MORRISTOWN, NJ- In Tuesday’s sectional semifinal between the 9 seed Randolph and the 4 seed Morristown, it was Randolph prevailing on a 1-0 victory putting them in the sectional final. For the Colonials, a very fun season came to an end after only mustering 1 hit against Rams starter, Josh Nathan.
A Tyler Berg base hit in the opening frame bringing home Nick Rampone was the only run allowed by either team.
Brennan O’Neill had another superb outing for Morristown, unfortunately ending in a loss as he got no run support. O’Neill went 7 innings only allowing 3 hits and the one run while striking out 6 batters. In what will go down as his last game in a Colonial uniform, O’Neill is on his way to Seton Hall University after a great career at Morristown. He finished 2018 at 7-3 with a 1.10 ERA while striking out 74 batters in 57.1 innings pitched as the Colonial ace. Over his four seasons, his ERA was a miniscule 1.62 going 18-7 compiling 218 punchouts in only 181.1 innings of work. O’Neill shined in the county tournament securing 3 Morristown wins throwing a no hitter against Hanover Park. He then picked up the win in the semifinal vs Montville before a 4-hit shutout against Delbarton in the county final while being named county tournament MVP. From the plate he hit .296 with 16RBI’s and 6 2B’s finishing with a .315 career batting average in his four seasons for Morristown.
Morristown’s only hit came from standout Tate Ballestero, but couldn’t get anything else going on offense to extend their season. Ballestero, who is committed to Virginia University, will be returning for his senior season in 2019 after powering the Colonials with 3 HR’s and a .375 average this year. He was also a huge contributor to Morristown’s first county title since 2010 with 2 of those homers in the county final against Delbarton.
Morristown finished 2018 at 15-8 earning the 2nd seed for the Morris County Tournament in which they were crowned champs and had the 4th seed in the State Sectional Tournament where they advanced to the semifinals.
Ed Collins will look to do more of the same in 2019 returning majority of the team. He will be without contributors from this year’s squad as O’Neill, David Haberman, Matt McNally, Tucker Addis, Teddy Smarz, Alex Holover, Mike Sgaramella, Tom Denman and Lucas Reidda graduate. Headlined by Ballestero, Morristown’s lineup will have the likes of Pat Montfort, Justin Barrett, Sam Slackman and Joe Pucek back for next year. Caden Tierney will be asked to replace O’Neill as the ace of the staff, but after finishing 2018 3-0 with a sub 1 ERA, he should do just fine.
Haberman, the four-year starting catcher for the Colonials will be joining teammate O’Neill at Seton Hall next season. Batting cleanup in 2018, he hit .308 with 2 long balls and 9 2Bs driving in 16 runs. A career .320 hitter and a gun behind the plate, he will look to make an immediate impact for the Pirates next spring.
This season, Reidda hit .261 with 6 RBIs and made flashy catches all season long manning down left field. Reidda also was responsible for keeping their state playoffs dreams alive by gunning down the go ahead run in the 7th against Union City. Reidda will be heading to Fairleigh Dickinson University to play ball in the fall.
Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MorristownTAP/ and on Twitter at @MorristownTAP and on Instagram at @tapintomorristown