Tag: South Brunswick

Three upsets, top seed advances, and a controversial call: all in a night at the GMCT quarterfinal

Top-seed St. Joseph of Metuchen was the only higher seed to advance to the GMC Tournament semifinals, as Woodbridge, North Brunswick and East Brunswick all knocked off higher seeded teams Wednesday in the quarterfinals at North Brunswick Community Park.

It sets up a Saturday semifinal doubleheader featuring 7-seed East Brunswick and 6-seed North Brunswick in the opener at noon, and top-seed St. Joe’s against 5th-seed Woodbridge in the second game.

Both games can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action, with pregame for Game One beginning approximately 11:45 am. Click here to listen to both games live, and for free, thanks to presenting sponsor Dayton Toyota Service on Route 130 in South Brunswick.

The first team to advance Wednesday afternoon was the Barrons, over on Field Two, as they knocked off fourth-seed Old Bridge (14-11) by a 3-1 score behind another solid starting effort from Eddie Nunez.

Known as a strikeout pitcher, that wasn’t his M.O. in the game, but after giving up a run in the second, Woodbridge plated two in the third on back-to-back singles by Josh Vazquez and Ty Kobylakiewicz, the latter of which turned out to be the difference. Kobylakiewicz added an RBI double in the 5th to make it 3-1 Barrons.

Nunez went the distance, striking out four and scattering five hits in seven solid innings for Woodbridge (18-4).

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Woodbridge head coach Mike Monaco:

The Barrons will play St. Joe’s of Metuchen, the defending GMC Tournament Champions. In one of the two nightcaps, the top-seeded Falcons cruised past 9th-seed South Brunswick 14-4 by the ten-run rule in six innings. And it was one of the most undramatic walk-offs you’ll ever see: a grand-slam by Mark Gialluisi.

St. Joe’s (19-6) scored early and often, and built a 9-1 lead going into the top of the sixth. But South Brunswick (10-11) scored three times to make it 9-4. St. Joe’s got a run in the bottom of the inning before loading the bases for Mark Gialluisi, who hit a walk-off grand slam to end it. He finished with five runs batted in.

Falcons starter Andrew Goldan only pitched four-and-a-third innings, allowing a run on two hits, striking out seven to get the win. With a comfortable lead, head coach Mike Murray pulled him, with the intent of keeping his pitch count down – he only threw 66 pitches – to save him for a potential closer role Saturday.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from St. Joseph head coach Mike Murray:

The other opening game saw 6th-seed North Brunswick rally to beat 3rd-seed Middlesex, 14-13. It was a see-saw game that saw a pair of seventh-inning rallies, and ended with a controversial play at the plate.

Both teams were hitting the cover off the ball, with Middlesex holding a 2-1 lead after one inning. North Brunswick tied it at two in the third, but the Jays grabbed a run to make it 3-2. The Raiders got three in the fourth to make it 5-3, but Middlesex tied it up at 5-5 in the bottom of the inning. North Brunswick went ahead 7-5 in the top of the fifth, but the Blue Jays got three in their at bat to make it 8-7, then added two more in the sixth to make it 10-7.

And that’s where it got interesting, if not downright unfathomable.

North Brunswick exploded for seven runs in the top of the seventh – including a two-run homer by Frandy Martinez – to take a 14-10 lead.

And they almost gave it all back.

Middlesex got two on for AJ West, who cranked a three-run homer to pull the Blue Jays within one.

Middlesex senior AJ West cranks a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh of the GMC Tournament Quarterfinals at North Brunswick Community Park on May 18, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Ty Nicolay then got aboard, stole second, and made it to third on a fly ball to right, bringing up Bobby Ulmer, the walk-off grand-slam hero of last year’s Group 1 semifinal game.

Down 0-2 in the count after fouling off a tough pitch for strike two, the next pitch sailed over the catcher’s head. Nicolay broke from the third, and the play at the plate was close one, the throw low to the ground to the pitcher covering, and it appeared to beat him to the plate.

The home plate umpire called Nicolay out on the tag, ending the game and sending North Brunswick (16-8) to the semifinals, knocking out the Blue Jays (18-5).

Middlesex – including Nicolay and Ulmer – pleaded that the ball was loose on the ground and that the tag was never applied, but to no avail. Fan photos of the play show the ball out of the pitcher’s glove and on the ground, but after Nicolay had passed the plate.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from North Brunswick head coach Mark Blevins, and senior Frandy Martinez, via his cousin Gabriel Perez:

North Brunswick senior Frandy Martinez (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

And so the Raiders are on to face 7th-seed East Brunswick, which avenged a pair of regular season losses to Monroe with a 4-2 win over the second-seeded Falcons in the other nightcap.

Monroe (14-7) got to Bears starter Dustin McGuinness in the bottom of the first for a pair of runs, but East Brunswick (12-10) got them right back in the top of the second on an RBI double by Romeo Diaz and and RBI single by Christian Bermudez.

They then took a 3-2 lead in the third on a throwing error on a ball hit to the left side of the infield by Jack Gerould, and added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI double to the right field wall by Ryan Basham. They could have had more, but they left the bases loaded, with Gerould grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

But it didn’t matter the way McGuinness settled down after spotting Monroe a pair of runs. He only allowed one more hit the entire way, a tough ball hit by Ryan Syvertson to short that Michael Marchese threw in the dirt, but it wouldn’t have gotten the speedy Syvertson anyway.

After a walk to the next batter, McGuiness didn’t allow another baserunner the rest of the way, retiring eleven straight, closing the game with a three-hit, 10-strikeout performance to get the win.

Click below for postgame reaction from East Brunswick’s quarterfinal win:

East Brunswick starting pitcher Dustin McGuinness
East Brunswick head coach Chris Kenney

St. Joe’s is the favorite, but here’s how all 16 teams can win the GMC Tournament

No team worth its weight in stirrups and rawhide enters the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament bemoaning its seed and wishing they were someone else.

If you’re picked as one of the top 16 teams in the league and make the “big dance,” there’s reason to think you have a shot, or else why get up in the morning?

The way the tournament is laid out, with enough time for every team’s No. 1 starter to pitch three games – that is, if Mother Nature cooperates on Monday – just about everyone has a shot, since there are so many good No. 1s in the county.

So why should 16th-seed South River have hope like top-seed St. Joe’s or third-seed Middlesex has hope that they can win it all?

Click below to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko break down all 16 teams:

INSTANT REPLAY: South Brunswick sweeps doubleheader from Edison, 3-1, 1-0

All four starting pitchers went complete games, but South Brunswick got just enough clutch hits to sweep Edison in a doubleheader on May 3, 2022, taking the first game 3-1, and winning the second 1-0.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the play-by-play live from Rowland Park in South Brunswick:

Game 1: South Brunswick 3, Edison 1
Game 2: South Brunswick 1, Edison 0

Pitchers rule the day, but South Brunswick gets clutch hits to sweep doubleheader from Edison

In a rarity in high school baseball – where’s Elias Sports Bureau when you need them to find out how rare? – all four starting pitchers went the distance in Tuesday’s GMC Red Division doubleheader between South Brunswick and Edison, but it was the Vikings that got just enough clutch hits to sweep the twin-bill from the Eagles.

South Brunswick won the opener 3-1, thanks to Teonis Pimentel’s two-RBI triple to open the scoring in the fifth-inning. It followed a one-out triple down the line by Mattox Lim and David Rybinski getting hit by a pitch. Charles Soriano added a sac fly to score Pimentel.

Edison cut it to 3-1 in the sixth when Jaxon Appelman hit a sac fly to center to score Jordan Martins, but that was all they would get.

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Appelman was trying to help his cause, as he allowed just five hits in seven innings of work, striking out 11. But he took the hard-luck loss to fall to 2-3, while Nolan Watlington pitched a complete-game two-hitter for South Brunswick, striking out four, allowing just one run. He’s now 2-0.

In the second game, after a long first inning with several stoppages and an overturned call that turned a hit batsman into a strikeout, both pitchers picked up the pace. And both were cruising into the sixth.

In the bottom of the inning, Ethan Fantel worked out a two-out walk, then Peter Cortez drove him in with a double to make it 1-0. All of a sudden, Edison was down to its final three outs. They threatened, as Paul DiCarlo reached on an error by the shortstop, then stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position.

But South Brunswick starter Joey Tuttoilmondo – one of the best pitchers in the GMC – struck out Matt Yascko to end the game. It was his 13th strikeout in the game, a seven-inning, one-hit effort that improved his record to 4-1 and gives him 58 strikeouts on the year to go with just 11 walks.

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Click below to hear postgame reaction from the South Brunswick Vikings:

Nolan Watlington, complete game two-hitter in Game 1
Teonis Pimentel, game-winning RBI triple in Game 1
Joey Tuttoilmondo, complete game, 13-strikeout one-hitter in Game 2

Let’s play two! Edison, South Brunswick to square off in Tuesday doubleheader

Two games, four solid starting pitchers.

That’s the story heading into Tuesday afternoon’s GMC Red Division doubleheader as Edison (5-7) travels to South Brunswick’s Rowland Park to play two against the Vikings (5-8).

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast both games, with the pregame show at 3:15, and first pitch of game one slated for 3:30. The second game will follow about 20 minutes later. Mike Pavlichko will call all the play-by-play; click here to listen.

Each team has had its share of successes, and each had its share of struggles in 2022, and often for the same reason. Both have some veteran players and good pitching, but sometimes the hits and runs just don’t come.

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It’s one reason both teams have lost three of their last four games.

But the matchup also is a chance for both to right the ship. The GMC Red can be unforgiving – especially for an Edison team playing its first year in the division, moving up from the White – but it’s an opportunity for each team against a similar team. A split may be status quo, but a sweep could turn the tide for whoever can grab both.

Click below to hear both head coaches talk about Tuesday’s doubleheader with Edison visiting South Brunswick.

South Brunswick head coach Tim Sweeney
Edison head coach Vinny Abene

Other than top two, much movement in Week 2 Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Top Ten

With an idle week, top-ranked St. Joseph of Metuchen stayed put in the Week Two Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Top Ten, as did Ridge after a 1-1 week.

But after that, there was a good deal of movement in the rankings, as one would expect early in a season with most teams playing just a handful of games.

Case in point: Woodbridge – on the strength of a sweep of North Brunswick and a ten-run win over Colonia – vaulted into the rankings at No. 6 with a 5-0 record, the only team to make a debut this week.

South Brunswick, on the other hand, dropped to seventh, while Bridgewater-Raritan jumped from 5th to third, and Edison dropped out with a rough 0-3 start, including a sweep at the hands of South Plainfield.

READ MORE: South Plainfield bats around twice, knocks off No. 7 Edison 9-2 to sweep home-and-home set

Below are the full Week 2 Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings, with each team’s record and previous rank:

Falcons hold on to top spot in Week 1 Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Top Ten

On the strength of a 2-0 start to the season, St. Joseph of Metuchen remains No. 1 in the Week 1 Bellamy & Son Paving High School Baseball Top Ten.

The Falcons were 13-0 and 14-4 winners over Perth Amboy on Friday and Saturday, the 27 runs making for the most St. Joe’s has scored in a two-game GMC series against an opponent in at least 14 years (the oldest records publicly available go back to 2008).

Ridge pulled up to second with a 12-1 blowout win over Gill St. Bernard’s, while Watching Hills dropped two spots to fourth after opening with a 3-2 loss at North Hunterdon.

Monroe jumped into the rankings at No. 8, knocking out South Plainfield, after sweeping the Tigers with a 4-3 home win on Opening Day, and a 17-5 road win Saturday.

Below are the full Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten Rankings:

St. Joe’s leads inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Baseball Top Ten

Thanks to Joe Bellamy at Bellamy & Son Paving, high school baseball now has a weekly Top Ten on Central Jersey Sports Radio!

And it’s St. Joseph of Metuchen – the defending GMC Tournament champion – which holds the top spot in the preseason rankings.

The Falcons took the title last year over South Brunswick, which came in third, just behind second-ranked Watchung Hills, which is expected to be one of the top teams again in Somerset County.

Here’s the complete preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, with each team’s 2021 record and postseason achievements, where applicable:

CJSR announces 2022 broadcast schedule, debuts Somerset County coverage

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of high school baseball will continue in 2022, debuting Friday, April 1 – Opening Day across New Jersey – and featuring Somerset County games for the first time.

The full broadcast schedule has been announced, with nine regular season games, plus the semifinals and finals of both the Somerset County and Greater Middlesex County Tournaments.

An in-town rivalry will begin the season this Friday as Somerville travels to Immaculata, with first pitch set for 4 pm, and pregame on cjsportsradio.com at 3:45, as Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action live from the Torpey Athletic Complex in Bridgewater. Click here to listen live.

Our first GMC game will lead off a two-game week next week, as South Plainfield visits Edison on Wednesday, with Rutgers Prep hosting Bernards on Thursday.

Also on the schedule are 2021 GMC Tournament Champion St. Joseph-Metuchen, runner-up Soouth Brunswick, Spotswood, East Brunswick, Monroe, East Brunswick Tech, South River, and Bridgewater-Raritan.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will carry the Somerset County Tournament semifinals on May 9, and the finals on May 23, from the home of the Somerset Patriots, TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, as well as the GMC Tournament semifinals on May 21, and the finals on May 28 from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech.

Additional NJSIAA Tournament coverage will be announced at a later date.

For the full schedule, click here.

Rutgers Prep girls leave no doubt about it; they’re No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving final top ten of the year

When Central Jersey Sports Radio began its coverage of high school basketball last season, in the pandemic-shortened year, Rutgers Prep was the preseason No. 1 team. The went wire-to-wire with it last year, finishing 13-0, winners of the one-off Skyland Conference top pod.

To challenge themselves, they even played Saddle River Day the next day, after winning the pod final, and won that game, too.

They didn’t go undefeated in 2021-22, but they were by far the best girls’ team in the area, again, and once again, have gone wire-to-wire to finish No. 1 in the final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, to be CJSR’s Team of the Year.

They finished 29-3, going all the way to the Tournament of Champions title game, where they fell for a second time this season to the state’s undisputed No. 1 team, St. John Vianney. Winners of the Somerset County Tournament, the Non-Public South B and the Non-Public Group B state titles, their only other loss came out of state, early in the season, to Westtown (PA).

That’s a run of 17 straight polls where the Lady Argonauts were No. 1, the only team to have that ranking in the entire – albeit brief, so far – existence of Central Jersey Sports Radio.

While Prep was no surprise this year – and would be a safe bet at a preseason No. 1 next year with key players like sophomore Mikayla Blakes and junior Katie Ledden returning – one surprise was Hillsborough.

The Lady Raiders made a late run in 2022, going all the way to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finals where they lost to eventual Group 4 champion Westfield. They got their first ranking of the season in the final top ten, at No. 4.

Below are the final Bellamy & Son girls’ basketball rankings for the 2021-22 season: