison mustered only two.

The six runs were one shy of the previous low of seven, which came in 2008, when St. Joe’s beat JFK 3-1, and Old Bridge eked by Edison 2-1.

But that year, five runs were scored in the final, when the Falcons beat the Eagles 3-2. That made for a combined 12 runs in the semifinals and finals.

This year, just two runs were scored in the final, as St. Joseph won its seventh title all-time – and all since 2004 – with a 2-0 victory over South Brunswick. That means the semifinals and finals combined for a total of eight runs, an all-time record.

The same could be said for hits.

This year’s low of eight in the semis easily beat out the previous high of 17 in the 1998 semifinals. And adding in this year’s title game total of six hits means the semis and finals combined for just 14 hits.

Indeed, one for the record books.

North Brunswick’s Blevins told hard-luck Raiders they were due for the tide to turn – and he was right

How would you like to throw a one-hitter, and lose the ball game?

That’s what happened to North Brunswick on Monday in the GMC semifinals. Zach Konstantinovisky hurled the kind of game that wouldn’t be called anything less than a gem. And yet, his 10th-seeded Raiders lost to 5th-seed South Brunswick 2-0 as part of the lowest scoring semfinals in conference history, which date to 1986.

But he’ll get another chance in the state tournament this weekend after North Brunswick – the 7th seed in Central Jersey Group 4 – escaped with a 1-0 walk-off win against 10th-seed Hightstown in the opening round of the NJSIAA playoffs Wednesday.

And how they did it was just as remarkable.

After the hard-luck loss on Monday, head coach Mark Blevins told his team he expected some good luck for a change.

You’ve heard of “I’d rather be lucky than good?” Well, North Brunswick didn’t need luck, and they were better than good.

Sean Anderson robbed one of Hightstown’s top hitters of a home run. Kyle Tarabokia hit Konstantinovsky – playing first base – with a perfect relay to nab a runner at the plate.

And Pat McCann delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh: just a routine single.

You know: the kind with the bases loaded, two outs, and on a 2-2 pitch.

Now, the Raiders will travel to Flemington to take on 2nd-seed Hunterdon Central at 2:30 Saturday afternoon, a late start due to SAT day, according to Blevins.

Click below to hear North Brunswick coach Mark Blevins talk about the Raiders’ thrilling win over Hightstown, and preview Saturday’s matchup with the Red Devils:

GMC Tournament Semifinals belonged to the pitchers, in historic fashion

The following story has been corrected to indicate Edison had two hits, instead of three, against St. Joseph, meaning the four teams combined for a record low eight hits in the semifinals.

The great thing about sports is some record is always ready to be broken.

In the 2021 GMC Tournament semifinals, two records were set. And it was thanks to the outstanding pitching from all four teams playing at Ray Cipperly Field Monday afternoon.

This year’s version of the semis set a record for the fewest runs scored by the four teams combined, as well as the fewest combined hits, in the history of the GMC Tournament, which goes back to 1986.

South Brunswick defeated North Brunswick in the opening game 2-0, while St. Joseph defeated Edison 3-1 in the second contest. That’s a grand total of six runs.

Only four times in 34 previous semifinal events have the teams combined to score fewer than ten runs.

Nine total runs were scored in the semis in 2017, 2013 and 1997, but the all time low came in 2008 when St. Joe’s beat JFK 3-1 and Old Bridge beat Edison 2-1, a total of seven runs. The Falcons beat the Knights 3-2 in the final that year, for a combined 12 runs in the two semifinal games and the final.

The record low for the semis and finals came in 2017, when St. Joe’s beat Old Bridge 3-2 in one semi, Monroe beat Woodbridge 3-1 in the other, and St. Joe’s topped Monroe 1-0 in the title game. That’s a total of ten runs, a mark that could still be beaten this coming Sunday.

And when you look at who’s expected to start, you’ll realize that’s not out of the realm of possibility.

As for hits, it was slim pickin’s as well Saturday, in record fashion, as the teams combined for just eight hits.

In the opener, South Brunswick managed just one hit off the Raiders’ Zach Konstantinovsky, a home run to left field by infielder Justin Gallagher in the fifth innings. The second run came in the 6th came on an E5, a fielders’ choice bunt, a hit batsman, and a sac fly to left fielded that turned out to be a 7-5-4 double play. North Brunswick got just two hits: a Frandy Martinez single in the second, and an infield hit by Kyle Tarabokia in the third.

RECAP AND REACTION: Tuttoilmondo, Sanchez combine to strikeout 16 and blank North Brunswick to send Vikings to 2nd straight GMCT final

Meanwhile, in game two, the teams combined for five hits. St. Joe’s had three, including a pair of singles in the first, the second of which had Robbie Carvelli driving in a run. Then, Carvelli knocked in another run in the third with a single.

Edison had two, including a solo homer by Walker Zampella.

RECAP AND REACTION: St. Joe’s advances to GMCT final behind another strong outing from Goldan

That’s a combined eight hits in the two games. The previous low was nowhere near it, more than double in fact, when the 1998 semifinals generated just 17 hits, the only other pair of semifinals in GMC Tournament history where both games produced fewer than 10 hits combined.

Edison blanked Carteret 6-0 in a game that produced only eight combined hits, while East Brunswick edged South Plainfield 4-3, with the teams mustering a total of nine hits combined.

Monday’s results, though, said less about the hitting than they did about the state of pitching among the four teams in the semifinals.

After all, the combined ERAs of the four starters only totalled 4.48 coming into the weekend. What else would you expect out of South Brunswick’s Joey Tuttoilmondo, North Brunswick’s Zack Konstantinovsky, Edison’s Dom LaPelosa, and St. Joeseph’s Andrew Goldan?

Konstantinovsky threw one bad pitch – the homer he allowed to Gallagher, and it wasn’t even that bad of a pitch – and went the distance in the loss. Even Gallagher said after the game he didn’t think he’d got all of it. Head coach C.J. Hendricks didn’t think it would stay inside the foul pole.

Tuttoilmondo was on fire, fanning 12, then Frankie Sanchez came on in relief and struck out four more Raiders, picking up the save.

LaPelosa got a somewhat surprising early hook, coming out in the third after falling behind 3-0. He wasn’t getting hit particularly hard, but head coach Vinny Abene went with freshman Jaxon Appelman, who shut down the Falcons, throwing four innings of no-hit ball in relief.

And Andrew Goldan, well, what can you say? A complete game two-hitter, his only mistake a one-out solo shot by Edison shortstop Walker Zampella in the 6th. He pitched out of a sticky situation in the 7th, allowing a one-out walk to Charlie Taub, then a single to Ty Mellinger with two outs, but got Justin Rivera to fly out to center to end the game.

Not shown in the box or line score was the skill with which virtually everyone worked Monday. A lot of backwards Ks in the book meant a lot of hitters fooled by pitchers that looked no good to swing at, only to tickle the ends of the plate and be called third strikes. Fastballs, curves, breaking balls were all mixed in well.

And it made for some historically low-scoring, and – dare we say – thrilling baseball Monday afternoon in East Brunswick.

South Brunswick coach C.J. Hendricks has not committed to a starter yet for Sunday’s GMC Tournament final (12 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio, air time 11:30 am) against St. Joe’s, and he could go with Tuttoilmondo or Sanchez, depending how his state tournament pitching shakes out this week.

The Vikings are a 5th-seed in Central Jersey Group 4, and will host 12th-seed Old Bridge Wednesday at 4 pm in the first round. Should they win, they would play Friday against the winner of 4th-seed Edison and 13th-seed Princeton. Then come the finals Sunday at noon at Ray Cipperly Field.

But St. Joe’s skipper Mike Murray let their be no doubt after the recorder was turned off following his team’s win who would start against the Vikings in the GMC final: Andrew Goldan.

The Falcons have a non-conference game at Bergen Catholic Tuesday afternoon, and no one who’s worthy of a postseason start will touch the mound in that game.

St. Joe’s has a first-round bye in the Non-Public South A bracket, where are the 5th-seed, and will play at 4th-seed Red Bank Catholic – which also has a first-round bye – Friday afternoon. Either Colin Leyner (3-1, 3.14 ERA) or Jimmy Mulvaney (1-1, 3.10 ERA) are likely to get the start against the Caseys.

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:

Tuttoilmondo, Sanchez combine to strikeout 16 and blank North Brunswick to send Vikings to 2nd straight GMCT final

Starter Joey Tuttoilmondo struck out 12 North Brunswick hitters in 5 innings of work, and Frankie Sanchez came in to close out the final two innings, as 5th-seeded South Brunswick beat the 10th-seeded Raiders 2-0 Saturday afternoon in the GMC TOurnament Semifinals on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Third baseman Justin Gallagher had the lone South Brunswick hit, a solo home run with one out in the fifth that carried down the left field line. The hoer was Gallagher’s first extra base hit of the season.

That gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead, which was all they would need, though they would pick up an insurance run in the sixth.

The win gives South Brunswick its second straight GMC finals appearance. The Vikings are 2-1 in title games all time, but lost in 2019 to Old Bridge by a 2-1 score.

They’ll face the winner of today’s 3:30 semifinal between 6th-seed Edison and 2nd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from South Brunswick pitchers Joey Tuttoilmodono and Frankie Sanchez, as well as head coach C.J. Hendricks:

South Brunswick starting pitcher Joey Tuttoilmondo and reliever Frankie Sanchez
South Brunswick head coach C.J. Hendricks

It’s GMC Tournament Semifinals day! A look at the matchups

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live play-by-play coverage of both GMC Tournament Semifinal games today from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

NEW: Game times have been moved back one hour to allow extra time for the field to dry after nearly constant rain since Friday afternoon.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action starting at 12:35 am with the pregame show.

Thanks to local sponsors Baseball Warehouse of Highland Park, Edison Boys Baseball, Ideal Tire of Edison, and Derby Appliances.

Here’s a closer look at the semifinal matchups:

(10) NORTH BRUNSWICK (16-8-1) vs. (5) SOUTH BRUNSWICK (13-8), 1:00

How they got here: North Brunswick def. (8) Metuchen 3-2 in the first round, def. (16) JFK 8-2 in the quarterfinals. South Brunswick def. (12) Woodbridge 12-2 in the first round, def. (4) Middlesex 8-1 in the semifinals.

Starting Pitchers: Zach Konstantinovsky for North Brunswick (6-0, 1.33 ERA). Joey Tuttoilmondo for South Brunswick (3-0, 1.84 ERA)

Team Notes:

For North Brunswick, Konstantinovsky has done it at the plate and on the mound, and he’ll get the chance to do it again. In addition to going a complete game seven innings against Metuchen in their first-round game – allowing two earned runs and striking out seven – he was 1-for-2 at bat with an RBI and two walks. He’s hit three home runs on the season to lead the Raiders. In the semifinals against JFK, Tyler Sommer was 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double, while Anthony Partazana stole two bases.

NORTH BRUNSWICK PREVIEW

For the South Brunswick, Joey Tuttoilmondo also got the first round win on the mound, throwing 106 pitches in a complete game mercy-rule shutout, going the full six innings, striking out eight, and walking just one. Neel Telivedara knocked in three runs, and Nolan Watlington brought home two, in the opener against Woodbridge. Against Middlesex in the semis, Jared Lauri had a 2-for-4 day, including a three-run homer that gave the Vikings a 4-1 lead in the fourth.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK PREVIEW

Tournament History:

South Brunswick is seeking its fourth trip to the finals, where they are 2-1 all time. They lost to Old Bridge 2-1 in the title game two years ago, the last tournament played since last year’s was cancelled when the season was wiped out by COVID.

North Brunswick hasn’t been to the finals since 2010. Their only two appearances came that year, and the year before. The Raiders were blanked by St. Joseph in the 2009 final 6-0, and lost 9-2 to South Brunswick in the 2010 title game.

Did you know? Of the four potential finals matchups this season, the only teams that have ever met each other in the title game are North Brunswick and St. Joe’s, in 2009.

(6) EDISON (16-6) vs. (2) ST. JOSEPH-METUCHEN (16-9), 3:30

How they got here: Edison def. (11) JP Stevens 8-4 in the first round, def. (6) South Plainfield in the quarterfinals. St. Joseph def. (15) Old Bridge 4-0 in the first round, def. (10) Spotswood in the quarterfinals.

Starting Pitchers: Dom LaPelosa for Edison (4-1, 2.33 ERA). Andrew Goldan for St. Joseph (5-0, 0.51 ERA).

Team Notes:

For Edison, Dom LaPelosa got the win in relief in the opener against JP Stevens, when Sal DellaFave struggled to find his control, walking two and hitting two batters in just 2 1/3 innings of work. LaPelosa gave up just one earned run in 4 2/3 innings innings out of the bullpen. That was followed by an eight strikeout, no earned run effort by freshman sensation Jaxon Appelman, who will be available today, if needed, though he could be saved for the state tournament, which begins later this week. Ty Mellinger has been hot in the tournament, hitting 4-for-7, while Evrin Virola knocked in three runs in the quarterfinals against South Plainfield. Della Fave has been the slugger all season long, leading the team – and for a good part of the year, the state – with seven home runs on the season.

EDISON PREVIEW

St. Joseph’s Andrew Goldan has been outstanding since returning a couple weeks into the season following tendinitis issues. Against Old Bridge in the oepning round, he pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball to get the win. Colin Leyner closed out that game, and the Spotswood win in the quarters. The Falcons have allowed only three runs in their two tourney wins so far. Robbie Carvelli has been serving up runs all year long; he was 2-for-3 in the opener with two RBIs, a triple and a home run. Tyler Delvecchio knocked in two runs with a 2-for-3 evening against the Chargers, while Christian Azcona knocked in three on a 2-for-4 night.

ST. JOSEPH-METUCHEN PREVIEW

Tournament History:

Edison has won more GMC Tournament titles than anyone else in the league, with eight crowns, and they’ve made more appearances in the finals than anyone else too, reaching the ultimate game nine times. But those all came in a stretch of 12 years from 1990 to 2001, and they haven’t been back since beating Spotswood for the title 20 years ago.

St. Joseph is tied for East Brunswick with seven finals appearances, second only to Edison. The Falcons have won six titles, their most recent in 2017 when they shutout Monroe 1-0. Their 2004 title game win over Carteret ended a long drought; they had not previously reached a GMC final since the tournament began in 1986, and hadn’t been to a Middlesex County final before that since 1968.

Did you know? The last time Edison reached the GMC Tournament final, current North Brunswick head coach Mark Blevins was playing third base for the Eagles? If both the Eagles and Raiders win today, Blevins would end up coaching against his alma mater in the finals, slated for Sunday, June 6th at East Brunswick Tech.

Greater Middlesex Conference moves baseball semifinals to Memorial Day

In the end, the decision was a no-brainer.

The Greater Middlesex Conference – in the face of a miserable weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday – has moved the semifinal games of its baseball tournament to Monday, Memorial Day.

League President Mike Pede told Central Jersey Sports Radio of the move just after 9 am Friday.

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday calls for on-and-off showers and drizzly weather, with windy conditions and unseasonably cool temperatures in the upper 50s. Normal for this time of year is more in the upper 70s range.

Jared Lauri – shown here slugging a three-run homer against Middlesex in the quarterfinals – will lead South Brunswick aginst North Brunswick in the GMC Tournament semifinals, now movied to Monday.

Pede says he and Middlesex AD Mike O’Donnel, the league’s baseball rep, made the decision based on a number of factors.

Pede says they didn’t want the semifinals to be contested in iffy weather, especially with a much nicer day – mid 70s and partly sunny – forecast for Monday.

He also didn’t want teams to play on different days, as if one team got their game in and the other didn’t because of the rain. Pede said that could give one team an advantage over the other in the finals with an additional day of rest for their pitching staff.

The move by the GMC should not affect what pitchers are available for the finals, slated for Sunday, June 6. NJSIAA rules say pitchers who throw up to 110 pitches – the maximum allowed in a single game – need four days’ rest before they can pitch again. There would be five days of rest in between the semifinals and finals.

However, it could affect plans for the state tournament. Edison, South Brunswick and North Brunswick all have first round games in the Central Jersey Group 4 bracket on Wednesday, while St. Joseph-Metuchen has a first round bye in South Non-Public A until Friday.

Falcons’ head coach Mike Murray, whose team is in the semifinals and will face Edison, told Central Jersey Sports Radio in an interview about a half-hour before the decision was announced that he hoped the GMC would announce its plans early, and not wait and see, going day by day, leaving people on hold with their plans for the holiday weekend.

Soon after, the GMC made the call.

The game times for Monday at East Brunswick Tech’s Ray Cipperly Field will be the same as they were for this Saturday. Both games will be broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

The opener at noon will feature 9th-seed North Brunswick and 5th-seed South Brunswick, while the 2:30 game has 6th-seed Edison taking on 2nd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen.

Air-time will be 11:45 am on CJSR, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action. You can listen live by clicking here.

Below are links to game previews and interviews with all four coaches for Monday’s games:

SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Hendricks expects lower scoring game when Vikings meet Raiders in GMCT semis

NORTH BRUNSWICK: North Brunswick seeking first trip to GMC finals in over a decade

EDISON: Edison looks to keep special year rolling when Eagles face St. Joe’s in GMCT semis

ST. JOSEPH: Goldan looks to pitch St. Joe’s into GMC finals

North Brunswick seeking first trip to GMC finals in over a decade

The last time the North Brunswick baseball team reached the GMC Tournament finals also was the last time they got this far, to the semifinals.

They’ll have their top pitcher on the mound Monday – with the semifinals moved from Saturday due to inclement weather in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday – when the 9th-seeded Raiders (16-8-1) take on 5th-seed South Brunswick (13-8) in the first of two GMC Tournament semifinal games to be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio Saturday, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Rutgers-bound Zach Konstantinovsky will take the mound for the Raiders, a week after going the distance and getting the win in a 3-2 first-round win over 8th-seed Metuchen. The senior struck out seven and walked just one batter, allowing seven hits and two earned runs.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Brunswick head coach Mark Blevins about the Raiders’ semifinal matchup with South Brunswick:

Hendricks expects lower scoring game when Vikings meet Raiders in GMCT semis

Just before the end of April, South Brunswick squeezed past North Brunswick in a slugfest, 13-9.

Vikings’ head coach C.J. Hendricks expects a much tighter game this time around, when 5th-seeded South Brunswick plays 10th-seed North Brunswick in the GMC Tournament semifinals Monday on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving.

The GMC announced Friday it would move the semifinals from Saturday to Monday with rainy, windy weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will have the call of the noon game, with pregame slated for 11:45 am. Click here to listen.

Hendricks points out that in that April 28th game, neither team had their best arm on the mound. But that’ll be the case Saturday in the semis when Rutgers-bound Zach Konstantinovsky is expected to pitch for the Raiders, while Joey Tuttoilmondo will go for the Vikings.

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

Konstantinovsky threw a complete game last Saturday against 9th-seed Metuchen, getting the win in a 3-2 first-round victory. He gave up seven hits, struck out seven, walked two and gave up two earned runs.

Tuttoilmondo also pitched in the first-round, a 12-2 South Brunswick win over the 12th-seed Woodbridge. He gave up two unearned runs in the mercy rule win, throwing six innings, walking only one batter while striking out eight Barrons.

Click below to hear South Brunswick coach C.J. Hendricks look back at the Vikings’ quarterfinal win over Middlesex, and ahead to Saturday’s semifinal against rival North Brunswick:

Rainy Memorial Day Weekend forecast could push GMCT semis back as late as Monday

With rain in the forecast for Central Jersey for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the GMC Tournament semifinals – scheduled for Saturday at noon and 2:30 pm – are in serious jeopardy.

The Greater Middlesex Conference has devised multiple backup scenarios that would allow it to play the games this weekend, according to league President Mike Pede, who crafted the plan along with Baseball AD Mike O’Donnell of Middlesex High School.

In an exclusive conversation with Central Jersey Sports Radio, Pede discussed the plans, which include a number of options. The games could be moved later on Saturday, be moved to Sunday or Monday, or even be played at JFK High School.

Scroll down to hear the complete intervie as Mike Pavlichko talks with GMC President Mike Pede about rain contingencies for this weekend’s GMC Tournament semifinals.

Not having lights at East Brunswick Tech is a limitation, but even though JFK does, Pede wants to avoid the risk of getting one game in, but the other getting rained out. He says that would create an unfair advantage for the team that plays and wins, because they’d have an extra day off.

Bellamy & Son Paving is the presenting sponsor of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the GMC Tournament.

Central Jersey Sports Radio is scheduled to carry both games of the GMC Tournament semifinals – presented by Bellamy & Son Paving – with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe scheduled for Saturday’s coverage.

Pregame is set for 11:45 am with first pitch at noon for Game One between 5th-seed South Brunswick and 10th-seed North Brunswick. At 2:30, the other semifinal has 2nd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen taking on 6th-seed Edison.

Click below to hear GMC President Mike Pede talk about this weekend’s rain scenario for the GMC Tournament: