Tag: Woodbridge

Ridge is No. 1, the 2022 Team of the Year, in final Bellamy & Son Top Ten Rankings

Winning its first Somerset County Tournament Championship in over a decade helped propel the Ridge Red Devils to No. 1 in the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings on Central Jersey Sports Radio, and in the end, that’s where they finish – No. 1 in 2022 and the CJSR Team of the Year.

With more wins than all but one team in the CJSR coverage area, Ridge narrowly missed out on making the North 2, Group 4 title game, with a close, extra-inning loss to Woodbridge. Ridge finished the season 24-4, their most wins since picking up 22 in 2014.

Finishing second was North Brunswick. The Raiders knocked off then-No. 1 and top-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen in the GMC Tournament Final, winning their first title ever, and finished the year 22-10, with a loss to East Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group Four Finals. They were the lowest seed to win the GMC title since 14th-seed South Plainfield won it all in 2018, and second-lowest since JFK won in 2013.

North Brunswick with its 2022 GMC Tournament Championship trophy. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

The full rankings follow, with more details on the rest of the teams below:

In third is St. Joseph, 22-9, and the GMC Red Division Champions. Dominant all year long against the rest of the league, they ran up against the juggernaut that is Zach Konstantinovsky in the GMC Tournament finals. Zack “K” held the Falcons to two runs on three hits, in a 4-2 win. With some arm trouble to top starters Donovan Zsak and Andrew Goldan down the stretch, Joe’s was eliminated in the semifinals of Non-Public South A by Christian Brothers Academy.

Fourth is Woodbridge, which set a program record for wins, finishing 25-7, and might be the best team in the area without a title on its resume. The gritty, never-say-die bunch finished second in the White Division to Middlesex, and were knocked out in the GMCT semifinals by St. Joe’s. They did, however, beat Ridge in a marathon 11-inning North 2, Group 4 playoff game, before losing 5-1 at Hunterdon Central to future MLB draft prospect Kyle McCoy. The Barrons graduate a handful of seniors and are expected to be another tough out next season.

Fifth is East Brunswick, which made it to the Central Jersey Group 4 title game, losing to eventual statewide group 4 winner Howell. The Bears had a deep pitching staff, and lost one of the more epic GMCT semifinals ever played, a 1-0, 12-inning affair against North Brunswick. They finished 17-13.

In sixth is Immaculata. The Spartans may have been only 14-13, but play in the tough Skyland Conference Delaware Division, which – top to bottom – may be the best in the CJSR coverage area, rivaling the GMC Red. Though the Spartans didn’t even make it to the Somerset County Finals, they did something no other Somerset County team did this year: make it to Bob DeMeo Field in Hamilton for the Group Finals. And they did it by knocking off top-seed Rutgers Prep in the Non-Public North B finals, 11-2, then rallying from a 7-0 deficit entering the bottom of the 6th to beat Gill St. Bernard’s for the sectional crown. Immaculata would, fall, however, to Ranney in the Non-Public Group B finals.

Seventh is Rutgers Prep, which finished 19-6, Valley Division Champions in the Skyland Conference, and made the finals of the Somerset County Tournament, falling to Ridge. Powered by – among others – a pair of freshmen in pitcher Zach Fronio and catcher Andrew Parisi, the Argonauts will continue to be contenders.

Middlesex comes in eighth, the GMC White Division champion at 23-6. The Blue Jays won two critical games against Woodbridge just before the county tournament seeding meeting to win the title in their first year up from the Blue, a significant feat. But in the tournament, they suffered a late collapse against North Brunswick in the quarterfinals, and were the victim of a controversial call on a play at the plate that killed their rally. And after beating Point Pleasant Beach in the Central Jersey Group 1 finals for each of the past three seasons, this time, the Garnet Gulls came through. Middlesex will be in reload mode next year, with a number of seniors graduating.

Checking in ninth is Pingry, which finished 23-2 and had a tremendous year in and out of its division, and won the Prep A Tournament Championship, defeating Hun. They were also Skyland Conference Mountain Division champs, with their two regular season losses coming to Delaware Division squads – Ridge and Somerville. Their only other defeat came in the state tournament, to St. John Vianney our of the Shore Conference.

In tenth is Monroe, which finished 16-11, and came in second in the GMC Red Division, behind St. Joe’s. They started hot, going 7-1 before dropping four-in-a-row mid-season, including two to St. Joseph, sandwiched in between losses to Somerville and Jackson Liberty. They then ran off another seven wins in eight games before getting knocked out of the GMC Tournament in the quarters by East Brunswick. Their season ended in the Central Jersey Group 4 semis with a loss to eventual state Group 4 champ Howell.

A look back at Woodbridge baseball championship history: local historian shares tales

When the Woodbridge baseball team takes on Hunterdon Central today for the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 Championship, the Barrons will be playing for their first-ever state sectional title in the playoff era.

Nick Sardone, Woodbridge Class of ’63, and the town’s resident high school sports historian, knows all the stories, all the names of the past, but says this one, if they can bring home a trophy today, would be one of the greatest achievements in school history.

We got a chance to talk to Nick this morning about the three “other” titles the Barrons won, back when the NJSIAA would choose champions based on a point system. They cam in 1935, 1938 and 1939, the last two under legendary head coach Nick Priscoe.

He was also the football coach – for whom the Barrons’ stadium is now named – and, in fact, also won football titles in 1938 and 1939. Yes, one coach, two years, four titles!

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Nick Sardone about Woodbridge baseball’s championship history:

Here’s the story from the June 23, 1939 edition of the Woodbridge Independent-Leader, announcing Woodbridge’s last sectional championship:

It’s Championship Friday! Five area teams vie for state sectional titles

One team seems like they’re there every year. Another has some of the deepest pitching in their league. A third has played the role of underdog to the hilt. And of the other two, one is guaranteed to go home a champion today.

Those are the story lines this Friday, as Middlesex, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Immaculata and Gill St. Bernard’s all play for sectional titles in four separate championship games this afternoon.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will bring you one of those contests live, the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 title tilt between 3rd-seed Woodbridge and top-seed Hunterdon Central. Game time is at 3. Pregame begins at 2:30 from Flemington with Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas calling all the action. Click here to listen.

Scroll down for previews and more details on all four title games involving CJSR-area teams:

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 Championship Game:

Details:
(3) Woodbridge (25-6) at
(1) Hunterdon Central (23-4)
3:00 pm Friday in Flemington, NJ
LISTEN LIVE

Starting Pitchers:
Woodbridge – Eddie Nunez (9-2, 1.98 ERA)
Hunterdon Central – Kyle McCoy (6-0, 0.00 ERA)

LISTEN TO THE HEAD COACHES:

Woodbridge head coach Mike Monaco
Hunterdon Central head coach Kevin Cuozzi

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Woodbridge:
1st Round: def. (14) Newark East Side, 12-2
Quarterfinals: def. (6) Westfield, 8-4
Semifinals: def. (2) Ridge, 5-4 (11 innings)

Hunterdon Central:
1st Round: def. (16) Phillipsburg, 14-0
Quarterfinals: def. (9) Elizabeth, 10-1
Semifinals: def. (4) Watchung Hills, 4-0

Key Stats:

Eddie Nunez can go nearly the distance Friday, having thrown 46 pitches against Ridge in relief in their 11-inning marathon Tuesday. That means he has 104 remaining, six shy of the 110 pitch limit for a single game. Matt Troche and Drew Lukachyk are also available, but Josh Vazquez – who started the Ridge game, is not.

Troche – at a respectable .239 – has the lowest average in the starting lineup, and only three starters are hitting below .300 heading into the final, which means there are no easy outs in the Barrons lineup.

Yes, you read that right about Kyle McCoy. The tall, lanky lefty has not allowed a single earned run all year, letting up just one inconsequential run up all year, that in the Red Devils’ opening round playoff game, a 16-1 victory over Elizabeth. He’s being talked about as an MLB Draft prospect, and head coach Kevin Cuozzi says they’ve eased him off the gas pedal a bit this year – something he can afford to do with a deep staff – to keep him McCoy fresh just for this time of year.

Championship History:

Woodbridge is seeking its first-ever state title, in only its fourth finals appearance since the advent of the playoffs in 1971. They were champs in 1935, 1938 and 1939, those last two coming under Nick Priscoe, who also was the football coach, and for whom the Barrons football stadium is named. His teams won double championships – in baseball and football – in ’38 and ’39, and he also won a state title on the gridiron in 1960.

In the playoffs, Woodbridge is oh-for-three in finals:

  • 1977: lost to Piscataway, 2-1, in the Central Jersey Group 4 final
  • 1987: lost to Hunterdon Central, 3-0, in the Central Jersey Group 4 final
  • 2017: lost to Millburn, 3-1, in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 final

Hunterdon Central last won a sectional title in 2018, when they went 28-2. They beat Manalpan 4-0 in the CJ 4 final, then went on to win the statewide Group 4 title, beating Westfield 7-0 in the championship game.

The also won the Central 4 title in 2017 (2-1 over Freehold) but lost to Millburn in the statewide Group 4 final, 10-5. In 2016, they beat South Brunswick 12-2 to win the CJ 4 title, then won the state Group 4 crown with a 4-2 win over Morristown. In 2013, they beat Brick Memorial in the CJ4 final, 2-1, but lost to Eastern in the Group 4 semis.

The Red Devils’ last sectional final loss came to Hillsborough in 2012, a 6-1 defeat. The Raiders that year went all the way to the Group 4 final, where they lost to Manalapan, 2-0, finishing 17-14.

More Red Devils: If Woodbridge is to win its first-ever sectional championship, they will have beaten the Red Devils in back-to-back games: Ridge in the semifinals, Hunterdon Central in the finals.

What’s Next? The winner of this game goes on to host the winner of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4, based on the rotating host sites pre-determined by the NJSIAA. (Last year was the first year of that system, with Central and North 1 champions hosting. This year, South and North 2 champs host.) The North 2, Group 4 final is between 2-seed Passaic Tech (25-5) and 4-seed Livingston (20-8). That game is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon at PCTI.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF WOODBRIDGE:

Central Jersey Group 4 Championship Game:

Details:
(9) East Brunswick (17-2) at
(2) Howell (22-6)
2:00 pm Friday in Howell, NJ

Starting Pitchers:
East Brunswick – Joe Ditzel (4-1, 0.84 ERA)
Howell – Nick Gomes (4-1, 2.76 ERA)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

East Brunswick:
1st Round: def. (8) Freehold Twp., 8-6
Quarterfinals: def. (1) Middletown South, 1-0
Semifinals: def. (5) North Brunswick, 4-2 (8 innings)

Howell:
1st Round: def. (15) Manalapan, 3-1
Quarterfinals: def. (7) Monroe, 5-4
Semifinals: def. (3) Jackson Memorial, 3-2

Key Stats:

East Brunswick has beaten all higher seeds to get to the final, including the top-seed, defending champ and heavy favorite Middletown South in the quarterfinals. And their win over 5th-seed North Brunswick was a revenge win for the Bears. They lost a regular season meeting in walk-off fashion on back-to-back home runs, and a 1-0 game in the GMC Tournament semifinals that took 12 innings.

The key pitching number to know is Ditzel’s sub-one earned run average. The Bears have allowed just eight runs in their first three state playoff games, including that shutout of Midd South. They’ve been playing solid baseball the last month or so

Championship History:

It’s been a while for both of these schools: East Brunswick has won only one sectional title, Central Jersey Group 4 in 1997. Howell hasn’t won since 1994. One very long streak will come to an end today.

What’s next? The winner here gets the South Jersey Group 4 winner. That game features 6th-seed Cherokee (21-7) at top-seed Kingsway (26-4), and is being played at noon today.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF EAST BRUNSWICK:

Central Jersey Group 1 Championship Game:

Details:
(1) Middlesex (23-5) vs.
(2) Point Pleasant Beach (19-9)
4:00 pm Friday at Mountainview Park in Middlesex, NJ

Starting Pitchers:
Middlesex – Stephen Young (4-1, 3.05 ERA) OR Aidan Kozak (4-1, 1.60 ERA)
Point Pleasant Beach – James Larsen (3-3, 4.62 ERA)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Middlesex:
1st Round: def. (16) Highland Park, 10-0 (5 innings)
Quarterfinals: def. (8) Riverside, 12-3 (6 innings)
Semifinals: def. (5) Shore, 11-1 (6 innings)

Point Pleasant Beach:
1st Round: def. (15) Henry Hudson, 10-0 (5 innings)
Quarterfinals: def. (7) Bound Brook, 4-0
Semifinals: def. (3) New Egypt, 9-1

Key Stats:

These teams have met in the Central Jersey Group 1 title game each of the last three playoff seasons, with Middlesex winning them all. Yes, they certainly have the Garnet Gulls’ number. The Jays beat them on a walk-off last year 2-1. They beat them in 2019, 6-1. And Middlesex shut them out 2-0 to win the CJ1 title in 2018.

For good measure, they also beat Point Beach in the 2017 Central 1 quarterfinals, making it four straight seasons they’ve ended Point’s year.

Championship History:

The numbers for Middlesex under Justin Nastasi indicate a dynasty. To wit:

  • 2021: GMC Blue Division Champions, Central 1 Champs, Group 1 State Champions
  • 2019: GMC Blue Division Champions, Central 1 Champs
  • 2018: GMC Blue Division Co-Champions, Central 1 Champs, Group 1 State Champions
  • 2017: Central 1 Champs, Group 1 State Champions
  • 2016: no titles
  • 2015: Central 1 Champs

It’s quite the remarkable run for the Blue Jays, who nearly moved up to Group 2 this year. Football and basketball did, but not baseball, owing to the different number of schools in each sport that field teams.

What’s next? The winner here gets the victor in the South Jersey Group 1 title game, featuring 9-seed Woodstown (16-9) at 6-seed Paulsboro (16-9). If it’s the Blue Jays and Woodstown, it would be a rematch of last year’s Group 1 semifinal at Middlesex, which they won 7-5 on a walk-off grand slam with two outs by Bobby Ulmer – you can read the recap and hear the game winning call below. Except this year, the game would be down at Woodstown, a mere 92 miles down the Turnpike, and South of the Mason-Dixon Line.

At today’s gas prices, assuming 30 miles per gallon, that’s about a $30 trip, plus another $11 in tolls round-trip.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF MIDDLESEX:

MIDDLESEX STATE TOURNAMENT COVERAGE FROM 2021:

Non-Public North B Championship Game:

Details:
(6) Gill St. Bernard’s (15-13) at
(5) Immaculata (13-12)
1:00 pm Friday at Diamond Nation in Flemington, NJ

Starting Pitchers:
Gill St. Bernard’s: Logan Mote (2-4, 4.16 ERA) OR Carter Nowak (4-3, 3.32 ERA)
Immaculata: Matt Warzeniak (3-2, 2.56 ERA)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Gill St. Bernard’s:
1st Round: def. (11) Mater Dei, 13-3 (5 innings)
Quarterfinals: def. (3) Montclair-Kimberley, 7-4
Semifinals: def. (2) St. Mary-Rutherford, 3-0

Immaculata:
1st Round: def. (12) Newark Academy, 10-0 (5 innings)
Quarterfinals: def. (4) Morristown-Beard, 9-6
Semifinals: def. (1) Rutgers Prep, 11-2

Key Stats:

One, two and three.

One, as in only one meeting ever between these two teams in the schools’ histories, at least so far as anyone remembers. And that meeting, ironically enough, came this year, when Gill beat the Spartans in the second round of the Somerset County Tournament, 4-2, also out at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

Two, as in Gill St. Bernard’s – until the state tournament – had not won more than two games in a row all season.

Three, as in the Knights also haven’t lost more than three games in a row all season, and they only did that once, in late April/early May. Immaculata, meanwhile, has been slightly more up-and-down all year. The Spartans opened the season 0-3 – including a season-opening 15-4 loss to Somerville as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – but then reeled off three straight wins to get back to .500 by mid-April. They had two more three-game skids throughout the year, and two more three-game winning streaks, including in the playoffs heading into today’s final.

Championship History:

The Spartans have had immense Somerset County Tournament success, winning a record 14 titles, all between 1991 and 2019, including an unprecedented run of six straight from 1997 to 2002, and four of the next five from 2004 to 2008.

But the state tournament is always tougher. Still, the Spartans have four to their credit, plus two group titles:

  • 2010: South A and Group A Non-Public Champs (beat St. Joseph-Metuchen in the Group A final)
  • 1997: North A Champs (lost to Bishop Eustace in the Group A final)
  • 1995: North B Champs and Group B Non-Public Champs (beat Gloucester Catholic in the Group B final)
  • 1985: North B Champs (lost to Gloucester Catholic in the Group B final)

For Gill St. Bernard’s, this will be their fourth trip to a sectional final in the last six seasons, still looking to bring home their first hardware. Previous finals appearances:

  • 2019: Lost at St. Mary-Rutherford 2-1 (North B)
  • 2018: Lost at DePaul 8-4 (North B)
  • 2016: Lost at Holy Cross 4-3 (South B)

What’s next? Since there are only two sections in each non-public group, unlike the four in the public ranks, the winner of this game goes right on to the Non-Public Group B final next Wednesday at Veterans’ Park in Hamilton. Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast the game, which should be either at 4 or 7 pm. Immaculata or Gill would get the winner of the South B title game, which is being played at 3:30 today, and features (2) Gloucester Catholic (21-9) at (1) Ranney (24-5) in Tinton Falls.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF IMMACULATA and GILL ST. BERNARD’S:

Middlesex’s Nastasi isn’t surprised at Woodbridge run to the North 2, Group 4 final

Hunterdon Central is the top seed in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 NJSIAA playoff section, and for good reason. They’ve had a tremendous season, are loaded with talent, including legitimate MLB draft prospect Kyle McCoy, and are one of the deepest teams in the state.

They’re ranked No. 5 in the NJ.com Top 20 this week, too.

But Ridge was the second-seed, and No. 6 in the state last week, and Woodbridge beat them.

Few gave them a chance.

But the Barrons believed, and so did Justin Nastasi, whose team swept the Barrons in a mid-May home-and-home to clinch the White Division title outright over Woodbridge.

But still, Nastasi says he knew it was a good Woodbridge team they beat, one that could be poised to make some noise in the state tournament.

While his Blue Jays will be taking on Point Pleasant Beach for a fourth straight time in the Central Jersey Group 1 finals – 4 pm Friday at Mountainview Park – the Barrons will play top-seed and heavy favorite Hunterdon Central in the North 2, Group 4 title game, at 3 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Nastasi believes the Barrons very much have a chance.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Justin Nastasi about the Woodbridge Barrons:

Barrons enjoying the ride, but Nunez, Lukachyk and the rest are focused on bringing home a state title for Woodbridge

Few people expected them to be here, and that’s just the way they seem to like it.

The Woodbridge Barrons have surprised many people in 2022, just not themselves. They’re 25-6, and Friday, will take on top-seed Hunterdon Central (23-4) in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 title game.

Should the third-seeded Barrons win, it will be their first-ever sectional title. This team is ready to make history.

But it’s not something they think about too much.

A scrappy bunch, in the mold of their head coach, Mike Monaco, they relish the role of underdog, but play loose.

They’re aggressive, and go after it, and while they may make physical mistakes, like any other high school baseball team, they’re focused enough not to make the mental mistakes that lead to errors on the scoreboard.

You can hear Friday afternoon’s game on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with game time set for 3:00. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action live from Flemington; click here to listen.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with some of the Woodbridge Barrons on the eve of their state sectional title game against the Red Devils:

Sophomore pitcher Eddy Nunes, who will start against Hunterdon Central
Senior right fielder Brett Lukachyk

INSTANT REPLAY-North 2, Group 4 Semifinals: (3) Woodbridge 5, (2) Ridge 4 (11 innings)

The second-seeded Woodbridge Barrons earned a tip to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 title game, where they will play top-seed Hunterdon Central, after knocking off 2nd-seed Ridge in the sectional semifinals, 5-4 in 11 innings, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the play-by-play live from Pete Hall Field in Basking Ridge:

Extra, Extra! Woodbridge and East Brunswick advance in extra innings, Blue Jays cruise, and an all Skyland title game on a busy state playoff Tuesday

East Brunswick got revenge for its 12-inning loss to North Brunswick in the GMC Tournament semis with an extra inning win of its own, while Woodbridge needed eleven to knock off defending North 2, Group 4 champ Ridge.

Those were just some of the highlights as Week Two of the NJSIAA baseball playoffs got underway, with public and non-public sectional semifinal action.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio in the North 2, Group 4 semis, third-seed Woodbridge never trailed and outlasted 2nd-seed Ridge 5-4 in 11 innings.

FULL GAME RECAP and POSTGAME AUDIO: Woodbridge stuns Ridge with Bosch’s almost-in-the-park-home run, to win in 11, gain North 2 Group 4 final

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: 11 Innings in 6 Minutes: Listen to all the highlights from Woodbridge’s N2, G4 semifinal win over Ridge

Meanwhile, at Community Park in North Brunswick, 9th-seed East Brunswick scored two in the eighth and then kept the 5th-seeded Raiders off the board in the bottom of the inning to secure a 4-2 win. The Bears have been red hot the last month or so, and have knocked off three higher seeds en route to the Central Jersey Group 4 final.

They beat 8-seed Freehold Township 8-6 in the first round. Then came a 1-0 win over top-seed, defending champ, and section favorite Middletown South before Tuesday’s semifinal win against North Brunswick. Pinch-hitter Ryan Schultz had an RBI single in the inning, driving in what turned out to be the winning run.

East Brunswick was 0-for-2 in dramatic fashion against North this year. In the regular season, they lost 5-4 in walk-off fashion on a two-run homer by Zack Konstantinovsky, followed by the winner from Omar Carreras.

In the GMC Tournament semifinals, they lost 1-0 in 12 innings.

Meanwhile, in Non-Public North B, it will be an all-Somerset County final, as 5th-seed Immaculata will entertain 6th-seed Gill St. Bernard’s Friday afternoon. The Spartans stunned top-seed Rutgers Prep with an 11-2 win, while the Knights traveled up to Bergen County and came away with a 3-0 win over second-seed St. Mary-Rutherford.

Middlesex also advanced in Central Jersey Group 1, with an 11-1, six-inning win over fifth-seed Shore. That sets up a rematch of last year’s sectional title tilt with Point Pleasant Beach. The second-seeded Garnet Gulls beat 3-seed New Egypt Tuesday 9-1. The Jays and Point played in last year’s final, with Middlesex winning 1-0 in its final at bat on an E4 with the bases loaded and nobody out.

Somerville, Watchung Hills and St. Joseph-Metuchen also were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday.

Below are the semifinal results::

Central Jersey Group 4:
(9) East Brunswick def. (5) North Brunswick, 4-2 (8 innnings)
(2) Howell def. (3) Jackson Memorial, 3-2

Central Jersey Group 3:
(10) Middletown North def. (6) Somerville, 8-4

Central Jersey Group 1:
(1) Middlesex def. (5) Shore, 11-1 (6 innings)
(2) Pt. Pleasant Beach def. (3) New Egypt, 9-1

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 4:
(1) Hunterdon Central def. (4) Watchung Hills, 4-0
(3) Woodbridge def. (2) Ridge, 5-4 (11 innings)

Non-Public South A:
(6) Christian Brothers Academy def. (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen, 11-0 (6 innings)

Non-Public North B:
(5) Immaculata def. (1) Rutgers Prep, 11-2
(6) Gill St. Bernard’s def. (2) St. Mary-Rutherford, 3-0

Following are the sectional title games scheduled for Friday, with notes on who those teams would match up with in the Public Group Semifinals Monday, or the Non-Public Group Finals on Wednesday. Note that in the public group semifinal rounds, South Jersey and North Jersey, Section 2 champions are the pre-determined hosts.

Central Jersey Group 4 Final:
(9) East Brunswick at (2) Howell
Winner plays at the South 4 Champion, either (1) Kingsway or (6) Cherokee, on Monday, June 13

Central Jersey Group 1 Final:
(2) Pt. Pleasant Beach at (1) Middlesex
Winner plays at the South 1 Champion, either (6) Paulsboro or (9) Woodstown, on Monday, June 13

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 4 Final:
(3) Woodbridge at (1) Hunterdon Central (on CJSR)
Winner hosts the North 1 Champion, either (2) Passaic Tech or (4) Livingston, on Monday, June 13

Non-Public North B Final:
(6) Gill St. Bernard’s at (5) Immaculata
Winner plays the South B Champion, either (1) Ranney or (2) Gloucester Catholic, on Wednesday, June 14 at Veterans Park in Hamilton (on CJSR).

11 Innings in 6 Minutes: Listen to all the highlights from Woodbridge’s N2, G4 semifinal win over Ridge

It had drama, it wasn’t always pretty, but Woodbridge is a win away from its first state sectional title in program history, after a 5-4, eleven-inning win over Ridge in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 semifinals.

Listen to all the highlights as heard exclusively on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action:

Woodbridge stuns Ridge with Bosch’s almost-in-the-park-home run, to win in 11, gain North 2 Group 4 final

Officially, the play would go as a throwing error for missing the cutoff man on a triple, allowing the batter to score. But for all intents and purposes, it was just about an in-the-park home run.

A.J. Bosch never looked behind him. He didn’t see right fielder Luke Somelofske run past the ball as it fell just inside the foul line. Didn’t see the throw miss the cutoff man behind second base and go into the outfield. And he didn’t see the throw that came way too late to catch him after he dove head first into home plate to score the go-ahead run.

All that happened with one out in the eleventh inning, after the leadoff man, Dean Fiore, tried to bunt for a base hit and popped it foul behind the plate, where it landed in the glove of catcher George Busnach.

All of a sudden, it was 5-4 Woodbridge. But still, the Barrons and their fans could not exhale.

That’s because Ridge, with two outs, loaded the bases on an E6 and a pair of walks, before Eddie Nunez got Matt Aber to pop up to second baseman Drew Lukachyk to end an epic, marathon, wacky ballgame in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 semifinals, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Final: Woodbridge 5, Ridge 4, in 11 innings, and now the Barrons have a crack at their first-ever state sectional title.

It sure wasn’t without a lot of grief for both teams.

Combined, they left 24 men on base: 13 for Ridge, 11 for Woodbridge. Combined, there were six errors in the game: four for the Red Devils, including a pickoff move that sailed wide in the first, and two for the Barrons. And it rained for most of the first few innings, even if only a very light drizzle.

And yet, Woodbridge was in control most of the way, if only because they never trailed.

They scored in the top of the first on a bloop RBI single by Drew Lukachyk, but Ridge got it right back on a two-out single by Matt Aber.

Woodbridge went ahead 3-1 in the third on an bases loaded walks by Tyler Webster and Bosch, but Ridge got an RBI single by Luke Somelofske following a one-out triple by George Busnach in the fourth, and an RBI triple by Mile Olivo in the 5th to tie it at three.

No one would score until the Barrons score in the top of the ninth, in extra innings. With two out, Brett Lukachyk walked. On a Josh Vazquez hit to second, Andrew Shawah stopped a hard hit ball in the hole, had no play to first, but saw Lukachyk going for third. His throw was wide, went to the fence, and Lukachyk came in to score on the E4.

But then Ridge would tie it in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff single by Somelofske and a sac bunt by Andrew Shawah moved him to third, Eddie Nunez came in to pitch. After Matt Shawah struck out, Brian Leitz hit a ball to the right side that first baseman Shawn Kish – in for the injured Ty Kobylakiewicz – fielded in front of the second baseman. He threw to Nunez covering at first but he couldn’t get there in time. Somelofske, scored, tie game again – but not before two intentional walks heightened the tension and Nunez got Matt Aber to strike out to keep things going.

That’s when the eleventh inning heroics by Woodbridge kicked in, sending the Barrons to the North 2 Group 4 final, where they will try and make history Friday, visiting top-seed Hunterdon Central.

Nunez got the win in relief for Woodbridge (25-6) to improve to 9-2 on the year; Mike Olivo took the loss in relief for Ridge (24-2) to fall to 5-1.

Click below to hear live postgame reaction on the air with hero A.J. Bosch, reliever Eddie Nunez, and head coach Mike Monaco: