HILLSBOROUGH -- The wins keep on coming for the South Plainfield 10U baseball team.
South Plainfield won their third consecutive Northern NJ State Tournament title as the Tigers got revenge and defeated North Hunterdon, 3-1, in the final on Tuesday night at Mountain View Park.
Manager Jay Culver’s received a pitching gem by Dominic Massaro who went 5 ⅓ innings. William Bethea came in to finish the game getting the last two outs.
At the plate, South Plainfield’s Daniel Kapsch hit a double, advanced to third base on a Massaro sacrifice fly, and later stole home on a passed ball to give the green and white a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But, the Lions answered back with a run thanks to an error but Massaro shut them down virtually the rest of the way.
In the third, Tigers’ Justin Culver reached base on a bunt single and Alex Pigna followed with a base hit. Kapsch then drove in Culver with a single to right and Pigna came around to score on a double steal to make it 3-1. Kapsch went 3-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored, Pigna had two hits and a run, Bethea had two hits in three tries, and Culver went 2-for-3 with a run. Eddie Buds also recorded a single.
The day prior, South Plainfield won a wild comeback 17-10 affair against Marlboro in the semifinals. The Tigers were down 6-0 in the first inning.
Throughout the tournament, South Plainfield went 4-1 while scoring 59 runs and conceding just 25.
Next up, the Tigers will head to 10U Middle Atlantic Regional Tournament, but they won’t have to go for as they hold the honor of hosting. Because they are the hosts, even if they lost to North Hunterdon in the state final, they would have made the Regional tournament anyway. North Hunterdon also gets in as the designated Northern NJ affiliated team.
Region play begins for South Plainfield at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 19 against Maryland (exact teams are not known at the time of this writing) on Field No. 2. South Plainfield is grouped in Pool A with Maryland, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern East New York. Pool B consists of teams from Northern East New York, Western New York, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Northern New Jersey (North Hunterdon). You may find the full schedule HERE.
An opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. the morning of the 19th.
In pool play, the Tigers will also face Southern Eastern New York on Friday, and Delaware on Saturday. Should they make it, the quarterfinals will be at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22 between the third place and second place teams in each pool respectively and the winners will face the first place teams in the semifinals later in the day at 3:00 p.m.
The final round will take place at 11:00 a.m. on July 23.
As 9-year-olds last year, South Plainfield advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion, Marlton, of South Jersey.
Eddie BUDZINSKI - 18
Ryan BALENT - 7
Justin CULVER - 27
NicK IRIZARRY - 2
Daniel KAPSCH - 11
Dominic MASSARO - 6
Alex PIGNA - 10
Will BETHEA - 19
Braden TANKIEWICZ - 33
Aidan KAPLAN - 4
Dylan OLLER - 44
Anthony TOMEI - 5
Manager - Jay CULVER - 8
Coach- Dan KAPSCH - 25
Coach- Ed BUDZINSKI - 18
Coach- Bill BETHEA - 49