By Jimmy Allinder
The John P. Stevens High School baseball team (20-8) has already broken the school record for wins in a season, but the Hawks hoped to add one more important win to the ledger.
J.P. Stevens (ninth seed) met the second seed, East Brunswick High School (20-3-1), in the championship game of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament (GMC) May 27 at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater. A victory in the championship game would be the first for the Hawks, whose last appearance in the GMC title game was in 2007, when they lost to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School.
Both J.P. Stevens and East Brunswick were coming off losses in the first round of the NJSIAA state sectional tournament. The Hawks were ambushed by Woodbridge High School, 7-1, in North Jersey, Section II, Group IV, which broke a 14-game winning streak, while East Brunswick — the top seed in Central Jersey, Group IV — was upset by 16th-seeded North Brunswick Township High School, 2-0.
Despite being eliminated in the state tournament, J.P. Stevens head coach Dave Marzano is proud of his team’s accomplishments.
“During winning streak, we received great pitching, solid defense and timely hitting,” he said.
In other baseball tournament action involving area teams, Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen (16-12) — the fifth-seeded team in South Jersey, Non-Public A — hosted No. 12-seed Paul VI High School May 26. The Falcons fell, 6-1, in the first-round game. They were previously eliminated in the GMC Tournament by J.P. Stevens, 5-0, May 21.
Metuchen High School’s season ended at 10-15 when the Bulldogs were eliminated in Central Jersey, Group II by New Providence High School, 4-1. Sixth-seeded Edison High School (16-10) advanced to the semifinals of Central Jersey, Group IV with a 7-6 victory over third-seeded Monroe Township High School May 26.
In softball action, J.P. Stevens (19-4) remained alive in the North Jersey, Section II, Group IV section as the top seed and met fourth-seeded Watchung Hills Regional High School in the semifinals May 31. With a win in that game, the Hawks would play the winner of the other semifinal between third-seeded Millburn High School and 10th-seeded Piscataway Township High School.
J.P. Stevens was eliminated in the GMC Tournament by South Brunswick High School, 8-2, May 18.
Metuchen’s season ended at 12-9 when the Bulldogs were eliminated by Raritan High School, 8-3, in Central Jersey, Group II. Bishop George Ahr High School (15-8) — the third seed in South Jersey, Non-Public A — earned a bye and advanced to the quarterfinals, where the Trojans met sixth-seeded Paul VI May 31.
The GMC Boys Golf Tournament was held at Forsgate Country Club May 19, and St. Joe’s was edged by South Brunswick for the team championship by 10 strokes (323-333).
Falcons senior Tom Summers carded a 77 to finish in a tie for second — two strokes behind Colonia High School’s Ben Snyderman for the individual championship — and St. Joe’s freshman T.J. Terpanick tied for fifth place with a 79. The Falcons’ Peter Coronato finished with an 86 (17th place), and Chris Taraska and Jason Manuel scored a 91 to tie for 20th place.
St. Joe’s finished second in the GMC Red Division during the regular season and managed a 13-2 overall record. The Metuchen boys team finished in a tie with Middlesex High School (9-3) for second place in the GMC Blue Division behind undefeated Wardlaw-Hartridge School.
In the North Jersey, Section II, Group IV boys tennis team championships, J.P. Stevens’ season ended when the Hawks were edged by Westfield High School, 3-2, May 23. J.P. Stevens (20-3), which won the GMC Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, advanced to the sectional finals with a 5-0 victory over Piscataway and defeated Ridge High School, 4-1. The Hawks were led by Vishal Walia at first singles, Gokul Murugesan at second singles, Alex Telson at third singles, the first doubles pair of Gouttham Chandrasekar and Arjun Krishnan, and the second doubles pair of Tarush Aneja and Nihar Prabhala.
The state boys volleyball tournament is in full swing, and St. Joe’s (second seed) could have advanced to the Central Jersey semifinals if the Falcons (28-9) defeated seventh-seeded Hillsborough High School May 26. J.P. Stevens (11th seed) had a formidable challenge the same date, and Hawks (12-10) fell to third-seeded and defending state champion Bridgewater-Raritan High School, 2-0 (25-20, 25-20).
The season came to an end for the St. Joe’s lacrosse team when the Falcons (12-6) were upended by Seton Hall Preparatory School, 15-2, in the quarterfinals of Non-Public A May 25. St. Joe’s advanced to the game by defeating Pope John XXIII Regional High School, 11-8.