Tag: South Plainfield

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 Plainfield 9, No. 7 Edison 2

On the strength of a five-run second inning, and a four-run fourth, South Plainfield also got solid pitching from senior Jack Massett en route to a 9-5 road win over 7th-ranked Edison, in a GMC White Division game on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

The Tigers improved to 2-2 with the win, while Edison dropped to 0-2.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Edison High School:

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

Knowing it had pitching and defense, South Plainfield wasn’t happy to say the least with its first two games of the 2022 season, a 4-3 loss to Monroe, followed by a 17-5 defeat.

What they got against Edison in their next series were the same two games, except the Tigers ended up on the right side of both this time.

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South Plainfield (2-2) capped off a home-and-home sweep of Edison Thursday afternoon with a 9-2 win over the 7th-ranked Eagles (0-2), as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

After a 1-2-3 first inning, the Tigers batted around in the second. They got a single, walk and a bunt for a hit to load the bases, then a two-RBI double by DH Steven Zultowski followed by a bases-clearing two-RBI double by right fielder Tyler Balent to take a 4-0 lead, adding a fifth-run on an infield hit by second-baseman Zack Robinson.

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South Plainfield would add four more in the fourth inning, when they would again send nine men to the plate, including a bases-loaded three-RBI double by catcher Luke Bickunas.

While there was no one star offensively – all but one starter got a hit and scored – the Tigers got a gem on the mound from senior Jack Massett, who allowed just two runs on four hits, struck out five and walked no one.

South Plainfield has now won five straight against Edison in the regular season, with their last loss coming exactly three years ago to the day, early in the 2019 campaign. However, the Eagles beat the Tigers in last year’s GMC Tournament quarterfinals.

Click below for postgame reaction from South Plainfield’s 9-2 win over Edison:

Senior pitcher Jack Massett
Head coach Scott Gleichenhaus

Rebuilding South Plainfield looks for sweep of Edison, while Eagle bats look to take flight off Tigers’ ace

South Plainfield will have its best pitcher on the mound, while Edison’s heavy hitting lineup will try and tee off on him.

And we haven’t even played a full week of high school baseball yet. Isn’t it great?

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The Tigers rallied late to beat the No. 7 Eagles Tuesday afternoon at home, 5-4, handing Edison (0-1) a loss in its opening game, while giving South Plainfield (1-2) its first victory, after a rough opening weekend against Monroe.

Wednesday afternoon – if the rain holds off, which it should, expected to end around midday – the two teams will square off on the red turf on the Boulevard of The Eagles, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

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Mike Pavlichko will have all the live play-by-play, beginning with the pregame show around 3:45, and first pitch at 4:00. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear previews of the game with both head coaches:

Edison head coach Vinny Abene
South Plainfield head coach Scott Gleichenhaus

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.

Gill St. Bernard’s boys finish No. 1 in final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

In the middle of February, St. Thomas Aquinas made a statement with a win over Gill St. Bernard’s in the Hearts 2 Hands Showcase at Roselle Catholic. Key players were missing for both teams, but it established the Trojans as the No. 1 team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Rankings.

But then, Gill beat Rutgers Prep in the Somerset County Tournament Final, and Rutgers Prep beat Aquinas in the Non-Public South A semifinals, en route to a sectional championship.

Aquinas beat Gill, which beat Prep, which beat Aquinas, which beat Gill….

Ultimately, Gill St. Bernard’s will close out the season as the No. 1 team in the final Bellamy & Son Top Ten.

The Knights – with a host of Division 1 players, including Georgetown-bound Denver Anglin and junior Mackenzie Mgbako – finished the season 20-7, with only three of those losses coming to New Jersey schools. They lost to Aquinas, took then-No. 1 Camden to the wire, and lost to eventual Tournament of Champions winner Roselle Catholic in Non-Public North B title game.

Rutgers Prep finished second, going 26-4, and bringing home the program’s first-ever sectional title. They rallied to beat Red Bank Catholic in the Non-Public South A title game down at Lenape High School.

St. Thomas Aquinas, the GMC Tournament Champion came in third, at 27-2, also the White Division Champions.

One previously-unranked team made it into the final rankings: South Plainfield. The Tigers finished 23-7, won the Blue Division in the GMC, and made it all the way to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 finals, where they lost to Colonia, 56-52 in double-overtime. They finished seventh in the final rankings, while the Patriots finished fourth.

Below are the full final rankings:

It’s GMC White versus Blue in North 2, Group 3 title tilt as Colonia, South Plainfield square off

Tonight at 6 pm, the Colonia and South Plainfield boys’ basketball teams will play a Greater Middlesex Conference crossover game.

Wait, hold on, being told it’s a state sectional championship game.

Yes, the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 final tonight will be an all-GMC affair, as the top-seeded Patriots (24-4) out of the White Division will take on 2nd-seed South Plainfield (23-6) out of the Blue.

The Patriots are the GMC Tournament runner-up, having lost to St. Thomas Aquinas in the finals, a Trojans team that is now out of the playoffs (they lost last night to Rutgers Prep in the Non-Public South A final) while Colonia is still playing, seeking it’s third title since 2015.

Colonia won that year (when they beat Chatham, and lost to Bergenfield in the Group 3 semis), and in 2019 (when they beat West Morris, but lost to Ramapo in the Group 3 semis). This will be their third straight sectional finals appearance; they also made it in 2018, but lost in the title game to Irvington.

South Plainfield, meanwhile, has not had that level of success of late, but has been building to this moment. Their last sectional title came in 1991.

Click below for a preview of the game as GMC Hoops’ Greg Machos talks with Mike Pavlichko about Colonia, South Plainfield, and their title gama matchup tonight:

GMC goes 3-for-3 in Saturday state tournament action, guaranteed at least one title in ’22

It was a clean sweep for the Greater Middlesex Conference on Saturday afternoon, as all three CJSR-area teams moved on to sectional title games next Monday. And one of those title games will be an all-GMC affair.

Both the South Plainfield and Colonia boys’ teams won their North 2, Group 3 semifinal contests Saturday, while the Colonia girls won their Central 3 semifinal as well.

On the boys’ side, the 2nd-seeded Tigers easily handled 3rd-seed West Morris, winning 73-48. The Tigers jumped right out of the gate and held the Wolfpack to just three points in the first quarter with stellar defense, and led 16-3 after the first eight minutes, 37-18 at the half. It was never close the rest of the way. Michael Mendez led the way with 19, while Joseph Oduro chipped in with 17.

Meanwhile, top-seed Colonia fell behind early against 5th-seed Mendham, down 15-6 at one point in the opening period, and 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. But the Patriots put together a run against the Minutemen, and took a six-point lead at the break, 30-24. They never trailed again, and won 62-46, thanks in large part to Saivon Pressley’s offensive firepower. He scored 30 points for the second time in three state tournament games, and is averaging 25 points a game in these playoffs.

Now, Colonia (24-4) and South Plainfield (23-6) will meet for the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 title Tuesday night in Colonia, the last home game for Patriots’ this season. The Tigers have not beaten the Patriots in 18 meetings; their last win was in the 2005 GMC Tournament semifinals, 56-44. That year, South Plainfield – as a third-seed – beat 4th-seed St. Joseph 66-65, with Jeff Lubreski at the helm; Mark Taylor coached the Falcons.

The winner would move on the the Group 3 semifinals Thursday at Phillipsburg High School at 7 pm against Tuesday night’s winner of the North 1, Group 3 Championship Game. That features top-seed Ramapo (21-6) and 2nd-seed Tenafly (20-4).

The 2nd-seeded Colonia girls, meanwhile, continue their historic season with a trip to the Central 3 final Monday night, after a 58-55 win over 3rd-seed Wall. The Patriots (25-4) will play Monday night at top-seed Ewing (24-1), which beat 4th-seed Colts Neck 52-46 Saturday afternoon.

Following is the remaining known state tournament schedule for all the sections where CJSR-area teams remain alive:

MONDAY, MARCH 7

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Central Jersey Group 2 Championship:
2-Bound Brook at 1-Rumson-Fair Haven, 6:30 pm

Non-Public North B Semifinals:
4-Morris Catholic at 1-Roselle Catholic
3-Gill St. Bernard’s at 2-Saddle River Day

Non-Public South A Semifinals:
4-St. Joseph-Metuchen at 1-Red Bank Catholic
3-Rutgers Prep at 2-St. Thomas Aquinas (LIVE on CJSR)

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Central Jersey Group 3 Championship:
2-Colonia at 1-Wall, time TBA

Non-Public North B Semifinals:
4-Gill St. Bernard’s at 1-Saddle River Day
3-Montclair-Immaculate at 2-Morris Catholic

Non-Public South B Semifinals:
5-St. Rose at 1-Rutgers Prep
3-Gloucester Catholic at 2-Wildwood Catholic

TUESDAY, MARCH 8

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 Championship:
2-South Plainfield at 1-Colonia, TBA

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 Championship:
6-Hillsborough at 1-Westfield, 7 pm