In their first year of merging their baseball programs, Mountainside/Berkeley Heights, otherwise known as MBH, defeated Summit 9 to 3 in the districts finals. This is the third consecutive year dating back to 2018 that Mountainside, now MBH, won the districts tournament. They haven’t lost a district game in three years and have been a perfect 17-0 during this stretch. This year in pool play, they beat Millburn 12 to 3, Westfield 9 to 1, and Cranford 14 to 3. In the semifinals, they defeated Chatham 7 to 1 and beat Summit 9 to 3 in the finals.
MBH was led by the strong pitching of Matthew Filiaci, who struck out 26 batters in 10 innings in the tournament and didn’t give up a run. Filiaci also added a two run HR in the finals, to go along with seven doubles for the tournament. Mateo Liloia, known as “All Day Te” was equally dominant on the mound not giving up any runs and piling up strikeouts as well. Liloia hit well over .500 for the tournament to help propel the bats for MBH. Jackson Crimaldi, a.k.a. “Ivan Drago” because everything he hits, he destroys, crushed four HRs in the tournament including a three run bomb in the finals. Addison Adornato was the spark plug on the bases batting leadoff and had an on base % well over .600. Adornato racked up multiple hit games and provided timely pitching and defense to help his team win. Tyce Hanratty also anchored the pitching staff with multiple solid outings, as he was the security blanket for the pitching staff. Hanratty also played solid defense, and provided timely hits and bunts throughout the tournament. Jacob “Hit Man” Minnefor hit well in every game providing timely hit after hit. Minnefor also played outstanding defense and made two key catches in the finals to preserve the victory.
C.J. Cantagallo was an anchor behind the plate catching almost every inning of the tournament. Cantagallo played outstanding defense throwing out six base stealers, as well as providing timely hitting and bunts. Michael Donohue, who normally provides lights out pitching for the Green Machine, was nursing an arm injury, so he made up for it with his bat and defense. Donahue racked up multiple hits in the tournament and played solid defense at third base and the outfield. Jack Samuelson anchored centerfield as well as some second base, did not commit an error in the tournament. He also provided timely hitting including a critical bunt and rbi single in the finals. Drew Peris was an unstoppable force on the bases whenever he got on, which was a lot. He stole many bases including home several times to propel the offense. He also added solid defense mostly in left field. Greg Dardanello, another speedster, was on base often the entire tournament and provided solid defense as well. His 2 strike bunt single against Cranford really opened up the flood gates for a big inning. Matt Dietzal, who also would be counted on to pitch for MBH, was injured and shut down completely. He did however, provide some key pinch hit at bats to help the team. Elijah Garcia also provided some key pinch hits for the Green Machine, as well as some pinch running to utilize his speed. Luke Lombardi, is another speedster that was called upon at some key moments to pinch run and steal some bases to get runs on the board.
The Green Machine will travel to North Brunswick starting August 7th to play and defend the Northern New Jersey State Tournament.