Sparked by the pitching of Matt Pavick and the hitting of Jaime Olivo, Union won at American Division champion Bloomfield 11-4 at Bloomfield Middle School Wednesday night, July 13, to finish 17-2 for 34 points and finish first in the Essex County League’s National Division.
“It’s amazing,” Union coach John McTernan said. “The kids have worked real hard and they deserve it.”
Union beat out Vailsburg Post 395 to win the National Division title. Second place Vailsburg concluded its regular season at 16-3 for 32 points.
Bloomfield went 15-4 for 30 points in regular season play. Union was 2-1 vs. Vailsburg and 1-0 vs. Bloomfield.
Union, Vailsburg and Bloomfield were the top three teams in the Essex County League. Union, Vailsburg and Glen Ridge from the Essex County League are competing in District 2 at Teener League Field in Union and Bloomfield and Caldwell Post 185 from the Essex County League will play at District 1, which will commence at the New Milford Municipal Complex July 16 and then continue at Breslin Field in Lyndhurst from July 17-20.
Glen Ridge (8-9) and Caldwell (8-8) finished tied for third in the American Division, each with 16 points. They received the Essex County League’s final two district bids.
Montclair, which finished second in the American Division at 10-8-1 for 21 points, declined a district bid as did National Division squads Cedar Grove (10-5-2, 22 points) and the Knights of West Essex (10-8-1, 21 points). Cedar Grove finished third in the National Division and the Knights of West Essex fourth.
The Essex County League was awarded six bids to district tournament play, with five teams from the league accepting bids.
The districts – double elimination – are scheduled for July 16-20. The other two are District 3 at Moody Park in Ewing and District 4 at Union Field in West Deptford.
Two teams advance out of each district – the winner and runner-up – to compete in the 8-Team Field State Finals, which this year will be contested at Moody Park in Ewing beginning July 23.
Against Bloomfield, Pavick tossed a six-hitter to improve to 3-0 this summer. The soon-to-be Dayton senior – Pavick is one of two Dayton Class of 2017 players on the Union roster – went the distance (all 7 innings) on the mound and at the plate was 1-for-2 with a single and two walks.
Olivo was 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, a walk and a team-leading four RBI.
After beating Livingston 12-2 in Tuesday’s (July 12) regular season home-finale at Union High School, Union managed to score in double digits again for the second straight day.
Also doing damage against Bloomfield with their bats were Union’s Kevin McDonough going 2-for-4 with a double, single and two RBI; Quincy Bryant going 1-for-2 with a single, a walk and one RBI; Allex Camacho going 2-for-4 with two singles and one RBI and Nestor Conforti driving in two runs.
“Our offense sparked us today,” McTernan said. “It really showed up.”
Making his return behind the plate after being out with a hand injury was Union catcher Kenny Matta, who graduated Roselle Catholic this year.
Candidates to start Saturday’s first district game – the districts are nine innings compared to regular season games going seven – on the mound for Union are right handers Jake Pittius and McDonough. Both are 2015 UHS graduates.
The first of Saturday’s four games at Union’s Teener League Field for District 2 play has a starting time of 10 a.m.
Here’s a look at the July 16 scheduled opening games for the five Essex County League teams that advanced to district play.
District 1 at New Milford Municipal Complex – July 16:
Bloomfield vs. Parsippany 249, 9 a.m.
Caldwell 185 vs. Flemington 159, right after above game is concluded.
District 2 at Teener League Field in Union – July 16:
Union Post 35 vs. Mercer County, 10 a.m.
Vailsburg Post 395 vs. Hamilton 31, right after above game is concluded.
Glen Ridge vs. Gloucester Township 281, right after the 4 p.m. game is concluded.
(The 4 p.m. game pits BCAL Ridgefield Rebels vs. Hillsborough.)
Additional district information and schedule of games can be viewed at www.sidelinechatter.com.