Baseball Union County Tournament to be seeded April 18: Defending champion Cranford, GL in line to get high seeds

Union has shot at sneaking into top 4

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The 63rd annual Union County Tournament will be seeded Monday night. Cranford is the defending champion.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The 63rd annual baseball Union County Tournament will be seeded April 18. Cranford is the defending champion.

The gold standard in Union County baseball used to be Union, Elizabeth, Linden and Westfield.

However, for the past 15-20 years, the guard has changed to Cranford, Westfield, Gov. Livingston and Scotch Plains.

Cranford and Westfield have combined to win the last six Union County Tournaments, Cranford four and Westfield two.

The 63rd annual Union County Tournament will be seeded Monday night, April 18.

Scotch Plains is the last team, other than Cranford and Westfield, to have won the UCT, last capturing the crown in 2009.

Although the Highlanders are still seeking their first title, GL reached the final the last two years and four times since 2007.

You can start the seeding with Westfield, Scotch Plains, GL and Cranford – all Watchung Division teams from the Union County Conference – and go from there.

Monday’s original Union County schedule is light, with only five games. GL plays at Union after the two resume the April 1 game that was started at GL, with the score tied 3-3 at the start of the bottom of the sixth, with GL up.

Johnson is at Linden in Mountain Division play, Summit at Roselle Park in Valley Division action and Roselle is at Rahway in Sky Division competition.

A crossover game includes Mountain Division foe Union Catholic at Sky Division squad Plainfield, which is off to one of its best starts in a while at 6-1.

Here’s a look at the top teams and who they have beaten and lost to:

Westfield (6-3, won 6 straight): Guided by head coach Bob Brewster since 1983, the Blue Devils have bounced back nicely from an 0-3 start with six consecutive wins. Once the pitchers get the ball over the plate and the fielders behind them execute, the losses turn into victories.

Westfield has split with Scotch Plains, is 0-1 vs. Cranford and 1-0 vs. Elizabeth and GL. Westfield has not played Union yet and has two losses to county teams.

Key wins: Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, GL.

Losses: Scotch Plains, Cranford, Bridgewater-Raritan.

Losses in county (2): Scotch Plains, Cranford.

Scotch Plains (6-2): The Raiders, led by second-year head coach Joe Higgins, began the season 4-0, topping fellow Watchung Division rivals Westfield Cranford, GL and Union.

The Raiders are 2-2 since, with losses – both in county – to Watchung Division squads Elizabeth and Westfield.

Key wins: Westfield, Cranford, GL, Union.

Losses: Elizabeth, Westfield.

Losses in county (2): Elizabeth, Westfield.

Gov. Livingston (6-2): The Highlanders, guided by head coach Chris Roof who is in his 13th season at the helm, started the season with suspended games against Union and Kinnelon. GL beat Kinnelon when the game was included and then downed a pretty good Madison squad to capture its Highlander Classic once again.

GL will resume its suspended game against Union before facing the Farmers again shortly thereafter on Monday. Those results will have a big bearing on seeding at the top, with Union 5-2 going into both games.

GL, hit extremely hard by graduation and without one of its best players – sophomore shortstop Dan Serretti is out for the season with an elbow injury – also has wins over Elizabeth and Cranford and its losses are to Scotch Plains and Westfield.

Key wins: Elizabeth, Cranford.

Losses: Scotch Plains, Westfield.

Losses in county (2): Scotch Plains, Westfield.

Cranford (5-3): The defending champion Cougars, guided by head coach Dennis McCaffery since 1999, have wins over Westfield, Union and Elizabeth and losses in county to Scotch Plains and GL. Its other loss was at St. Joe’s, Metuchen, guided by first-year head coach Mike Murray Jr.

Like Westfield and Scotch Plains, Cranford does not have a game scheduled for Monday.

Key wins: Westfield, Union, Elizabeth.

Losses: Scotch Plains, GL, St. Joe’s, Metuchen.

Losses in county (2): Scotch Plains, GL.

Also when seeding, it’s important to not only note wins and losses against certain teams, but who the pitchers were in those games. Even though one team might have wins against four really good teams, did that team beat aces, or No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 pitchers in the rotation.

My top 4 seeds prior to Monday would be:

1-Westfield: hottest team in county at moment

2-Scotch Plains: got off to best start

3-GL: has a win over Cranford in which top-of-the-rotation

pitchers (Cole Schneider-GL, Chris Librera-Cranford) threw for both teams.

4-Cranford: defending champion

If Union wins both of the games against GL Monday, then you could make a case for Union being seeding among the top 4 – ahead of, naturally, GL.

 

OVERALL RECORDS PRIOR TO

MONDAY, APRIL 18 GAMES:

Plainfield (6-1)

Scotch Plains (6-2)

Gov. Livingston (6-2)

Westfield (6-3, won 6 straight)

Union (5-2, won 4 straight)

Cranford (5-3)

Union Catholic (5-3)

Roselle Park (4-2)

Summit (4-3)

Roselle Catholic (4-3)

Oratory Prep (4-5)

Johnson (3-3)

Brearley (3-3)

New Providence (3-4)

Roselle (2-2)

Elizabeth (2-5)

Rahway (2-6)

Dayton (1-5)

Hillside (0-5)

St. Mary’s, Elizabeth (0-5)

Linden (0-7)

 

MONDAY’S

UNION COUNTY

SCHEDULE:

Johnson at Linden

Roselle at Rahway

Gov. Livingston at Union (2)

Summit at Roselle Park

Union Catholic at Plainfield

Off: Roselle Catholic, Hillside,

St. Mary’s, Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield,

Scotch Plains (possible makeup), Dayton,

New Providence, Brearley, Oratory Prep,

Elizabeth.

 

UNION COUNTY CONFERENCE

BASEBALL STANDINGS

AS OF MONDAY, APRIL 18:

 

WATCHUNG DIVISION (6 schools):

1-Scotch Plains (4-2)

2-Cranford (3-2)

Westfield (3-2)

4-Gov. Livingston (2-2)

5-Union (1-2)

6-Elizabeth (1-4)

 

MOUNTAIN DIVISION (5 schools):

1-Johnson (3-0)

2-Union Catholic (2-1)

New Providence (2-1)

4-Linden (0-2)

5-Dayton (0-3)

 

VALLEY DIVISION (5 schools):

1-Summit (2-1)

Roselle Park (2-1)

3-Brearley (2-2)

Oratory Prep (2-2)

5-Roselle Catholic (1-3)

 

SKY DIVISION (5 schools):

1-Plainfield (3-0)

2-Rahway (2-0)

3-Roselle (2-1)

4-St. Mary’s, Elizabeth (0-3)

Hillside (0-3)

 

UNION COUNTY TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONS:

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.

Championships:

Westfield (14)

Cranford (9)

Union (8)

Elizabeth (5)

Rahway (4), Scotch Plains (4), Summit (4),

Linden (3),

New Providence (2), Roselle Catholic (2),

Brearley (1), Dayton (1), Johnson (1),

St. Mary’s, Elizabeth (1), St. Patrick (1),

Union Catholic (1).

GREATER NEWARK TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONS

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

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