Tag: Pingry

INSTANT REPLAY: SCT Semifinals – (2) Ridge 6, (6) Pingry 2

Second-seed Ridge earned a chance to defend its 2022 Somerset County Tournament title with a 6-0 win over 6th-seed Pingry, putting them back in the championship game for the third straight time. Brendan Callanan was brilliant on the mound with six shutout innings pitched and 11 strikeouts, adding a two-RBI single in the fourth, while Nick Rossie hit a first-inning solo home run and was 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the action from TD Bank Ballpark Bridgewater, NJ on April 27, 2023:

Callanan’s strong 6 innings, 6-run outburst propel Ridge into SCT finals with 6-2 win over Pingry

When Brendan Callanan struck out five six of the first seven batters he faced, retiring the first seven he faced, one could be forgiven if they thought: “Could it happen again?”

No, Callanan didn’t throw a perfect game like Connor Byrne did Tuesday in the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals against Bernards, but he pitched a pretty good game himself. He gave pitched five shutout innings, scattering three hits and struck out eleven, as second-seed Ridge (10-2) beat Pingry (6-4) in the first of two SCT semifinal games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Thursday afternoon, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Zoned Sports Academy.

Callanan took a 1-0 lead into the second after catcher Nick Rossi blasted a one-out solo homer to left in the bottom of the first. It was the first homer of his scholastic career.

For a while, that looked like it was all Ridge would need, until Pingry got two runs in the seventh on a two-RBI single by Nick Lorenzo.

Ridge got three runs in the third, on an RBI single by Julian Kielb, and a two-RBI single by Connor Byrne, which chased Pingry starter Alex Payne.

The Red Devils added two more in the fourth on a two-RBI single by Callanan, helping his cause.

Ridge moves on to play either top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan or 12th-seed Rutgers Prep, which played in the later semifinal at 4 pm.

It will be the third straight trip to the finals for defending champion Ridge, which made it in 2019 (there was no tournament in 2020 or 2021) and won it last season.

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Click below for postgame reaction from Ridge, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen!

Ridge pitcher Brendan Callanan
Ridge catcher Nick Rossi
Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell

SCT Semifinals take center stage at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater as four teams vie for trip to county championship

After three rounds of play, the Somerset County Tournament semifinals are upon us!

Four teams – Bridgewater-Raritan, defending champion Ridge, Pingry and Rutgers Prep – will be gunning for a chance to play for the county title in nearly two weeks, in semifinal games to be held at TD Bank Ballpark.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have complete coverage of all the games, starting at 12:35 pm Thursday with pregame for the first semifinal between top-seed Bridgewater-Raritan and 6th-seed Pingry. Coverage will continue with the 4:00 game, featuring 2-seed Ridge and 12th-seed Rutgers Prep.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the Somerset County Tournament is presented by Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater.

Below are full previews of each of Thursday’s semifinal games, with stats, notes, record and analysis.

#2 Ridge (9-2) vs. #6 Pingry (6-3)

First pitch weather: 57 degrees, partly sunny, wind ENE 4 mph (in from left field), 22% rain chance

Starting Pitchers:
Ridge – Brendan Callanan (4-0, 0.23 ERA)
Pingry – Alex Payne (2-1, 0.78 ERA)

How they got here:

Ridge had a bye in the first two rounds, and in its first SCT game – Tuesday’s quarterfinals – got a 76-pitch perfect game from senior Connor Byrne in a 1-0 win over 10-seed Bernards. Clearly, you couldn’t ask for more from Byrne, who had good defense behind him and got just enough offense for the win.

Pingry had a first-round bye, and won their first SCT game in the second round, blowing away 11th-seed and red-hot Manville 13-1, behind a mercy-rule, five-inning no-hitter by Alex Payne. In the quarterfinals Tuesday, they got a stellar outing from Jake Francis on the mound in a 4-1 win over 3rd-seed Montgomery. Coach Anthony Feltre called Kailar Ahn’s home run to break a 1-1 tie – the Big Blue’s first of the season – “the biggest hit of the year.”


This is Pingry’s first trip to the the SCT semifinals since 2006, when they lost 8-0 to Immaculata in the county championship game. But they’re no stranger to tournament play, having won the state’s Prep A tournament last spring.

Ridge is the defending champion, and has made the last two finals, three years apart. They made the finals in 2019, losing 6-5 to Immaculata, then after a two-year break due to COVID – with no season in 2020 and a shortened season in 2021 that didn’t allow time to put on a county tournament, the Red Devils won it all last season, beating Rutgers Prep 6-0 in the final.

Ridge players run onto the field after the final out of the 2022 Somerset County Tournament title game at TD Bank Park on May 23, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

The quarterfinals were all about great pitchers. The losing teams in the quarters were held to three combined runs. Rutgers Prep scored two, Montgomery one, and Immaculata and Bernards got shutout. On this game specifically, Brendan Callanan and Alex Payne have a combined 1.01 ERA, and in one start each in the SCT so far, they have combined to allow zero hits. Even without knowing that number, if you saw either of them pitch, you’d know this could come down to a 1-0 game.

That said, it may be a matter of who gets the timely hit, who is aggressive – or patient – at the plate, and who makes the mistake in the field. Pingry knows from that; they played Ridge to a 1-0 game earlier this year where a dropped fly ball was the difference.

At 6-3, Pingry has won four straight coming in, after a three-game skid where only one game got out of hand, a 10-1 loss to Pennington. Otherwise, there was the one-run loss to Ridge – which was ranked statewide in the preseason and is back this week – and a 2-1 loss to North Hunterdon.

Ridge, meanwhile, has a single loss on the season, that coming via shutout, 3-0 at Bridgewater-Raritan back on April 11th. They haven’t necessarily been tearing the cover off the ball, but they haven’t had to with the pitching they’ve gotten from Callanan – today’s starter – and Byrne.

Preview Audio:

Ridge head coach Tom Blackwell
Pingry head coach Anthony Feltre

Last titles, finals appearances:

Ridge has made the last two finals, winning last season, and falling to Immaculata in 2019. The Red Devils are have made the finals 15 times in their history, winning seven of them. In addition to the 2022 title over Rutgers Prep, they won in 2011, 1989, 1985, 1984, 1980 and 1976.

Pingry has only made two finals, losing both times: in 2006 to Immaculata and in 2003 to Montgomery, 6-1.

Past Coverage:


Ridge starter Andrew Shawah pitches in the third inning against Pingry’s Alex Payne on April 29, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)


#1 Bridgewater-Raritan (11-1) vs. #12 Rutgers Prep (5-7), 4 pm

First pitch weather: 61 degrees, partly sunny, wind E 4 mph (in from left field), 6% chance of rain

Starting Pitchers:
Bridgewater-Raritan – Jason Cozzi (1-0, 6.17 ERA)
Rutgers Prep – Zach Fronio (0-1, 1.27 ERA)

How they got here:

Bridgewater-Raritan had a bye in the first two rounds, and in the Panthers’ first SCT game – in Tuesday’s quarterfinals – got a combined one-hitter from three pitchers in a 5-0 win over Immaculata. Starter Matt Fattore felt some soreness and came out after one inning as a precaution. Then, Noah Matheson and Corey Rible threw four and two innings, respectively, of no-hit ball the rest of the way to close out the Spartans and move on to the semifinals.

Zach Fronio – who’ll get the start tonight – pitches in the 2022 Somerset County Tournament semifinals at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater on May 9, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Rutgers Prep had to play in the opening round, and picked up an 8-0 shutout win over 13-seed Watchung Hills. They then picked up a big revenge win over 5-seed Franklin, 5-4, in the second round, eleven days after a 15-3 regular season home loss to the Warriors. In Tuesday’s quarterfinals, the Argonauts got by 5-seed Somerville 3-2 on a solid outing from Max Treonze: 9 Ks, 5 hits, no earned runs in a complete game effort.


Bridgewater has now cracked the top five statewide, and for good reason. Their pitching has been phenomenal, and they can hit. They’ve got a team ERA of 2.04, and three pitchers with at least 14 innings thrown with ERAs under two: Matthew Fattore (0.41 ERA, 17 innings pitched), Matheson (1.00, 14 IP) and Rible (1.68, 16 2/3 IP). At the plate, three regulars are hitting over .400: Matthew Fattore at .485, James Turchi at .478, and Joey Letko at .429. And as a team, they’ve hit six home runs, three off the batt of Matthew Fattore, while his older brother, Michael, has one, as does Devin Goldberg and Kevin Lee.

Rutgers Prep isn’t really an enigma, but they may be the exception to the rule that you are what your record says you are. They were 2-7 coming into the SCT, but have won three straight in the bracket to get here, with a regular season loss at Montgomery last week sandwiched in there, and that was just by a single run, 11-10. The win over the Pioneers Tuesday atoned for a 12-8 loss in a slugfest back on April 13. There is talent here, but it’s taken Rutgers Prep a little time to figure it all out. They can be dangerous, and surely won’t be overlooked by Max Newill’s club.

As much as the numbers don’t compare to the pitchers in the first game, these are two solid pitchers. Bridgewater senior Jason Cozzi is committed to UMass, while Prep sophomore Zach Fronio already has committed to Maryland. But neither has pitched a lot; combined they have five appearances on the year.

Bridgewater-Raritan’s Jason Cozzi pitches against Ridge in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals on May 9, 2022 at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

For the Panthers, Cozzi has had some back issues. He went didn’t go long enough to get the win in his first outing at St. Joe’s of Montvale, then came out early of the 4-2 win over Hunterdon Central, throwing just four innings before having to deal with back issues. Newill says he’s kept him out as a precaution, and hopes he’s ready to go for the SCT.

Fronio, meanwhile, has been a bad-luck pitcher. He’s only allowed two runs in 11 innings for a 1.27 ERA, but nine unearned runs have been scored against him. The Argonauts will have to play much better in the field to have a chance against the Panthers.

Preview Audio:

Bridgewater-Raritan head coach Max Newill
Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Last titles, finals appearances:

Rutgers Prep was in last year’s final, falling to Ridge 6-0 in the SCT championship game. They last won the county title back in 2017, and notably, did it as a ten-seed, stunning top-seed Montgomery, 7-2. Those are their only two finals appearances.

Bridgewater-Raritan, meanwhile, made its last trip to the finals in 2012. That was a 4-3, 12-inning loss to Hillsborough. Since the East-West merger, B-R has made four finals, winning it once, in 1996, a 7-5 win over Immaculata. The losses – in addition to 2012 – were back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 to Immaculata, the start of the Spartans’ dynasty, which saw them win six in a row, and ten of 12 SCT championships from 1997 through 2008.

Past Coverage:


Rutgers Prep:

Perfect game by Ridge’s Byrne powers Ridge into SCT Semis, along with Bridgewater-Raritan, Rutgers Prep and Pingry

A perfect game by Ridge’s Connor Byrne was the highlight of the Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals, and now the SCT semifinals at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater are all set, with No. 1 seed Bridgewater-Raritan and No. 2 seed Ridge advancing in Tuesday’s quarterfinal action. Both will square off against upset winners on Thursday at the home of the Somerset Patriots.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the Somerset County Tournament – presented by Zoned Sports Academy – continues with live play-by-play of both Thursday contests.

Sixth-seed Pingry was a 4-1 winner over third-seed Montgomery, while 12-seed Rutgers Prep squeaked by 4th-seed Somerville 3-2.

The Argonauts draw second-seed Ridge – the defending county champion – in the early 1:00 pm game at TD Bank Ballpark. The Red Devils got by Bernards 1-0 Tuesday afternoon in Basking Ridge.

The Big Blue get to play the top-seed, Bridgewater-Raritan, which got a combined one-hitter from three pitchers in a 5-0 home win over Immaculata Tuesday. First pitch is schedule for 4 pm.

#1 Bridgewater-Raritan 5, #9 Immaculata 0

Noah Matheson pitched four no-hit innings in relief, and Cory Rible did the same over the last two, leading the Panthers to the semifinals. Click here for a complete game recap, plus postgame reaction from Matheson and head coach Max Newill.

#12 Rutgers Prep 3, #4 Somerville 2

Less than two weeks ago, Rutgers Prep was outslugged by Somerville in a 12-8 game on their own field.

But Tuesday afternoon at Torpey Field, it was the Argonauts who came out the winner, in a much closer, much lower-scoring affair.

Pitching was the name of the game here, too – a theme, it seemed, Tuesday afternoon – as junior Max Treonze went the distance in a 3-2 win. He struck out nine and scattered five hits throughout the game, allowing just the two runs – one in the second, one in the fifth – as Prep never trailed in the game.

#2 Ridge 1, #10 Bernards 0

Brendan Callanan’s solo homer gave Ridge all the offense they needed, as Connor Byrne threw a perfect game for the win. Click here for the full story and interview with Byrne, as the senior struck out ten in the victory.

#6 Pingry 4, #3 Montgomery 1

Another complete game, this time from Jake Francis, put Pingry in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals with a 4-1 win at Montgomery. The senior needed only 94 pitches to go the distance, striking out eight, waling one, and scattering four hits through seven solid innings of work.

Kaihlar Ahn hit a solo home run in the game, while Nick Lorenzo went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Big Blue.

Week 2 turmoil has settled, but two new teams join Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten in Week 3, while Bridgewater remains No. 1

There are two new teams in the Week 3 Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Rankings – as Pingry and Monroe join the group – but otherwise, no real major changes of shakeups in the Top Ten this week.

The top two teams went unbeaten in Week 3 of the season, with Bridgewater-Raritan (9-2) holding on to the top spot, while Ridge (7-2) moves up one place to second, dropping Old Bridge (9-3) to third after a 3-2 week that saw the Vikings lose twice in the division, once to Old Bridge and once to East Brunswick.

Sayreville (8-3) holds in fourth, coming off a 2-1 week with wins over Perth Amboy and Colonia.

North Brunswick (6-4) moved up three spots to fifth, had the other unbeaten week among ranked teams. The Raiders swept a two-game home-and-home against St. Joseph-Metuchen – which dropped out at 4-5 off a 1-4 week, along with Franklin (4-6). They also won 10-7 at Woodbridge (7-3), which dropped on place to sixth.

Monroe (5-4) is back in the rankings after a week out; the Falcons are sixth after a 3-0 week with a home-and-home two-game sweep of South Brunswick and a win over South Plainfield.

Spotswood (9-2) is up two places to eight after a 2-2 week, with both losses coming out of conference.

East Brunswick (5-6) holds in ninth, despite a 1-3 week, while Pingry (5-3) also rejoins the rankings, on a 2-0 week that included a win over red-hot Manville in the second round of the Somerset County Tournament on Saturday.

Below are the full Week Three Bellamy & Son Paving baseball rankings:

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:

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:

Franklin, Ridge, Pingry, Mount St. Mary girls all advance to Somerset County Tourney quarterfinals

It’s on to the round of eight in the Somerset County Tournament, with all the higher seeds advancing in second round action Saturday afternoon. They now play in quarterfinal action against the top four seeds, which all earned double-byes.

In the top half of the bracket, 8th-seed Ridge beat 9-seed Bound Brook at home, 59-38, in a game in controlled the whole way, starting with a 22-8 first quarter lead for the Red Devils (13-9). Junior forward Emma Landes had her first career 20-plus point game, finishing with 23 on the day. Senior Casey Miller paced Bound Brook (9-12) with 19. Ridge moves on to play at top-seed Rutgers Prep (16-4) Tuesday night.

On the other side of that bracket, fifth-seed Franklin (11-11) more than doubled-up 12th-seed Immaculata, 43-21. This one started out slow, with the Warriors taking a 4-0 lead over the Spartans (11-13) after one quarter. But they picked up the offensive pace over the next eight minutes, taking a 16-5 lead into the locker room, a lead they would not relinquish. Junior guard Iyanna Cotton’s 19 points led all scorers in the game; she was the only one in double figures. Next up for Franklin is a quarterfinal game at 4-seed Hillsborough (14-9) Tuesday night.

In the other bracket, it was 7-seed Pingry (15-9) getting past 10-seed Somerville, 54-34, behind another big second quarter. Up by just two after the first eight minutes, the Big Blue used a 22-9 second period to take a 35-20 lead into halftime. Three Pingry players reached double-figures, led by sophomore center Debra Hill, with a game-high 16. Somerville drops to 13-10 with the loss, while the Big Blue move on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinals, where they will visit 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (14-6).

The other side of that bracket saw 6th-seed Mount St. Mary move on with a 50-43 win over Bernards (15-7). The Lions (15-9) were led by sophomore Mia Gestosani with 14, while junior Rachel Castela added 12. Game-high honors went to the Mountaineers’ senior guard Sydney Incarnato, with 18. Mount moves on to play third-seed Watchung Hills (16-5) Tuesday night.