SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The new season starts Monday.

Top-seeded Dayton begins its quest for a third sectional baseball title as it hosts 16th-seeded Somerset Tech in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state tournament at historic Ruby Field in Springfield.

First pitch is set for 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to Thursday’s quarterfinals to face the winner between ninth-seeded Brearley and eighth-seeded Becton.

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The Bulldogs (15-5) have won three of its last four and seven of its last 10 games, after dropping its last regular season game at home to neighbor Union, 5-1, last Thursday.

Somerset Tech (8-4-1) has lost two straight games after a five-game win streak.

“Getting the top seed is a tribute to being consistent throughout the year with our approach in trying to win the game we play each day and only worrying about one game at a time,” said Abbate. “Our kids love playing at Ruby Field and I am glad the seniors get an opportunity to play at least one more time there.”

The Bulldogs won sectional titles in 2013 and 2014.

“This has been a great season, but it is just getting started for us,” said senior and FDU-Florham Park-bound Joe Kastner, who is 7-0 on the mound thus far this season. “We set out goals as a team in the beginning of the year and now it is time to accomplish them.”

Should Dayton advance after the first two games, the sectional semifinals will take place on Tuesday, May 30 and the sectional championship will take place on Friday, June 2.