Tag: St. Joseph-Metuchen

MacNair’s 300-yard game propels No. 1 Somerville past game St. Joe’s-Metuchen

It took 300 yards and three touchdowns from senior Ethan MacNair to help No. 1 Somerville hold off St. Joseph Saturday afternoon at Brenner Family Field in Metuchen.

The Pioneers improved to 5-1 with a 47-26 win over the Falcons (2-4) in the Saturday Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

MacNair was the workhorse for Somerville, carrying the ball 30 times in his newfound role. Last year, he was a tight end on offense, helping to pave the way for a lot of long Cookie Desiderio runs and touchdowns.

In fact, his role carrying the ball is so new this season, it’s only been of late that he’s been the main back. To wit, he had 322 rushing yards coming into the game against the Falcons, and nearly equaled that in one contest.

For his efforts, MacNair was named the Autoland Player of the Game, and he’ll receive a custom football at the end of the year, courtesy of Autoland.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Ethan MacNair down on the field after the game:

No. 1 Somerville and St. Joseph to meet for the first time Saturday afternoon in Metuchen

St. Joseph head coach Rich Hilliard his team isn’t afraid to play anyone. They don’t shy away from a challenge.

That’s a good mindset for his Falcons to have when they entertain top-ranked Somerville Saturday afternoon at Brenner Family Field in the Saturday “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

The Pioneers come in with a 4-1 record, but have been dominant. Three of their four wins have been by shutout, and they have only allowed more than seven points once this season, that in a 32-20 loss to state-ranked Northern Highlands.

St. Joseph, meanwhile, is 2-3, but they’ve won two straight since losing three in a row to start the season, winning 31-7 at Piscataway, then beating New Brunswick at home last week 38-14.

Somerville is fast, and not just on foot. They run a tempo offense that puts teams back on its heels, and preparation on defense will be the key for St. Joe’s if they intend to win the game.

In fact, their best defense may be a slow, methodical offense, one that puts up some points.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action this afternoon, with the game kicking off at 2 pm. Pregame is at 1:45. You can listen live by clicking here.

Click below to hear both head coaches preview the game:

Somerville head coach Dallas Whitaker

St. Joseph coach Rich Hilliard

Seven touchdown performance earns Ridge’s Olivo Week Four Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

Ridge head coach Andy West says he doubts it ever happened before, and if he’s not right, he’s probably pretty close to it.

In the “Battle of the Red Devils,” Ridge quarterback Michael Olivo accounted for seven touchdowns Friday night in a 49-20 win over Hunterdon Central, in his team’s home opener.

Olivo was 8-of-13 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns for No. 5 Ridge, while he ran for four more as part of a 14 carry, 270-yard night.

His TD passes went 19 yards to Tyler McCaffrey and 48 yards to Harry Hagerman in the opening quarter, and 21 yards to Christian Edwards in the third.

On the ground, he scored on TD jaunts of 67 and 18 yards, with a pair of 75 yard scores after halftime – one in the third quarter, and one in the fourth.

His efforts earned him the Week Four Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week award. At the end of the season, he’ll receive a custom football, and be eligible for a $500 scholarship from Bellamy & Son Paving, a founding sponsor of Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click below to hear Mike Olivo talk with Mike Pavlichko about his seven touchdown night:

Honor Roll…

Returning one punt for a touchdown is impressive enough, but two is really special.

St. Joseph-Metuchen sophomore Jeremy Decaro doubled his pleasure, and doubled his fun with TD punt returns of 75 and 55 yards. Overall in the game, he returned four punts for 161 yards, an average of 40.3 per return.

Owen Haughney of No. 7 Old Bridge played a huge role in his team’s win over No. 10 Monroe, handing the Falcons their first loss of the season.

The senior QB went 8-for-13 passing for 172 yards, throwing two touchdowns, and no picks, while he rushed for another two touchdowns, finishing with 15 carries and 186 yards. That’s a 358=yard night from scrimmage. Kudos!

Finally, Linden’s Tequan Thomas – yet another QB – figured prominently in a 20-14 upset of No. 10 and previously unbeaten Westfield.

Just a sophomore, he was a perfect 4-for-4 passing for just 29 yards, but had 14 carries for 190 yards, including all three touchdowns scored by the Tigers: 65, 63, and 15 yard scoring trips.

Add in the importance of doing it against the resurgent Blue Devils, and that makes the feat all the more fantastic.

St. Joseph ends three-game skid with 31-7 victory at Piscataway

The Falcons have hung tough in three games this year, but have been unable to get over the hump.

Friday night, they learned how to finish.

St. Joseph of Metuchen has a young and inexperienced team, heavy in the sophomore class, but their experience of the first three games of their season – to Union, at Westfield and to Edison – paid off, as they beat Piscataway (0-3) Friday night 31-7 at Dominic Ciardi Stadium.

Now 1-3, the Falcons ended a skid that was their first over oh-for-their-first three in program history, while handing the Chiefs a historic setback; it’s their first 0-3 start since 1989 when they went 1-8, their lone win coming on Thanksgiving in their finale against South Plainfield.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with victorious head coach Rich Hilliard:

Hilliard revamps St. Joe’s coaching staff with additions of Ciccotelli and Zsak as Offensive, Defensive Coordinators

When St. Joseph-Metuchen hits the practice field on August 9th in preparation for the 2021 season, Rich Hilliard will be the head coach yet again, but he’ll have two former head coaches as his top lieutenants.

Hilliard told Central Jersey Sports Radio this week that he’s hired Mark Ciccotelli as his offensive coordinator and Don Zsak as his new defensive coordinator.

The Falcons are coming off a tough 2020 season in the midst of the pandemic, where they scored just under 12 points a game and finished 3-5 in their first sub-.500 season since going 4-5 in 2015. From 2016-19 they had gone a combined 33-7.

With openings on his staff, Hilliard decided to go big.

Ciccotelli was a head coach at Scotch Plains-Fanwood before giving way to Austin Holman, and has also had stops at North Plainfield, St. John Vianney – which he turned into a perennial power. Prior to that, he won three state titles at Neptune (2011) and Freehold Boro (2008, 2010).

Zsak the head coach at North Brunswick for a couple of seasons before Mike Cipot took over, and before being Mark Zielinski’s assistant spent ten years at Morristown, where he helped head coach Chris Hull lead the Colonials to a state title in 2010.

Click below to hear St. Joseph head coach Rich Hilliard talk with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko about his two new hires:

Romond looking forward to football, studies as he heads to Hopkins

Tommy Romond is always up for a challenge.

Last summer, it was getting together his teammates when they couldn’t practice to get ready for a football season that no one quite knew if it would even happen.

In a few weeks, he’ll be off to college to play football at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Playing college ball – any varsity sport, really – is a big enough challenge at any university. But couple it with enrollment in the Biomedical Engineering program, and now you’ve got a challenge.

Challenge accepted.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko caught up with Tommy at Brenner Family Field in Metuchen Thursday to deliver his $500 scholarship award, as well as a commemorative football with his photo on it, for being the inaugural winner of the Fundraising University Unsung Hero Scholarship Award.

From left to right, Mike Pavlichko of Central Jersey Sports Radio, award winner Tommy Romond, St. Joseph-Metuchen head coach Rich Hilliard.

By the numbers: GMC Tournament semifinals and finals set records for fewest runs, hits

It was one for the record books.

Make that three for the record books.

The two GMC Tournament semifinal games and the GMC Championship combined to see the fewest amount of runs scored and the fewest amount of hits in the event’s history, which dates back to 1986.

Already the semifinals had set a record: just six runs and eight hits combined in the two games, where South Brunswick beat North Brunswick 2-0 and St. Joseph beat Edison 3-1.

The Raiders had two hits in the game, while the victorious Vikings only had one hit. In the second game, St. Joe’s managed three hits, while Edison mustered only two.

The six runs were one shy of the previous low of seven, which came in 2008, when St. Joe’s beat JFK 3-1, and Old Bridge eked by Edison 2-1.

But that year, five runs were scored in the final, when the Falcons beat the Eagles 3-2. That made for a combined 12 runs in the semifinals and finals.

This year, just two runs were scored in the final, as St. Joseph won its seventh title all-time – and all since 2004 – with a 2-0 victory over South Brunswick. That means the semifinals and finals combined for a total of eight runs, an all-time record.

The same could be said for hits.

This year’s low of eight in the semis easily beat out the previous high of 17 in the 1998 semifinals. And adding in this year’s title game total of six hits means the semis and finals combined for just 14 hits.

Indeed, one for the record books.

“Goldan!” St. Joes wins seventh GMC Tournament title behind scoreless, 10 K effort from Andrew Goldan

It was another sterling, dominating, phenomenal – name another adjective – pitching performance from junior Andrew Goldan, who struck out ten in six and two-thirds scoreless innings to lead St. Joseph of Metuchen to its seventh GMC tournament crown.

The second-seeded Falcons beat fifth-seed South Brunswick 2-0 Monday at Ray Cipperly Field in East Brunswick, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio and powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Goldan finished the GMC’s 3-0, allowing only one earned run in 20 1/3 innings, striking out 20. His ERA in the three GMC games was 0.34.

St. Joe’s got a run in the second when Christian Azcona singled to lead off, and Jack Kern reached on a bunt, and an error on South Brunswick catcher Joey Chegus on the throw to first.

Colin Layner walked to load the bases and Xavier Arana walked to drive in the run.

The Falcons manufactured an insurance run the hard way in the third, when Robbie Carvelli led off with a double, and Tyler Delvecchio singled to move Carvelli’s pinch runner, Ryan Kim, him to third.

After a popup to second by Azcona, Kern laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze to bring in Kim from third.

St. Joseph (18-11) is now 7-1 all-time in the GMC title game, with all those wins coming since 2004. South Brunswick (14-9) is 2-2 all-time in GMC finals, and has lost two straight.

They last appeared in 2019, and lost 2-1 to Old Bridge.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from St. Joseph’s GMC Tournament win:

St. Joe’s pitcher Andrew Goldan
St. Joe’s head coach Mike Murray

A complete preview of the 2021 GMC Tournament Championship: St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. South Brunswick

Sunday at noon, St. Joseph of Metuchen will play South Brunswick for the 2021 GMC Tournament Championship in baseball.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have complete coverage – presented by Bellamy & Son Paving – starting at 11:15 am with our pregame show, full of interviews with the players and both head coaches. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action, with first pitch set for noon from Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech.

Click here to listen to the live broadcast!

The Falcons will be going for their seventh GMC title all-time, while the Vikings are looking for their third.

Scroll through this story for links to our coverage of both teams in the tournament so far, the finals at-a-glance, how they got here, team records in the finals, team leaders, and other notes and stats:

Coverage of St. Joseph:

Coverage of South Brunswick:

GMC FINALS AT-A-GLANCE:

Teams:
(2) St. Joseph-Metuchen (17-11, 11-3 GMC Red)
(5) South Brunswick (14-9, 9-5 GMC Red)

Starting Pitchers:
St. Joseph: Andrew Goldan (6-0, 0.61 ERA)
South Brunswick: Frankie Sanchez (2-0, 0.72 ERA) or Joey Tuttoilmondo (4-0, 1.60 ERA)

Date and Time: Sunday, June 6 – 12 noon
Location: Ray Cipperly Field at East Brunswick Tech HS
Listen on: Central Jersey Sports Radio (click here)
Announcers: Mike Pavlichko, Dom Savino

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

St. Joseph:
First Round: def. (15) Old Bridge 4-0
Quarterfinals: def. (10) Spotswood 14-3
Semifinals: def. (6)Edison 3-1

South Brunswick:
First Round: def. (12) Woodbridge 12-2
Quarterfinals: def. (4) Middlesex 8-1
Semifinals: def. (9) North Brunswick 2-0

FINALS HISTORY:

St. Joseph (6-1): Prior to their 2004 appearance, the Falcons had not made a GMC or Middlesex County final of any kind since 1968, when they beat South River 2-0 for the Middlesex County Coaches’ Association Tournament Championship.

They allowed eight runs in their lone finals loss, but in their six wins have allowed a total of two runs, winning fiveof them via shutout, including a 2014 victory at TD Bank Park in Bridgdewater over South Plainfield, 1-0, on a one-out, bases loaded walk that scored Marl Bobko from third

2004: St. Joseph 6, Carteret 0
2005: East Brunswick 8, St. Joseph 1
2006: St. Joseph 11, South Amboy 0
2008: St. Joseph 3, Old Bridge 2
2009: St. Joseph 6, North Brunswick 0
2014: St. Joseph 1, South Plainfield 0
2017: St. Joseph 1, Monroe 0

South Brunswick (2-1): The Vikings won their last title 11 years ago, beating North Brunswick – the team they beat in the semifinals to get here 9-2. Their other title was eight years before that.

2002: South Brunswick 4, Piscataway 2 (9 innings)
2010: South Brunswick 9, North Brunswick 2
2019: Old Bridge 2, South Brunswick 1

South Brunswick and St. Joe’s have never met in the GMC Tournament finals.

Red Division: With a Red Division team is guaranteed to win this year’s final, the division will have won four of the last five finals. East Brunswick won it in 2016, while St. Joe’s won in 2017. South Plainfield out of the White took the 2018 title, but Old Bridge claimed the flag for the Red again in 2019, and this year, either St. Joe’s or South Brunswick from the Red will be crowned GMC champs.

The last lower seeded team to win a GMC title was in 2018, when 14th-seed south plainfield beat 12th-seed Perth Amboy 2-1 in a 12 inning title game.

TEAM LEADERS:

St. Joseph:

Christian Azcona, Tom Zammitti and Tyler Delvecchio are all hitting .400 or better on the season, with DelVecchio and Robbie Carvelli leading the team in runs batted in with 20 apiece. The Falcons hit .303 as a team, and are at .324 in the postseason despite managing just three hits against Edison in the semis.

Carvelli is tearing the cover off the ball in the GMCs, however, 5-for-8 (.625) with four runs batted in, a triple and a home run. Delvecchio also has driven in four runs. And Mark Gialluisi has been on base six times in nine plate appearances, thanks to his team-leading four walks in the GMCs.

The Falcons have hit four home runs all year, coming from the bats of Carvelli, Gialluisi, Eric Gonzalez and Andrew Goldan.

St. Joe’s junior Andrew Goldan threw five no-hit innings against Old Bridge this year, but didn’t finish the game due to a strict pitch count as he returned from tendinitis issues.

On the mound, Goldan has three of the Falcons’ two tournament wins, a combined six hits in 13 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just one earned run, walking five and striking out 10, with an ERA of 0.53 in the postseason.

South Brunswick:

Pete Cortez is the top-hitting regular, with a batting average of .371. He’s 4-for-9 in the GMCs, with 2 RBIs. As a team, the Vikings are hitting just over .260, but that’s up to .288 in the GMCT.

Cortez also leads in a number of other offensive categories, including hits (26), singles (18), doubles (6), RBIs (15) and runs scored (17). But the Vikings have balance. right behind him with 12 RBIs apiece are jared Lauri, Frankie Sanchez, and Alex Ciccone, who will return Sunday from a thumb injury suffered when he dove back in head first and was picked off first base in the first inning of the Vikings’ quarterfinal game against Middlesex.

South Brunswick has launched 10 home runs on the season. Lauri and Sanchez have each sent three out of the yard, while Cortez has hit two, and Justin Gallagher and Nolan Watlington each have a homer.

Jared Lauri slugs a 3-run homer in the fourth inning Tuesday afternoon to power South Brunswick past Middlesex in the GMC Tournament Quarterfinals.

As for pitching, only Joey Tuttoilmondo and Frankie Sanchez have seen the ball for the Vikings in the county tournament. Sanchez is 1-0 with a save while Tuttoilmondo is 2-0. Sanchez is the only one to allow an earned run in the tournament, as the Vikings have a team ERA of 0.35 over three games. The pair have combined for 36 strikeouts and seven walks, allowing three runs total in 20 innings of work.

GMC Tournament history: Every championship game and more

When 2nd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen and 5th-seed South Brunswick meet for the GMC Tournament title Sunday afternoon at Ray Cipperly Field in East Brunswick, it will be the Vikings’ second straight trip, and the first for the Falcons in four years.

Of course, there was no tournament last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but South Brunswick made it to the 2019 final, losing 1-0 to Old Bridge.

St. Joseph of Metuchen made it to the finals last in 2017, when they beat Monroe 1-0.

Monroe was the top-seed in this year’s tournament, but was knocked out in the first round by 16th-seed JFK.

South Brunswic and St. Joe’s are a combined 8-2 in the finals all-time, so it would appear something has to give.

Sunday’s GMC Final can be heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, presented by Bellamy & Son Paving, by clicking here. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino have the call, starting with pregame at 11:15 am. First pitch is at noon.

Here’s a closer look at the GMC Tournament finals, year by year:

GMC TOURNAMENT FINALS HISTORY:

1986:  East Brunswick 14, Madison Central 3

1987:  Cedar Ridge 2,  Colonia 1

1988:  Carteret 4, JP Stevens 2 (11 innings)

1989:  Madison Central 8, Cedar Ridge 7 (8 innings)

1990:  Edison 9, South Plainfield 3

1991:  East Brunswick 6, South Plainfield 5

1992:  Edison 1, Bishop Ahr 0

1993:  Edison 12, JFK 3

1994:  Edison 10, Monroe 3

1995:  Edison 5, Piscataway 3

1996:  Bishop Ahr 4, Edison 3 (13 innings)

1997:  East Brunswick 3, JFK 2

1998:  Edison 2, East Brunswick 1

1999:  Edison 7, Bishop Ahr 2

2000:  Woodbridge 7, JFK 1

2001:  Edison 4, Spotswood 1

2002:  South Brunswick 4, Piscataway 2 (9 innings)

2003:  Piscataway 9, East Brunswick 5

2004:  St. Joseph 6, Carteret 0

2005:  East Brunswick 8, St. Joseph 1

2006:  St. Joseph 11, South Amboy 0

2007:  Spotswood 7, JP Stevens 6

2008:  St. Joseph 3, Old Bridge 2

2009: St. Joseph 6, North Brunswick 0

2010:  South Brunswick 9, North Brunswick 2

2011:  Old Bridge 3, South Plainfield 2

2012:  Middlesex 10, Sayreville 4

2013:  JFK 4, Monroe 2

2014:  St. Joseph 1, South Plainfield 0

2015:  Monroe 1, Sayreville 0 (8 innings)

2016:  East Brunswick 1, JP Stevens 0

2017:  St. Joseph 1, Monroe 0

2018:  South Plainfield 2, Perth Amboy 1 (12 innings)

2019:  Old Bridge 2, South Brunswick 1

MOST GMCT FINALS APPEARANCES:

  1. Edison – 9
  2. St. Joseph – 8
  3. East Brunswick – 7
  4. South Plainfield – 5
  5. South Brunswick, JFK, Monroe – 4

READ MORE: GMC Tournament Semifinals belonged to the pitchers, in historic fashion

MOST GMC TOURNAMENT WINS:

  • 8-Edison
  • 6-St. Joseph-Metuchen
  • 5-East Brunswick
  • 2-South Brunswick, Old Bridge

ALL-TIME RECORDS IN THE FINALS:

East Brunswick 5-2 (2016)

Bishop Ahr 1-2 (1996)

Carteret 1-1 (1998)

*Cedar Ridge 1-1 (1987)

Colonia 0-1

Edison 8-1 (2001)

JFK 1-3 (2013)

JP Stevens 0-3

*Madison Central 1-1 (1989)

Middlesex 1-0 (2012)

Monroe 1-3 (2015)

North Brunswick 0-2

Old Bridge 2-1 (2019)

Perth Amboy 0-1

Piscataway 1-2 (2003)

Sayreville 0-2

South Amboy 0-1

South Brunswick 2-1 (2010)

South Plainfield 1-4 (2018)   

Spotswood 1-1 (2007)

St. Joseph 6-1 (2017)

Woodbridge 1-0 (2000)

DID YOU KNOW?

In the Greater Middlesex Conference’s current alignment, every team from the GMC Red Division has made at least one appearance in the finals. New Brunswick is the only White Division team never to qualify for the finals, while four current Gold Division teams have never made it: South River, Highland Park, Dunellen and Metuchen. South Amboy is the only current Gold Division team to make a final, losing 11-0 to St. Joe’s in the 2006 title game.