EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick baseball team took a late lead to secure a 3-2 victory over the Marlboro Mustangs in the first round of the Central Jersey, Group 4 state tournament on Tuesday. In a low-scoring affair, the Bears took an early lead but the game was tied in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, EB scored one run to take a 3-2 lead.

The Bears put together a strong pitching effort. Junior Mike Falco started the game, tossing 3 ⅓ innings allowing just three hits, two runs, and recording three strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Falco was relieved by fellow junior Scott Dessel, who went 3 ⅔ innings, only allowing two hits and striking out two.

In the bottom of the first inning, senior Nick Martino led off with a single, which was then followed by senior Ryan Flynn reaching on an error. With one out and runners on second and third, senior Tyler Burnham came up to the plate. Burnham had a 2-2 count and hit a double scoring both runners to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.

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After a couple of quick innings for the Bears, the Mustangs were threatening to score in the fourth. After back-to-back walks the Mustangs scored one run off of a single hit to center field to make the score 2-1. The following batter also hit an RBI single to tie up the ballgame, 2-2.

A few innings later in the bottom of the fifth, Junior James Schuld and Nick Martino had back-to-back singles putting runners in scoring position. Flynn who grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed the leading run to cross the plate, giving the Bears a 3-2 lead.