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RED DIVISION: Cal Costanzo, Edison. The Eagles' No. 3 hitter leads the division with a .630 batting average and a 1.239 slugging percentage. Costanzo has racked up 29 hits (17 for extra-bases), collected 31 RBI, walked 14 times and struck out just five times in 62 plate appearances. A fine defensive catcher with a strong throwing arm, opponents have attempted to steal on Costanzo just nine times in 16 games. WHITE DIVISION: Jarred Jimenez, Monroe. The Rutgers University-bound catcher is the quintessential leadoff hitter, blending power with speed. Jimenez is batting .521 with a .671 on-base percentage and a .917 slugging percentage. He has scored 28 runs, belted out 25 hits (including 11 doubles) and collected 12 RBI from the leadoff spot. With Jimenez on top, Monroe entered yesterday's action needing a victory over Colonia to clinch the division title. BLUE DIVISION: Will Beard, Spotswood. The junior right-hander boasts a 5-0 record and two saves with a 1.29 ERA. Two of those victories included one-run decisions over Bishop Ahr (Beard averaged 11 strikeouts in two starts against the Trojans). Beard has fanned 60 batters in 38 innings and opponents are hitting just .168 against him. Without Beard on the mound, would Spotswood have won its fourth straight division crown? GOLD DIVISION: Brian Seres, South Amboy. The junior center fielder/pitcher leads the Greater Middlesex Conference with a .780 batting average. Seres also boasts a 3-1 record and a 3.34 ERA on the mound including an 8-4 victory over Piscataway. Behind Seres, the Governors got off to an 11-2 start and should win another division title.
Home News Tribune Online 05/6/06 GREATER MIDDLESEX CONFERENCE COACH OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES RED DIVISION: Take your pick. Seven of the eight coaches have done a fantastic job with their clubs (the eighth coach's team was simply decimated by graduation). While South Brunswick and St. Joseph were favored to win the division, Vin Abene has shined at Edison, putting the Eagles in position to garner the top seed for the GMCT. Bob Giberna has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in Piscataway, where the hitting-rich but pitching-challenged Chiefs got off to a 1-5 start. Piscataway rebounded to win six of its next nine including back-to-back upsets of St. Joseph and Old Bridge. The Knights, led by Ken Fischer, were projected as a middle-of-the-pack Red Division team but have impressed with upsets of St. Joseph and South Brunswick. Perth Amboy coach Steve Rubin, whose Panthers went 0-14 in the Red Division last year, stunned everyone but themselves with a 4-1 upset of South Brunswick. J.P. Stevens coach Dave Marzano, whose Hawks are 5-3 in one-run games, have had the most thrilling season in the GMC. Depending on how the post season pans out, Abene and Marzano may be the front-runners of this group. WHITE DIVISION: North Brunswick, which finished the 2005 campaign 0-19 under rookie head coach Ryan Lillis, won seven of its first 12 division games and took a .500 record into yesterday's action. The former Rutgers University star deserves to be the division's Coach of the Year. BLUE DIVISION: Undaunted by the loss of 10 seniors to graduation, Spotswood coach Glenn Fredricks led the Chargers to their fourth straight division crown. The detail-oriented Fredricks is one of the best young coaches in the state. GOLD DIVISION: First-year coach Denis Bourgeau inherited a talent-rich side at South Amboy, the defending division champion. Cardinal McCarrick's Frank Notaro lost virtually his entire starting lineup and still got his team off to a 9-2 start in the division. Dunellen's Kevin Byelick rallied his charges from an 0-5 start as the Destroyers reeled off eighth straight wins, including a 6-2 upset of South Amboy. All three are excellent candidates, but at this juncture Byelick has the edge.
Vikings should get top seed over Chargers Home News Tribune Online 05/6/06 By GREG TUFARO STAFF WRITER The South Brunswick High School baseball team should receive the top seed for the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament. The Vikings improved to 13-4 and won the Red Division title with a 13-3 drubbing of J.P. Stevens yesterday. Spotswood, owner of a 14-1-1 record and a fourth straight Blue Division crown, will argue that it should be the No. 1 seed during tonight's tournament seeding meeting at Edison High School. The Chargers, however, have only beaten Sayreville and Colonia out of the division. Their strength of schedule pales in comparison to that of South Brunswick. As a result, Spotswood, whose only loss is to South River, should receive the No. 2 seed. The seeding committee will encounter a couple of trouble spots tonight — three-way ties in both the Red and White — and will have to wait on the results of two key games scheduled for today — Metuchen vs. South River and South Amboy vs. Cardinal McCarrick — to determine positioning. If South River beats Metuchen or that game is rained out, Middlesex must be seeded ahead of Metuchen because the Blue Jays will finish ahead of the Bulldogs in the Blue Division. If Metuchen beats South River, it will be seeded ahead of Middlesex because both teams will be tied for fourth place but Metuchen swept the regular-season series. If Cardinal McCarrick beats South Amboy, it will assure itself a No. 9 seed in accordance with conference by laws by tying the Governors for first place in the Gold Division. A loss to South Amboy, and the Governors are assured at least a No. 8 seed, while the Cardinals will likely plummet to a No. 20 seed. Old Bridge, Piscataway and J.P. Stevens are tied for fourth place with seven wins apiece in the Red Division. The Chiefs were supposed to play South Brunswick today but that game has been postponned until Monday. Had it been played and Piscataway won, the Chiefs would have been seeded higher than Old Bridge and J.P. Stevens. A three-way tie for second place in the White Division between South Plainfield, Sayreville and North Brunswick creates a similar problem. Each club has eight division wins. South Plainfield swept Sayreville and split with North Brunswick. As a result, the Tigers (8-10), despite their sub-.500 overall record, should be seeded ahead of both teams. Sayreville and North Brunswick split their series. The Bombers (9-8) have a better overall record than North Brunswick (9-10) and should be seeded ahead of the Raiders as a result. The GMCT begins with preliminary-round action on Monday and concludes with the championship on June 3 at East Brunswick Tech. Following is a look at how the rest of the GMCT field should be seeded during tonight's GMCT seeding meeting at Edison High School. No. 3 Edison (13-5): The Eagles blew a shot at the No. 1 seed by having their five-game winning streak snapped in a 11-3 loss to Old Bridge yesterday. The Eagles have enough quality wins, including victories over Monroe and St. Joseph, to be seeded ahead of both of those schools. No. 4 Monroe (13-5): The Falcons locked up the White Division title with a victory over Colonia yesterday. Marc Povlosky (4-1, 2.33) is the team's top pitcher. Jarred Jimenez (.521), and Nick Alberino (.463) are its best hitters. Monroe does not have a quality win outside the division. No. 5 St. Joseph (12-9): The Falcons played the toughest schedule of any GMC team, so don't be fooled by their .571 winning percentage. St. Joseph has quality wins against Ridge, Edison, Roselle Catholic (it faced Rutgers-bound hurler Nick Nolan) and South Brunswick. No. 6 Old Bridge (9-7): The Knights beat every Red Division team at least once except J.P. Stevens. The Hawks may try to use a sweep of Old Bridge to get a higher seed than the Knights. However, J.P. Stevens was swept by Piscataway, which would use the same argument to be seeded ahead of the Hawks. No. 7 South Amboy (12-2): With a win over Cardinal McCarrick today, the Governors will clinch sole possession of first place in the Gold Division. South Amboy has beaten a team from the Red Division (Piscataway), the White Division (Woodbridge) and the Blue Division (Middlesex). The Governors deserve a high seed, and not just because conference by-laws dictate that each division champ must be seeded among the top 8. In Brian Seres and Joe Bartlinski, South Amboy has a pair of hurlers who can pitch against the conference's best. No. 8 Piscataway (9-9): The Chiefs rebounded from a 1-5 start to win six of their last eight. They have quality wins over St. Joseph (an 11-1 drubbing) and Old Bridge. They also swept J.P. Stevens. Piscataway also played South Brunswick tight in a 9-8 loss. The Chiefs can hit with any team in the league and are a dangerous draw. No. 9 J.P. Stevens (11-9): The Hawks are 5-3 in one-run games including a victory over St. Joseph and a loss to Edison. Despite sweeping the Falcons in the regular-season, J.P. Stevens must be seeded behind St. Joseph because it finished behind them in the Red Division standings. A regular-season sweep of Old Bridge is negated by the fact that the Hawks were swept by Piscataway and outscored 30-5 in two losses to South Brunswick. No. 10 J.F. Kennedy (10-8): The Mustangs assured themselves a seed higher than Bishop Ahr by finishing ahead of the Trojans in the Blue Division. J.F. Kennedy's 11-0 drubbing of Bishop Ahr, coupled with the Trojans' 4-1 loss to Middlesex, secured a second-place finish. Despite playing a tough nonconference schedule that included Edison, Elizabeth and North Hunterdon, the Mustangs do not have a quality win out of the division. No. 11 Bishop Ahr (10-4): Before dropping three of their last five, the Trojans appeared to be a top 5 seed. Losses to Spotswood, J.F. Kennedy and Middlesex, however, made Bishop Ahr's stock plummet. Bishop Ahr does not have a quality win out of the division. Despite that fact, the Trojans have two quality pitchers in Eric Avila and Steve Montalbano. They play solid defense and have a solid lineup featuring third baseman Lee Cavico. The rest: No. 12 South Plainfield (8-10); No. 13 Sayreville (9-8); No. 14 North Brunswick (9-10); No. 15 New Brunswick (10-8); No. 16 Carteret (8-7-1); No. 17 Metuchen (9-7); No. 18 Middlesex (8-8); No. 19 East Brunswick (5-11-1); No. 20 Cardinal McCarrick (11-6); No. 21 Perth Amboy (4-15); No. 22 Dunellen (9-7); No. 23 Colonia (5-13); No. 24 South River (6-10); No. 25 Woodbridge (3-13); No. 26 Highland Park (3-11); No. 27 Perth Amboy Tech (8-6); No. 28 St. Peter (4-7); No. 29 East Brunswick Tech (1-10); No. 30 Piscataway Tech (0-10). FIVE REMINDERS WHY THE GMCT IS WIDE OPEN: 1. After dropping a 21-3 decision to preseason No. 2 St. Joseph in early April, Piscataway rebounded to mercy-rule the Falcons, 11-1, a month later. 2. Perth Amboy, the last-place team in the Red Division, avenged a 14-0 setback to South Brunswick, ranked No. 1 in the HNT at the time, with a 4-1 victory over the Vikings. 3. Last-place Woodbridge rebounded from a 14-8 loss to White Division-leader Monroe with a 10-7 upset of the Falcons in their second meeting. 4. South River, which has just two victories in the Blue Division, defeated four-time defending division champion Spotswood, handing the Chargers their only loss this season, 8-4. 5. Carteret suffered a 13-1 loss to Monroe in early April but rebounded for a 9-6 victory earlier this week. FIVE UNHERALDED PITCHERS GMC TEAMS DON'T WANT TO FACE: 1. Mike Huntress, Metuchen; 2. Nick Petrello, Colonia; 3. Mike Augliera, Old Bridge; 4. Danny Rivera, New Brunswick; 5. Dan Bartilotti, Dunellen. WHO'S HOT: South Brunswick has won nine of its last 11; Edison has won five of its last six and eight of its last 10; J.P. Stevens has won five of its last seven; Piscataway has won six of its last eight; Old Bridge has won four of its last five; Sayreville has won four straight; New Brunswick has won eight of its last 10; Spotswood has an eight-game unbeaten streak; Metuchen has won three of its last four; Middlesex has won two straight; J.F. Kennedy has won six of its last eight; South Amboy has won four straight and seven of its last eight; Cardinal McCarrick has won three straight; Perth Amboy Tech has won three of its last four; Dunellen has won nine of its last 10.
CHARGERS GAIN BLUE DIVISION SUPREMECY...AGAIN!
BY THE PROPH
The Blue Division of the Greater Middlesex Conference has known only 2 outright Champions over the better part of the last decade. Yesterday at The Swamp, both of those teams squared off in a battle for the 2006 Division crown. As has been the case for the past 3 seasons, it was the Spotswood Chargers clinching the Blue Division title in convincing fashion over a formidable Iselin Kennedy squad. Coincidentally, it was Kennedy who had the crown before the Chargers started their run in 2003.
The Mustangs from Iselin came into yesterday's game with a deceiving 9-7 record. The mirage was that they were 8-2 in the Blue Division, leaving them 1 game behind the home Chargers. A rugged out of league schedule had JFK 1-5 vs. non-Blue Division opponents. Those losses included Elizabeth, North Hunderton, JP Stevens, and Xaverian of Brooklyn. With JFK armed with a potent lineup top to bottom, the Chargers would have to play their best in order to lock up #4, and they did with the final tally being 13-3.
Mark Fahy stuck to his end of the bargain, as he made an unconventional start. Fahy battled through several jams to scatter 7 hits in a complete game effort. He was backed by 3 hits from rookie 9th grader Joey Petosa, who hit his 2nd homer to lead off the 4th. John Berner, Mike Hohman and Garrett Andren also had multi-hit games for the winners.
Now that the fate of the division trophy has been sealed, the Chargers can concentrate on avenging their only loss of the season.
They will take their 13-1-1 show on the road vs. South River tonight at 7pm.