UCT baseball final is now May 12 at Kean; 4th-seeded Westfield has most titles with 14, while 2nd-seeded Cranford is next with 9

Blue Devils swept regular season Watchung Division games and last won UCT in 2014; Cougars last took home the crown in 2015

When we have a Westfield-Cranford baseball matchup with a trophy at stake, you can include in the conversation talk of the past, present and even the future.

Both were very good in the past, are still very good in the present and will most likely continue to be very good in the future.

For the fourth time the perennial powers will clash with a county championship on the line.

The 64th annual Union County Tournament championship game will be contested Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. at Kean University’s Jim Hynes Class of 1963 Field in Union.

The decision was made on Wednesday to move the game up a day because of Saturday’s heavy rain forecast.

WESTFIELD VS. CRANFORD UCT FINALS RESULTS:

1978: Westfield 3, Cranford 2 – at Linden

2010: Cranford 6, Westfield 5 – at Elizabeth

2013: Cranford 8, Westfield 0 – at Kean University

Fourth-seeded Westfield takes an 11-8 record into Thursday’s scheduled Union County Conference-crossover game at Mountain Division foe Summit. The Blue Devils last won the crown in 2014.

Second-seeded Cranford is 12-6 and off Thursday. The Cougars last won the championship in 2015.

Westfield had a seven-game winning streak snapped at home by Governor Livingston 3-1 on Tuesday.

On the same day – also at home and by two runs – Cranford had a six-game winning streak halted by Union 4-2.

Top-seeded and first-time defending champion GL, which lost to ninth-seeded Johnson 9-5 in last week’s quarterfinals, captured the UCC’s Watchung Division title outright for the first time with Tuesday’s win at Westfield.

Westfield won the Watchung Division championship in 2014 and 2016 and Cranford won the crown in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and shared it with GL in 2015. Scotch Plains won the first championship in 2010 the first year the conference was formed.

This year Westfield swept Cranford in Watchung Division play, winning 9-3 at home on April 8 in the second game for both and then 1-0 on April 27, which was the first game played on Cranford’s new field turf complex at Memorial Field and also Westfield head coach Bob Brewster’s 600th win.

Westfield has won the most titles with 14 and Cranford is second with nine. Brewster, at the helm of the Blue Devils since 1983, has won the most as a coach with 10 and Cranford’s Dennis McCaffery, at the helm of the Cougars since 1999, is second with nine and is also 9-0 in the final, with two of the wins over Westfield.

Friday night’s pitching matchup could be Westfield senior right hander Connor Scanlon (5-1) vs. Cranford junior right hander Gordon Graceffo (3-2).

Both won their team’s semifinal games last Saturday at Cranford, with Scanlon throwing 87 pitches in five innings complete and Graceffo 93 in eight innings complete.

Here’s a look at both Watchung Division games:

April 8: Westfield 9, Cranford 3 – at Westfield

Westfield led the entire game, up 4-0 after three. The Blue Devils out-hit the Cougars 12-9.

It was Scanlon’s first start as he allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings complete, tossing 70 pitches. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Vincent Genova, Kevin Donovan and Chris Librera pitched for Cranford.

Victor Cruz, Matt LaCorte, Jake Lerie and Chris Wagner banged out two hits each, with Cruz and Lerie driving in two each.

Cruz is out for the year with a hand injury. Brewster said before the UCT semifinals, which Cruz did not play in, that Cruz was his top hitter.

Pat Connelly, James Shriner and Brian Oblachinski had two hits each for Cranford.

April 27: Westfield 1, Cranford 0 – at Cranford

Westfield junior left hander Cory Hiltz handcuffed the Cougars, tossing a three-hitter. Cranford junior RH Gordon Graceffo also pitched well, allowing just six hits.

A double by Matt LaCorte drove in Owen Kessler in the top of the fifth for the game’s only run.

Westfield dominant and Cranford wins late in last Saturday’s semifinals: Kurt Wolf, James Friel and Jake Lerie produced home runs over the fence for Westfield in its 15-4, five-inning win over Johnson in last Saturday’s semifinals.

For Wolf and Lerie it was their second varsity home run and second of the season, while for Friel it was his first varsity homer. Wagner produced his first varsity homer in Westfield’s 11-2 first round win at home over 13th-seeded Dayton.

Connelly got the game-winning hit – in the infield toward second – that lifted Cranford past third-seeded Scotch Plains 3-2 in eight innings.

Graceffo has struck out 30 in 36 innings, with an ERA of 1.17.

Leading Westfield in hits are Matt LaCorte with 26, Alex Pansini with 24 and Lerie with 22. Leading Cranford are Brian Oblachinski with 21, James Shriner with 18 and Ryan Bakie with 15.

Last year Scotch Plains swept GL in Watchung Division play, but GL went on to defeat Scotch Plains 3-2 in the UCT final.

NOTES: Westfield has won the most championships with 14 and has appeared in the most titles games with 23 appearances in the final. The Blue Devils are 14-9 in the final and head coach Bob Brewster – in his 35th season at the helm – is 10-7.

Also under Brewster, the Blue Devils have the record for most consecutive championships at four (1994-1997) and most consecutive championship game losses at three (2008-2010).

Brewster has won the most titles with his 10. Westfield was 4-2 in the final before his first year at the helm in 1983.

Cranford head coach Dennis McCaffery, in his 19th season at the helm of the Cougars, is not far behind.

McCaffery has not only guided Cranford to all nine of its championships, which is the second most, but is also 9-0 in the final, including wins over Westfield in 2010 and 2013.

In 2010 at Elizabeth’s Williams Field Cranford came back from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5. Freshman left hander Ryan Williamson earned the mound victory in relief.

Williamson played the 2011 UCT final in center field, with right hander Kurt Rutmayer getting the start and earning the mound victory.

Williamson’s only start in a UCT final came two years later as a senior when he blanked Westfield 8-0 at Kean, which was the last time the teams met in the championship game.

The first time was in 1978, with Westfield coming out on top 3-2. That was the sixth and last time Westfield was in the championship game before Brewster took over five years later.

 

64th ANNUAL BASEBALL

UNION COUNTY TOURNAMENT

 

SEEDS: 1-Gov. Livingston. 2-Cranford. 3-Scotch Plains.

4-Westfield. 5-Summit. 6-Union. 7-Elizabeth. 8-Union Catholic.

9-Johnson. 10-New Providence. 11-Roselle Park. 12-Rahway.

13-Dayton. 14-Oratory Prep. 15-Linden. 16-Plainfield.

17-Roselle Catholic. 18-Hillside.

 

PRELIMINARY ROUND:

Thursday, April 27

Linden 10, Hillside 0

Friday, April 28

Plainfield 14, Roselle Catholic 4

 

FIRST ROUND:

Saturday, April 29

Rahway 8, Summit 7

Cranford 12, Linden 0

Elizabeth 9, New Providence 0

Gov. Livingston 16, Plainfield 1

Union 10, Roselle Park 0

Johnson 9, Union Catholic 7

Monday, May 1

Scotch Plains 10, Oratory Prep 0

Westfield 11, Dayton 2

 

QUARTERFINALS:

Wednesday, May 3

Johnson 9, Gov. Livingston 5

Westfield 12, Rahway 2

Cranford 13, Elizabeth 3

Scotch Plains 10, Union 0

 

SEMIFINALS

Saturday, May 6

At Cranford’s Memorial Field

Westfield 15, Johnson 4 (5 inn.)

Cranford 3, Scotch Plains 2 (8 inn.)

 

FINAL

Friday, May 12

At Kean University

4-Westfield vs. 2-Cranford, 6 p.m.

 

UNION COUNTY TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONS:

2016: Governor Livingston 3, Scotch Pains 2

WP: Vin Doren. LP: Marc Occhipinti.

2015: Cranford 3, Gov. Livingston 1

WP: Pat Knight. LP: Ethan Frohman.

2014: Westfield 5, Gov. Livingston 3

WP: Brad DeMartino. LP: Ethan Frohman.

2013: Cranford 8, Westfield 0

WP: Ryan Williamson. LP: Kevin Galasso.

2012: Westfield 13, Union 3

WP: Mike Mondon. LP: Devin Zimmerman.

2011: Cranford 14, Gov. Livingston 1

WP: Kurt Rutmayer. LP: Joey Graziano.

2010: Cranford 6, Westfield 5

WP: Ryan Williamson. LP: Aiden Scanlon.

2009: Scotch Plains 2, Westfield 1 (10 inn.)

WP: Gary Binkiewicz. LP: Aiden Scanlon.

2008: Elizabeth 4, Westfield 2

WP: Gio Caraballo. LP: Chris Jenkins.

2007: Cranford 7, Gov. Livingston 1

WP: Dan Moreno. LP: Anthony Corsi.

2006: Westfield 9, Roselle Catholic 0

WP: Craig Ellis. LP: Nick Nolan.

2005: Roselle Catholic 6, Dayton 2

WP: Nick Nolan. LP: York Cook.

2004: Scotch Plains 3, Roselle Catholic 1

WP: James Scalfaro. LP: Nick Nolan.

2003: Cranford 7, Linden 4

WP: Brian Ciencin. LP: Mike Loureiro

2002: Westfield 7, Johnson 4

WP: Jay Cook. LP: Drew Thomas.

2001: Cranford 11, Plainfield 1

WP: Tom Polito. LP: Eladio Ortiz.

2000: Cranford 10, Rahway 0

WP: Tom Polito. LP: Steve Brown.

1999: Cranford 6, New Providence 5

WP: Tom Polito. LP: Todd Simo.

1998: Summit 5, Cranford 4

WP: Jared Chellevold. LP: Steve Brown.

1997: Westfield 7, Summit 1

WP: Matt Williams. LP: Jared Chellevold

1996: Westfield 7, Gov. Livingston 0

WP: Brian Ciemniecki. LP: Eric Brown.

1995: Westfield 3, Elizabeth 0

WP: Kris Williams. LP: Al Hawkins

1994: Westfield 7, Elizabeth 5

WP: Chris Vogel. LP: Al Hawkins

1993: Union 5, Westfield 3

WP: Eric Shaw. LP: Chris Vogel.

1992: Summit 10, Linden 4

WP: Garth Ballantyne. LP: Bryan Kosiba.

1991: Elizabeth 10, Westfield 1

WP: Pat Migliore. LP: John Fox.

1990: Rahway 2, Elizabeth 0

WP: Pat Jackson. LP: Pat Migliore.

1989: Elizabeth 7, Linden 2

WP: Charlie Garcia. LP: Ariel Lopez.

1988: Brearley 8, Rahway 1

WP: Mike Chalenski. LP: Frank Jones.

1987: Westfield 13, Elizabeth 12

WP: Clint Factor. LP: Greg Randazza.

1986: Westfield 9, Linden 6

WP: Clint Factor. LP: Rob Shaloub.

1985: Elizabeth 7, Union 5

WP: Fred Gamboa. LP: Mike Lawlor.

1984: Union Catholic 6, Elizabeth 5

WP: Greg Lepore. LP: Chris Wnek.

1983: Elizabeth 9, Westfield 8

WP: Angel Hajie. LP: Rob Rotunda.

1982: Linden 3, Elizabeth 2

WP: Tony Melise. LP: Laz Alfonso.

1981: New Providence 2, Union 1

WP: Steve Gelmine. LP: John Rubinetti.

1980: Johnson 5, New Providence 2

WP: Ken Petren. LP: Steve Gelmine.

1979: Summit 2, St. Mary’s 0

WP: John Murray. LP: Belamino Suarez.

1978: Westfield 3, Cranford 2

WP: K.C. Knobloch. LP: Scott Kley.

1977: New Providence 6, Westfield 1

WP: Doug Rillo. LP: K.C. Knobloch.

1976: Scotch Plains 1, Cranford 0

WP: Eddie Reilly. LP: Jim Carsey.

1975: Union 15, Cranford 0

WP: Frank Araneo. LP: Joe Gachko.

1974: St. Patrick’s 5, Union 3

WP: Bob Hynes. LP: Frank Araneo.

1973: Union 1, Johnson 0

WP: Bob Hughes. LP: Bob Schwankert.

1972: Summit 1, Union 0

WP: Mike Reid. LP: Stan Jakubowski.

1971: Roselle Catholic 3, Cranford 0

WP: Tom Byrnes. LP: Steve Gachko.

1970: Union 4, Jefferson 0

WP: Neil Gold. LP: Bob Brescher.

1969: Scotch Plains 5, Cranford 2

WP: Dave Klaatava. LP: Dan Costanzo.

1968: Westfield 2, Union 1

WP: Frank Tokash. LP: Sandy Weber.

1967: Union 17, Jefferson 2

WP: Jim Clee. LP: Jim Cowen.

1966: Westfield 13, Roselle 1

WP: Don Anderson. LP: Terry Arendt.

1965: Union 10, Westfield 2

WP: Al Santorini. LP: Greg Chlan.

1964: Union 3, Roselle 0

WP: Al Santorini. LP: Sal Riggi.

1963: Westfield 5, Springfield 4

WP: Jim Smith. LP: Bill Kretzger.

1962: Union 3, Jefferson 1

WP: Bob Castiglione. LP: Bob Krok.

1961: Rahway 6, Linden 5

WP: Tom Hoagland. LP: Ray Crepeau.

1960: Linden 4, St. Mary’s 2

WP: Ed Apalanski. LP: Rich Burke.

1959: St. Mary’s 7, Rahway 2

WP: Bill Henry. LP: Rich Kiehn.

1958: Rahway 3, Roselle 1

WP: Thelmore James. LP: Ed Jones.

1957: Linden 7, Rahway 5

WP: Frank Russo. LPK Fred Kast.

1956: Rahway 4, Scotch Plains 0

WP: Fred Henderson. LP: Bill Booth.

1955: Jefferson 4, Linden 0

WP: Richie Jones. LP: Ron Perry

1954: Springfield 4, Jefferson 2

WP: Joe Schaffernoth. LP: Richie Jones.

 

UCT CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Westfield (14)

Cranford (9)

Union (8)

Elizabeth-Jefferson (6)

Rahway (4)

Scotch Plains (4)

Summit (4)

Linden (3)

New Providence (2)

Roselle Catholic (2)

Governor Livingston (1)

Brearley (1)

Dayton (Springfield) (1)

Johnson Regional (1)

St. Mary’s, Elizabeth (1)

St. Patrick (1)

Union Catholic (1)

 

 

GREATER NEWARK TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONS:

2016: Seton Hall Prep 11, Nutley 1

2015: Seton Hall Prep 12, Millburn 6

2014: Seton Hall Prep 7, Cedar Grove 6

2013: Seton Hall Prep 4, Montclair 2

2012: Montclair 2, Nutley 1

2011: Seton Hall Prep 8, Millburn 2

2010: West Essex 5, Columbia 4

2009: Livingston 5, Nutley 4

2008: Seton Hall Prep 8, Millburn 7 (8 inn.)

2007: Seton Hall Prep 5, Newark East Side 1

2006: West Essex 5, Seton Hall Prep 2

2005: Seton Hall Prep 11, Nutley 0

2004: Nutley 3, Seton Hall Prep 2

2003: Seton Hall Prep 3, Nutley 0

2002: Nutley 6, Seton Hall Prep 2

2001: Nutley 5, Seton Hall Prep 3

2000: Seton Hall Prep 3, Livingston 1

1999: Seton Hall Prep 4, Columbia 3

1998: Seton Hall Prep 6, Essex Catholic 4

1997: Seton Hall Prep 5, Bloomfield 2

1996: Bloomfield 3, Livingston 0

1995: Columbia 1, Belleville 0

1994: East Side 4, Glen Ridge 3

1993: Nutley 10, West Essex 3

1992: East Side 5, Seton Hall Prep 2

1991: Livingston 7, Cedar Grove 6

1990: Seton Hall Prep 13, Columbia 0

1989: Glen Ridge 7, Livingston 0

1988: Cedar Grove 5, Livingston 3

1987: Glen Ridge 3, Irvington 0

1986: Columbia 9, Belleville 8 (8 inn.)

1985: Cedar Grove 2, Caldwell 1 (8 inn.)

1984: Millburn 4, Nutley 3

1983: Seton Hall Prep 3, Glen Ridge 1

1982: Caldwell 4, Glen Ridge 1

1981: Belleville 10, Glen Ridge 4

1980: Livingston 8, Belleville 6

1979: Columbia 5, Livingston 4

1978: Columbia 3, Our Lady of the Valley 2

1977: Livingston 9, Seton Hall Prep 1

1976: Livingston 6, Essex Catholic 4

1975: Essex Catholic 5, Irvington 1

1974: Livingston 5, Verona 1

1973: Our Lady of the Valley 3, Bloomfield 1

GNT has been Essex County teams only since 1973.

GNT also included teams from outside Essex County from 1933-1972.

1972: Ewing 7, Bloomfield 3

1971: Seton Hall Prep 7, Haddonfield 2

1970: Union 5, Ewing 1

1969: Morristown 12, Montclair 3

1968: Morristown 2, Piscataway 1

1967: Morristown 5, Roselle Catholic 4

1966: Union 2, Parsippany 1

1965: Parsippany 5, Westfield 3

1964: St. Benedict’s Prep 6, Montclair 5

1963: Montclair 6, St. Benedict’s 3

1962: Garfield 6, Nutley 0

1961: South River 5, Linden 3

1960: New Brinswick 3, East Side 0

1959: Bayonne 14, Verona 8

1958: St. Peter’s Prep 3, Hanover Park 1

1957: Rahway 3, Irvington 2

1956: New Brunswick 11, Barringer 0

1955: Jefferson 7, Montclair 6

1954: Montclair 8, Englewood 0

1953: Englewood 9, Irvington 4

1952: Bloomfield 3, Nutley 0

1951: Linden 8, Jefferson 3

1950: Rahway 9, East Side 7

1949: Bayonne 3, Montclair 2

1948: Montclair 1, Irvington 0

1947: Irvington 6, Columbia 0

1946: East Side 4, Roselle Park 2

1945: Bloomfield 5, Columbia 0

1944: Caldwell 9, Bloomfield 0

1943: Kearny 6, Hillside 3

1942: Montclair 3, Irvington 2

1941: Hillside 9, Kearny 5

1940: Irvington 2, Trenton 0

1939: Irvington 4, Woodbridge 3

1938: Irvington 6, South River 1

1937: Hillside 8, Bloomfield 4

1936: Hillside 11, Nutley 2

1935: Bloomfield 4, Hillside 3

1934: Hillside 5, Barringer 1

1933: Irvington 1, Kearny 0

Leave a Reply