Tag: South Plainfield

Week Zero is in the books; Big Central goes 1-3 in Battle at the Beach, while Carteret begins new era with a big win

Only ten of the 60 teams in the Big Central opened their seasons on Week Zero, and only one of the four that played in Ocean City this weekend came home a winner.

But perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise was Carteret, which shutout JP Stevens in its first game since November of 2019.

The Ramblers got three first-quarter touchdowns from senior Kanya Groover, who carried five times in the game for 112 yards, en route to a 37-0 shutout win over JP Stevens at “The Pit” Friday night.

It was a night of firsts for the Ramblers:

It was the Ramblers’ first win since October 25th, 2019, and the first victory for new coach Kevin Freeman.

It was their largest margin of victory in almost five years, since a 40-0 win over North Brunswick on September 23, 2016. That was also their most recent shutout win before Friday night.

Down at the Battle of the Beach in Ocean City, a showcase put on by the West Jersey Football League Coaches Association, Woodbridge was the only one of four league teams to earn a win, beating Winslow Township 26-14 Sunday.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood dropped its opener Sunday 52-0 to Cedar Creek, while on Saturday, Union battled Millville to a tough 38-21 loss – in which both teams reeled off a number of big plays – and Bernards got doubled up 40-20 by Penns Grove.

In other area action…

Somerville blanked Olney Charter of PA Friday night 25-0 down in Philly.

And on Saturday, new South Plainfield head coach – and Tiger alum – Bill Hamilton picked up the first win of his tenure, a 35-14 win over South River at Denny Stadium.

READ MORE: Smith, South Plainfield ground game tame South River, 35-14

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of Big Central Conference football kicks into high gear Friday night, with the season debut of “The Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland,” as Piscataway comes off its one-year COVID hiatus, hosting #6 Phillipsburg, with game time at 6:00, air-time at 5:45 with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action.

And don’t forget to catch our podcast, “This Week in the Big Central driven bu Autoland,” which drops on Thursday. We’ll have a look at the week gone by, a preview of Week One games, interviews and analysis, hosted by Mike Pavlichko.

Click here to subscribe at any one of your favorite podcast sites, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Smith, South Plainfield ground game tame South River, 35-14

South Plainfield managed just one win a year ago in what turned out to be a COVID-shortened five-game season.

Enter a brand-new head coach, Tigers alum Bill Hamilton, and they’re 1-0 out of the box.

Sophomore Patrick Smith was the hot hand for South Plainfield, rushing for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, part of a ground game that rolled off 387 yards, en route to a 35-14 Week Zero win over South River at historic Bill Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Smith had touchdown runs of 83 and 54 yards, while senior Jalen Russell added a 61-yard score, and Tyler DelVecchio rushed for a 40-yard touchdown.

Because of the big plays, South Plainfield dominated, despite never running a single play from scrimmage inside the red zone; the closest they got was the South River 37 yard line, but it didn’t matter.

The Tigers also had a defensive touchdown, a 35-yard scoop and score by senior defensive end Gregorio Zambrana on a bad handoff by South River in their own end.

After coming out of the half down 21-0, then falling behind 28-0 on Zambrana’s score, South River senior quarterback Ryan Kurtz briefly brought the Rams alive. He threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior Jeffrey Ferriera (they botched the extra point), then after the Tigers scored again to make it 35-6, he threw a 13-yard pass to senior Marcus Granadiero to set up a two-yard TD run by De’Andre Morris, who ran in a two-point conversion to make it 35-14 with 1:32 to play in the third.

But then it started to rain, grounding the Rams’ air game, and that would be the final score.

Click below for postgame reaction:

South Plainfield sophomore RB Patrick Smith:

South Plainfield head coach Bill Hamilton:

South Plainfield alum Hamilton entering Year One as head coach of his alma mater

Bill Hamilton has coached at South Plainfield in the past, both serving as an assistant under Phlip McGuane, and as an assistant wrestling coach.

He’s also been an assistant other places, most recently Sayreville, helping the Bombers win two championships under Chris Beagan.

Now, he’s off on his own, at the place it all began: South Plainfield, where he was a standout student-athlete in the mid-’80s.

He takes over for Gary Cassio, who left at the end of the 2020 season.

READ MORE: Cassio steps down as head coach of South Plainfield football

The Tigers get the season started early, with a Week Zero game Saturday afternoon at noon on the road against South River at Bill Denny Stadium.

Click below to hear Bill Hamilton discuss his upcoming first season as South Plainfield football coach with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Instant Replay: Edison tops South Plainfield 7-2 in GMCT quarterfinals

The 6th-seeded Edison Eagles moved on to the GMC Tournament semifinals with a 7-2 quarterfinal win over GMC White Division foe South Plainfield.

The third-seeded Tigers had beaten Edison 11-1 and 7-5 this season, but Edison exacted revenge when it mattered most, in the county tournament.

In a game broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, the Eagles scored three times each in the third and fifth innings, and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

Senior centerfielder Evrin Virola knocked in three runs, including two on an RBI double in the third inning. He was 2-for-4 on the evening.

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All while freshman Jaxon Appelman turned in a big performance on a big stage, under the lights against a perennial contender in Middlesex County. The righty threw 6 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, allowing only two unearned runs, both of which scored after he had already exited the game in the seventh inning.

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The win puts Edison in the GMC semifinals against 2nd-seed St. Joseph of Metuchen Saturday afternoon at 2:30, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to listen to the full game broadcast of Edison’s quarterfinal win over South Plainfield:

Edison reaches first GMT semifinal since 2008 with upset win over South Plainfield

It’s not like Edison hadn’t beaten South Plainfield in years. In fact, their last win over the Tigers was in their first meeting in 2019.

But Tuesday night’s 7-2 win at North Brunswick Community Park over their White Division foes was monumental, in that it sent the third-seeded Eagles to the GMC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2008, when they lost to Old Bridge 2-1.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, freshman pitcher Jaxon Appelman held third-seed South Plainfield (17-3-1) to just one hit through 6 1/3 innings, allowing two unearned runs in the seventh.

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But the Edison bats did a job as well, scoring seven runs against a South Plainfield team that entered the game with a 0.86 team ERA. The run total was the second highest allowed all season by the Tigers (Woodbridge scored nine in a 12-9 South Plainfield win on May 13th), and they had surrendered fewer than five runs in all but five games before Tuesday night.

Senior centerfielder Evrin Virola knocked in three runs on a 2-for-4 night, including a two-run double in the third that made it 3-0 Edison.

The win pits third-seeded Edison (15-6) against second seed St. Joseph of Metuchen (16-8), which beat 10th-seed Spotswood 14-3 in five innings Tuesday night. The Eagles and Falcons will play in Saturday’s 2:30 semifinal at East Brunswick Tech, a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Edison’s 7-2 GMCT quarterfinal win over South Plainfield:

Edison hopes third time’s a charm, as Eagles seek breakthrough win against division rival for trip to GMCT semifinals

The first meeting was an 11-1 home loss, the second was a 7-5 road defeat.

If Edison can narrow a seven-run gap again tonight, they’ll beat South Plainfield, when the two teams meet in the GMC Tournament quarterfinals.

The Eagles are the (14-6) are the sixth-seed in the tournament, and have had a good season. And despite third-seed South Plainfield’s 17-2-1 mark, the Tigers are beatable.

Their lone blemishes in conference were a loss and a tie against North Brunswick, a team Edison split with this year, picking up a 4-3 home win, but taking a 3-2 loss in the second of the home-and-home series.

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What could be an issue for Edison is pitching when they meet tonight at 7 pm in the GMC Tournament Quarterfinals, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio, following the first quarterfinal matchup between Middlesex and South Brunswick. Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, presenting sponsor of the GMC Tournament on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Really, it’s not the pitching, but the potential lack of available pitching. Sal DellaFave struggled early in Edison’s opening round win Saturday over in-town rival JP Stevens.

Head coach Vinny Abene went with Dom LaPelosa out of the pen, and so the options get a little tighter for Abene tonight.

Click below to hear Abene talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about tonight’s matchup with the Tigers.

South Plainfield looks to keep ball rolling right into GMCT semifinals

North Brunswick has been the only blemish on the South Plainfield baseball team in GMC play this season.

The good news for the Tigers is that’s not who they play Tuesday night in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament Quarterfinals.

That could come Saturday in the semifinals, but Saturday doesn’t come unless third-seed South Plainfield (17-2-1) can get by 6th-seed Edison (14-6) tonight in a 7 pm game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, part of a doubleheader of coverage that begins with Middlesex-South Brunswick at 4 pm.

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Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action, and you can listen live – and for free – by clicking here, thanks in part to all our local sponsors, as well as presenting sponsor Bellamy & Son Paving.

South Plainfield has beaten Edison twice this season. The Tigers cruised to an 11-5 road win on April 29th, then finished out the home-and-home with a 7-5 home victory against the Eagles.

But beating a team three times in a season isn’t easy in any sport, and first-year SPHS head coach Scott Gleichenhaus recognizes the challenge ahead, in that neither team is the same team they were in the first third of the season.

Click below to hear South Plainfield head coach Scott Gleichenhaus talk to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the Tigers’ season and tonight’s quarterfinal against Edison:

Monroe takes #1 seed in GMC Tournament

Powered by a 12-9 road win Monday at St. Joe’s of Metuchen, Monroe was awarded the top seed in the upcoming GMC Baseball Tournament by the six-member seeding commitee.

The Falcons will open play Saturday in the first round against the No. 16 seed.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s live coverage of the tournament will begin in the quarterfinals next Tuesday, with matchups and times to be determined.

After the Monroe Falcons – which shared the Red Divsion title, the top four seeds went to Red-co-champ St. Joseph at No. 2, then White winner South Plainfield and Blue Champion Middlesex.

South Plainfield was one of the two teams nominated by the committee for the top overall seed, but the decision to make Monroe the top pick was unanimous.

Overall, of the first five teams picked, three came from the GMC Red, with one each from the Blue and White.

Monroe and St. Joe’s split this season, with the team from Metuchen winning 2-0 this past Saturday. But Monroe picked up the win on the road Monday 12-9, a factor that weighed in the committee’s decision when breaking the tie, to determine who would go on the board first from the GMC Red.

The fifth seed went to South Brunswick, followed by Edison 6th and East Brunswick 7th, with Metuchen rounding out the top eight seeds.

GMC TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS:
All games at 11 am on Saturday, May 22 unless changed by the home school or noted below.

(9) North Brunswick at (8) Metuchen
(10) Spotswood at (7) East Brunswick
(11) JP Stevens at (6) Edison (noon)
(12) Woodbridge at (5) South Brunswick
(13) Colonia at (4) Middlesex
(14) Perth Amboy at (3) South Plainfield
(15) Old Bridge at (2) St. Joseph
(16) JFK at (1) Monroe

GMC INVITATONAL FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS:
All games at 4 pm on Friday, May 21.

(1) Sayreville and (2) Piscataway have byes
(14) Piscataway Tech at (3) East Brunswick Tech
(13) Wardlaw-Hartridge at (4) St. Thomas Aquinas
(12) Highland Park at (5) Carteret
(11) Timothy Christian at (6) Somerset Tech
(10) Dunellen at (7) South River, winner at (2) Piscataway
(9) Perth Amboy Tech at (8) South Amboy, winner at (1) Sayreville

Who will be GMC Tournament’s top seed? We asked one coach to rate the candidates

In about 12 hours, we’ll know who the top seed is in the upcoming GMC Baseball Tournament, the first in two years, after the entire 2020 season was wiped out by COVID-19.

But for now, we can ask, “Who will it be?”

The top division in the GMC had a split title this year between Monroe and St. Joseph. The Falcons from Metuchen won the first meeting between the teams 2-0 back on Saturday in Monroe, but those Falcons salvaged the two-game series on the return trip to Metuchen, winning an error-prone game Monday 12-9.

Will it be one of those teams? What about South Plainfield?

East Brunswick, which is 9-9 after Wednesday’s loss to Spotswood, is the only GMC team to have beaten both Falcons this year. And head coach Chris Kenney says he could make a case for either team earning the Number One seed overall.

While he says South Brunswick is also knocking on the door, only a division champion cam be an overall top seed, which would take the Vikings out of that conversation.

Could South Plainfield, the GMC White champion, make a play?

Click below to hear East Brunswick head coach Chris Kenney break down the reasons why St. Joe’s and Monroe each can make an argument to be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament:

Here are some key points:

Monroe (12-4 overall, 12-3 GMC, 11-3, GMC Red Co-Champs)

Monroe head coach Sean field talks to his team after a 12-9 win Monday at St. Joe’s that gave them a share of the GMC Red Division title, and a shot at the top seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament.

The purple and gold Falcons reeled off eight straight wins in the heart of their season, but split with East Brunswick, South Brunswick and St. Joseph.

Their only other loss on the season came to Manalapan, their lone non-conference game this season, on April 23rd.

Their only non-divisional GMC game came a day later: an 8-3 win against Spotswood back on April 24th.

Three different players have hit four home runs this season. Junior Christopher Wisniewski has gone yard twice, while Jacob Veczko and Aidan Lane each have a homer.

Garrett VanBuren and Josh Weinstein have been aces on the mound, each with over 33 strikeouts and a nearly 2:1 strikeout-walk ratio.

St. Joseph (13-6 overall, 11-3 GMC/GMC Red Co-Champs)

St. Joseph junior Andrew Goldan throws a pitch in a 4-1 win over Old Bridge on May 3, 2021. Goldan no-hit the Knights through five innings, but was pulled after five based on his pitch count. He’s been lights out since coming back from tendinitis issues.

The Falcons from Metuchen haven’t put together a win streak longer than three games this season, the first of which began on Opening Day.

While Joe’s hasn’t played any league games out of their Red Division, they took on more out-of-conference opponents than Monroe. They beat Lawrenceville 9-0 and St. Benedict’s 12-0, but also have three non-league losses.

They fell to Hun 9-0, Somerville 14-4, and Cherokee 5-0.

Three different players have – Mark Gialluisi, Andrew Goldan and Eric Gonzalez each have a homer for St. Joe’s, they have a little less pop in the bat.

Scoring-wise the teams are similar: St. Joseph has scored 109 runs in 19 games for an average of 5.73 per game; Monroe 90 in 16 games for a 5.63 run per game average.

On the mound, Andrew Goldan has been lights out, allowing just seven hits in 21 innings, limited earlier in the season with some tendinitis.

The rest to get him healthy appears to have done him a lot of good. He was no-hittting Old Bridge through five before being yanked while being held to a strict pitch count. And he pitched a two-hit complete game whitewash in the first meeting with Monroe back on Saturday.

South Plainfield (15-2-1 overall, 13-1-1 GMC, 12-1-1 GMC White Champs)

The Tigers actually have fewer losses (2) than all but one of the 32 GMC teams. East Brunswick Tech is 12-1.

Of course, they’re a division down from the Red, but they’re playing solid baseball.

Their only issue – if you can call it that – is while they swept the GMC White’s second-place team, Edison, they were 0-1-1 against the division’s third place team, North Brunswick. They tied the Raiders 2-2 in 7 innings on May 8th, and lost 2-1 in the visit to North Brunswick on the 10th.

Out of conference, they were blanked 2-0 by a very good Millburn team that’s 13-3 and will be facing Seton Hall Prep Saturday afternoon in the Greater Newark Tournament finals. Their out-of-conference wins were a 6-1 victory a few days later against a so-so Montgomery squad, and a 16-0 victory over Watchung Hills Wednesday.

But boy can they score; the Tigers are averaging 8.47 runs per game, including a 27-1 win over New Brunswick on April 24th.

They’ve also won three games in shutout fashion, and 10 of their wins have seen the Tigers allow a run or less.

St. Joseph, Middlesex clinch division title shares, South Plainfield takes GMC White outright heading into final week before Tourney seeding

With wins Saturday afternoon, St. Joseph of Metuchen clinched at least a share of the GMC Red Division, while Middlesex staked its claim to at least part of the GMC Blue Division, heading into a critical week for league tournament seeding.

The GMC will draw out brackets for its conference tournaments Thursday morning at 10 am, with Central Jersey Sports Radio providing up-to-the-minute coverage. Follow us on Twitter at @cjsportsradio for all the details.

In a battle of the Falcons – and the top two teams in the GMC Red – St. Joseph came up with a 2-0 road win behind a three-hit gem from junior Andrew Goldan, who struck out six and didn’t walk a single Monroe hitter in throwing a complete game.

Click below to hear St. Joe’s pitcher Andrew Goldan talk about his winning effort Saturday against Monroe:

Josiah Brown’s RBI single in the top of the sixth gave St. Joe’s a 1-0 lead, and Tyler DelVecchio’s double in the seventh added an insurance run.

Click below to hear St. Joe’s head coach Mike Murray talk about the win, and preview Monday’s rematch with Monroe in Metuchen:

The teams will rematch on Monday in Metuchen at 4 pm. Should St. Joe’s win, they’d be the GMC Red Division Champions outright. Should Monroe win, they would clinch at least a share.

It’s expected the winner of the red would be the top seed in the GMC Tournament. A St. Joseph win Monday makes them a lock; a Monroe win would put a potentially difficult decision in the hands of the seeding committee.

Meanwhile, in Spotswood, Middlesex shutout the Chargers 10-0 in six innings. The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead into the fifth and exploded for eight runs – four apiece – in what turned out to be the final two innings of the game.

Raiden Yost led Middlesex with a 2-for-3 afternoon and four runs batted in, while Ryan Vollmer, Robert Ulmer, and Anthony Long each knocked in two runs.

Kenny Yonker pitched a complete game two-hitter for the Jays, striking out ten, walking one, and allowing just two Spotswood hits in the six-inning victory.

Click below to head Middlesex head coach Justin Nastasi talk about the Blue Jays’ win over Spotswood:

While those two divisions still must bet settled, the White was settled today, while the Gold was determined Friday.

South Plainfield went into the weekend needing one win to take the GMC White Division championship, and they got it. The Tigers beat Sayreville in a rescheduled game from earlier in the year 6-1 at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater.

As for the GMC Gold, East Brunswick Tech clinched at least a share of the division title with its 12-5 win over Timothy Christian Wednesday afternoon, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. They took the crown outright when they finished the sweep Friday with a 16-1 win in Piscataway.

EB Tech is the only GMC team to finish the year with a perfect divisional record, at 10-0.