Tag: Old Bridge

St. Joseph-Metuchen tops Old Bridge 4-1 on strong outing from Goldan

Junior starting pitcher Andrew Goldan no-hit Old Bridge through five innings before being pulled due to his pitch count, leading St. Joseph-Metuchen to a 4-1 road in in GMC Red Division action, as heard Monday afternoon on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Goldan walked three and struck out six in five innings of work, allowing no hits and no runs, and facing just three more than the minimum number of batters.

The Falcons jumped on the board in the first inning, as leadoff man Xavier Arana – who’d walked – came in to score on an attempt to steal third when Old Bridge catcher Giovanni Aresta’s throw sailed into left field.

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St. Joe’s picked up two more runs in the fourth on a double by nine-hitter Josiah Brown, and Colin Leyner’s RBI double in the fifth added another run.

POSTGAME REACTION: Goldan no-hits Old Bridge through five en route to St. Joe’s win

Old Bridge didn’t get on the board until the bottom of the seventh, when pinch-hitter Matt Hefter drove in drove in Nick Ong, who’d led off with a triple. But the game ended with a runner on when Jason Gilman grounded into a 6-2 double-play, as Brown – the St. Joe’s shortstop – fielded the ball while gliding across second base to retire the baserunner, then threw to first to get the final out.

Click below to hear the complete game broadcast of St. Joe’s 4-1 win over Old Bridge:

Goldan no-hits Old Bridge through five en route to St. Joe’s win

St. Joseph junior Andrew Goldan knew he could only throw about 75 pitches heading into Monday’s game at Old Bridge.

Having had a ten-day layoff between appearances due to some tendinitis in his throwing arm, and having thrown over 40 pitches in a relief win over South Brunswick Saturday, head coach Mike Murray had him on a strict pitch count.

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So despite having no-hit the Knights through five innings of work, Goldan’s day was done. And it was a sold day’s work, which the bullpen closed out for a 4-1 win over Old Bridge in a GMC Red Division game.

He faced only three more batters than the minimum and set Old Bridge down 1-2-3 in three of his five innings. The final book said no runs, no hits, three walks and six strikeouts and rarely went deep in the count, only reaching three balls on the three hitters he walked.

The win improves St. Joe’s to 7-3 overall, and 7-0 in the GMC Red Division, where they remain tied with Monroe for first place. The Falcons improved to 7-0 in the division with a 3-1 home win Monday over Perth Amboy.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from St. Joe’s 4-1 win over Old Bridge.

St. Joseph junior pitcher Andrew Goldan
St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray

St. Joseph puts unbeaten streak on the line Monday in first of home-and-home with Old Bridge

With a combination of good pitching and timely hitting – isn’t that always the case? – the St. Joseph-Metuchen baseball team is off to a fast start, particularly in the GMC White Division.

Andrew Goldan has done both.

He’ll get the nod today on the mount for the Falcons (6-3) against Old Bridge (2-4) when the two meet at Fred Cold Field in Old Bridge. Game time is at 3:45, with air-time set for 3:30 on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action by clicking here.

The broadcast is sponsored in part by Baseball Warehouse and Derby Appliances.

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Goldan is coming off a ten-day layoff due to tendinitis, but got into the swing of things in a late week/weekend series against South Brunswick. Against the Vikings Thursday, he hit a solo homer to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead, then had a walk-off single to win their rematch Saturday.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray about the season so far and Monday’s matchup with Old Bridge:

After a late start, Old Bridge hopes to keep its newfound groove going against St. Joe’s

When the Old Bridge baseball team scheduled its April 19th Opening Day game for a ceremony to honor longtime former coach Fred Cole by naming the field after him, they had no idea the varsity team wouldn’t be able to make it.

A COVID shutdown not only kept the current Knights from the ceremony – though the JV team was able to attend – but it kept them from playing until six days later, and against Don Bosco Prep, at that.

With a team that has only one returning player with varsity experience – centerfielder Jason Gilman – that was a tall order, and as Old Bridge tried to find itself, the Knights got off to an 0-4 start, with losses to Bosco, St. Peter’s Prep, and two games to Monroe, the GMC Red Division leader.

But against Piscataway, the bats exploded, for a 6-1 victory Thursday – their first at newly-named Fred Cole Field – and a 15-10 road win against the Chiefs Saturday afternoon. They’re now 2-4, and looking for more Ws.

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Monday, they take on St. Joseph-Metuchen (6-2) at home, in a game you can hear LIVE on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action. Game time is 3:45, air-time is 3:30. Click here to listen.

Monday’s game is sponsored in part by Baseball Warehouse, and Derby Appliance.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue about the Knights’ early season:

Old Bridge will dedicate Fred Cole Field Monday, sans current Knights

It wasn’t exactly the way they drew it up, but Old Bridge High School will officially dedicate its baseball field in honor of longtime skipper Fred Cole Monday, even if the current varsity team won’t be on hand.

That’s because the Knights are in COVID-19 quarantine.

Originally, the event – unveiling a sign on the scoreboard that’s being installed this weekend – was supposed to take place before Monday’s Opening Day matchup against East Brunswick.

But the school still will dedicate Fred Cole Field with a ceremony at 3:45 Monday afternoon. In fact, it will be live streamed so that the team – and anyone else who can’t make it – can see. Another ceremony will be held at a time to be determined, when the current players can be there in person.

Cole coached nearly 500 games at Madison Central and Old Bridge, going 270-210 in that time, coaching 11 eventual pros, winning the Central Jersey Group 4 title in 1988 and the GMC Tournament title in 1989, before retiring over a decade ago. He’s a New Jersey State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer.

But his impact was felt much deeper, including how he impacted the lives of the players he coached, and even the coaches he worked with.

The idea to name the field off Ticetown Road after Cole was the brainchild Current Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue and his staff. And Donaghue credits Old Bridge Athletic Director Dan Dimino for making Fred Cole Field ultimately come to fruition.

Now in his third season (35-23) as head coach of the Knights, Donaghue is a 2005 Old Bridge alum, and played for Cole. But following a circuitous route that saw Donaghue win a D3 national title as a player at Kean, then a sectional title as an assistant under Glenn Fredericks at Spotswood, he took over as the Knights’ head coach in 2018, and brought Cole on his staff as an assistant.

Donaghue spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio about his nearly lifelong mentor:

Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue talks about mentor Fred Cole, who coached Donaghue in high school, and later worked on Donaghue’s staff.

Haughney, Lanzafama want to keep Old Bridge’s two-year hot streak going

by Dominick Savino

Despite a new conference and a once-in-a-century pandemic, some things remained the same for Old Bridge in 2020.

For the second straight season, the Knights (5-1) finished with the best record in their league, sweeping Big Central Division 5C with a 4-0 divisional record.

The Big Central is not formally recognizing division championships in 2020 because of the uneven number of games played in the COVID-affected season, but Old Bridge — for all intents and purposes — won its second straight league title for the first time in program history.

Old Bridge, which won the GMC Red Division in 2019 thanks to three league wins decided by a combined nine points, discovered some more late-game magic this year. Junior QB Owen Haughney scored a final-minute rushing touchdown on Opening Day to complete a come-from-behind, 21-14 win over Monroe. And Old Bridge finished its unblemished run through Division 5C with a fourth-quarter rally against South Brunswick, powered by RB Lawrence Hunter’s first career three-touchdown game.

Haughney led the offense in his second season as the dual-threat starter, throwing for 759 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 223 yards and four more touchdowns on the ground. Hunter, a first-year starter, was the team’s breakout star, pacing the Knights with 779 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

Haughney and Hunter are two key members of Old Bridge’s Class of 2022, which also received key contributions from WR/DB Jake McAleavey (426 receiving yards, 3 TD) and OL/DE Luke Maisonet (27 tackles, 8 TFL).

It’s a 25-member junior class that, in addition to a perfect 9-0 division record, has guided Old Bridge to a 15-2 overall record in the last two years. That includes eight wins decided by seven points or less, the latest of which was a 28-27 overtime thriller over Long Branch to end the regular season.

But the returning Knights still believe they have unfinished business.

Old Bridge played in just one playoff game over those two seasons: a 34-7 upset loss to Kingsway in the first round of the 2019 Central Jersey Group 5 sectional tournament. Old Bridge was forced to sit out this year’s makeshift, two-week postseason after Long Branch reported a positive COVID case on its team less than 48 hours after the game.

“Now, we’re just focused on what’s in front of us,” Haughney said. “We want to bring that state title back to Old Bridge for the first time.”

Haughney and head coach Anthony Lanzafama spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Owen Haughney

Head Coach Anthony Lanzafama

Somerville is Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first “Team of the Year”

Finishing the COVID-shortened 2020 high school football season with a perfect 7-0 mark, the Somerville Pioneers accomplished what they set out to do: beat the best, and finish undefeated.

It was the closest anyone could come to a championship.

Their final game turned out to be a 39-26 road win over then-No. 1 and undefeated Woodbridge, a victory that propelled then No. 2 Somerville into the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

They held onto that spot in the final rankings, to earn the first-ever “Team of the Year” award given out by Central Jersey Sports Radio, and also finished No. 1 in the inaugural Big Central Media Poll.

Somerville was the only undefeated team in the Big Central. North Plainfield – with a remarkable turnaround off a 4-6 2019 season and a 7-24 mark over the past three years – had been undefeated until a 30-14 road loss to Linden in Week 8.

The undefeated season is the Pioneers’ fifth overall and first since 1983, when they went 11-0 and won the Central Jersey Group 2 title. They also went 11-0 an route to a state title in 1979. Their first of 11 state titles overall came in a 1953 season that saw the Pioneers go 9-0. They also finished 7-0-1 in 1929, and won the only game they played in 1909, defeating Bound Brook 16-5.

Following are the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Poll. A trophy will be presented to Somerville for the honor at a later date.

Wall to Wall Big Central Football will air Thanksgiving Weekend on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Did the high school football season end too soon for you? Not stuffed yet from Thanksgiving Dinner?

Have no fear.

Central Jersey Sports Radio begins a new tradition this year: We’ll air every single one of our high school football broadcasts back-to-back-to-back to…. (you get the idea) … to-back this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Buy a bigger belt!

That’s right: 3 days, 13 games, 20 teams, 30 hours of Big Central Conference Football, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving of Piscataway.

Simply go to our website and click the Listen Live button to tune in any time, morning, noon or night. We’ll be “on the air” practically from sunup to sundown – definitely after sundown!

Here’s the schedule for each day, with original air date, and approximate start time:

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26

  • Somerville vs. South Plainfield, October 2 – 8 am
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Elizabeth, October 3 – 9:45 am
  • Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick, October 9 – noon
  • South River vs. Spotswood, October 10 – 2 pm
  • Bernards vs. Johnson, October 12 – 4:30 pm
  • Bound Brook vs Voorhees, October 16 – 6:30 pm

Friday, November 27 (Now starts at 9 am instead of 8 am)

  • Edison vs. North Brunswick, October 23 – 8 am
  • Manville vs. Bound Brook, October 30 – 11 am
  • Ridge vs. Hillsborough, November 6 – 1:45 pm
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Woodbridge, November 7 – 4:15 pm
  • Metuchen vs. South Hunterdon – 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 28

  • Woodbridge vs. Somerville, November 13 – noon
  • Edison vs. Hillsborough, November 20 – 3 pm

“Student Correspondents” expand coverage of HS Football, gain real-world experience

by Mike Pavlichko

When I was a student in high school, in the dark ages before Twitter, Facebook, and even MySpace, I knew I wanted to be in radio. I just didn’t have much of an outlet.

Back at Memorial School in Spotswood, I was one of a rotating group of students who read morning announcements, until someone let me give a daily sportscast. The rest as they say is history.

It opened the door to doing PA announcing for Spotswood High School football games, boys basketball, and eventually girls basketball. (I even got the occasional write-up in the paper, as I did in the Home News clipping above from Monday, October 18, 1993.)

It helped me find my style and develop a persona that would serve me well when I arrived at Rutgers and joined WRSU, then graduated and got a job at WCTC, where I covered high school football for 20 years before forming Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Now, Central Jersey Sports Radio is providing that opportunity to students at schools in the Big Central Football Conference. Before the season started, we emailed coaches and athletic directors and told them to put us in contact with any students who wanted to pursue sports journalism.

We got a bite from two students in particular.

Ryan Durstewicz is a senior at Old Bridge High School, where Dom Savino and I met him and other students who were calling play-by-play of the Knights’ game against East Brunswick for the school’s YouTube livestream of the game.

We got Ryan to cover the Old Bridge-Perth Amboy game at Vince Lombardi Stadium last weekend, and aired his interviews with head coach Anthony Lanzafama and runningback Lawrence Hunter on the “Tuesday Night Quarterback” program this week.

Below is Ryan’s recap of the Knights’ win over Perth Amboy:

Meanwhile, Matt Lesnik is a sophomore at Bernards High School, where he is a student of head coach Jon Simoneau, enrolled in his Multimedia 2 class at the high school. (He took Multimedia 1 as a freshman.) Matt got the rare chance to spend some time in the press box with the CJSR crew, watching as we broadcast the Mountaineers’ win over A.L. Johnson at Olcott Field.

Here’s Matt’s postgame story on the Bernards-A.L. Johnson game:

The opportunity to work with Central Jersey Sports Radio is a unique one. Students have a chance to hone their interviewing and reporting skills, with the results for all to hear on our webcasts and site. The hope is it will serve them well when they move on to college, and give them a leg up in what is an intense and highly competitive field.

And it might even be a shameless opportunity to recruit them one day to Rutgers to join the award-winning WRSU Sports Department. (So far as I know, the NCAA has no dead period or recruiting rules for radio!)

And maybe one day, they’ll be calling the games with me or Dom in the press box, showing some other wide-eyed high school kid how it’s done.

Any current high school student who wishes to get involved with Central Jersey Sports Radio as a student correspondent should reach out to Mike Pavlichko at mike@cjsportsradio.com, or on Twitter @CJSportsRadio.

Episode 5: The Sophomores

Mike Pavlichko is back with another episode of “Tuesday Night Quarterback,” recapping Week Three action, and looking ahead to key matchups coming up in Week 4 as we begin the second half of the regular season.

Featured on the show this week are a pair of sophomore quarterbacks – Vince Jairdullo of South Brunswick and Frankie Garbolino of North Brunswick – both of whom have helped pilot their teams to 3-0 starts.

Also featured this week: North Plainfield’s 3-0 start, Bound Brook’s first-ever win over a Group 3 school in decades (Voorhees), and a look at Ridge off to a 2-1 start.

We also get to hear the debuts of CJSR’s student correspondents – future sports broadcasters at local high schools who will contribute to our coverage this season – Matt Lesnik of Bernards with a recap of the Mountaineers’ win over Governor Livingston – and Ryan Dusrstewitz of Old Bridge, who interviews Old Bridge RB Lawrence Hunter and head coach Anthony Lanzafama after their win over Perth Amboy.

Plus, Mike speaks with George Ross of New Jersey Recruit Look for the second of a three-part series to talk about how COVID-19 has affected the recruiting process.

The new Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Polls are unveiled, with no change at the top, but a bit of shuffling at the bottom.