Brian Oblachinski did not only look to reach first base. His goal was to score.
In the field, his range at shortstop prevented plenty of opposing players from getting hits they thought they had.
A leader for the Cougars on the baseball diamond, the 2017 Cranford High School graduate is now a freshman member of the baseball team at Montclair State University.
For all of the success Oblachinskihad at Cranford he will receive the prestigious Edward R. Cooper Award for Union County’s Outstanding High School Baseball Player at Sunday’s 82nd annual Hot Stove League event at The Gran Centurions in Clark.
A stellar shortstop and leadoff batter for Cranford, last year Oblachinski batted .396 with 33 runs and only eight strikeouts. He also stole 15 bases in 15 attempts.
Cranford repeated as the North 2, Group 3 sectional state champion last year and then one victory later reached the Group 3 state championship game for the fourth time since 2010.
The Cougars finished 21-8.
The special guest speaker will be Phil Cuzzi of Nutley, a Major League umpire for 22 seasons.
Cuzzi worked behind the plate of Game One of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros won the World Series for the first time, winning in seven games.
The four new members of the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame that will be honored include Bill Feehan of Elizabeth, Roselle Catholic and Kean College; Jack Goldberg of Union, Ernie Hoffer of Linden and Curt Wallace of Edison Tech in Elizabeth.
Goldberg, who was inducted into the Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame in November, hit a solo home run in the 1966 Greater Newark Tournament championship game played at Schools Stadium in Newark. Union, behind one of the greatest pitchers in state history in right hander Al Santorini, defeated Parsippany 2-1. That Parsippany team included future All-Star Richie Zisk and Larry Pyle, while Union also included Elliot Maddox, who starred at Michigan and then in MLB for several teams, including the Yankees from 1974-1976.