The baseball and softball Union County Tournaments have reached the semifinal stage, with softball set to compete first.
On Saturday, April 30 at Linden’s Memorial Fields (Flanagan Field complex) the semifinal games will be played at the same time – 3 p.m. – on the two fields.
On the top side of the bracket it will be fifth-seeded Westfield vs. top-seeded Johnson and on the bottom side of the bracket it will be sixth-seeded Cranford vs. second-seeded and defending champion Governor Livingston.
Westfield last won the UCT in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014. The Blue Devils have won the second most championships with nine. They defeated 13th-seeded Union 7-1 in the April 29 quarterfinals at Linden.
Union, which last won the crown in 2009, has won the most titles with 11.
Johnson, which is the top seed for the second straight season, has not won the championship since 1981, which was its second. In the 1996 title game at Linden 20 years ago, the Crusaders were one out away from beating five-time defending champion Union for the crown. However, the Farmers came back from a 3-1 deficit in the top of the seventh to win 4-3 and claim the crown for a record sixth straight season.
Cranford, after it upset Johnson in last year’s semifinals, faced GL in the championship game. The Highlanders, also seeded second last year, came out on top by a 4-3 score.
GL has won the championship six times and Cranford five.
Westfield (9, the second most): 1976, 1978, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2013, 2014.
Johnson (2): 1979, 1981.
Cranford (5, the fourth most): 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010.
Governor Livingston (6, the third most): 1997, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2012, 2015.
The 41st annual softball Union County Tournament championship game is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 14 at Kean University’s Cougar Field in Union.
Westfield 7, Union 1
Johnson 6, Brearley 4
Cranford 19, Elizabeth 14
Governor Livingston 5, Roselle Park 2
The baseball semifinals were originally scheduled to be played at Kean on May 1, but were moved to Elizabeth on May 7 because of rain in the forecast.
On the bottom side of the bracket it will be third-seeded Governor Livingston vs. second-seeded Westfield at 1:30 p.m.
On the top side it will be fourth-seeded and defending champion Cranford vs. top-seeded Scotch Plains at 4 p.m.
All four teams hail from the Union County Conference’s upper Watchung Division and have been the dominant programs in Union County for some time now.
Cranford and Westfield have combined to win the last six tournaments, with Cranford winning four of them and Westfield two.
Scotch Plains has won the tournament twice since 2004 and was the last team other than Cranford and Westfield to win it when the Raiders last captured the crown in 2009.
Although GL is still seeking its first title, the Highlanders have appeared in the championship game four times since 2007.
WESTFIELD (14, the most): 1963, 1966, 1968, 1978, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2012, 2014.
CRANFORD (9, the second most): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015.
SCOTCH PLAINS (4, tied for fifth most): 1969, 1976, 2004, 2009.
GOVERNOR LIVINGSTON (0): Has reached final in 1996, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015.
The 63rd annual baseball Union County tournament championship game is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 14 at Kean University’s Jim Hynes Class of ’63 Field in Union.
Cranford 11, Dayton 7 – at Cranford
Scotch Plains 4, Union Catholic 2 – at Scotch Plains
Governor Livingston 10, Elizabeth 5 – at GL
Westfield 11, Summit 1 – at Westfield