NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Three pitchers combined on a four-hitter and the West Essex baseball team advanced with a 6-1 victory over Teaneck in the first round of the Section 1, Group 3 state tournament on Monday.

Ian McLaughlin pitched the first five innings for the victory, allowing two hits and no walks and striking out eight. He did not allow a walk. Anthony Vassallo and David Kolesar each pitched a scoreless inning, each allowing one hit, in relief of McLaughlin.

West Essex (18-1) scored two runs in the first inning, one in the third and then three in the fifth, when Vincent Panzarino hit a three-run homer. Max Ruvo went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a triple and an RBI. Ben Ruvo went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Frank Lagreca, Matt Cesare and Mike Gemma each hit a double for the Knights, the section's top seed.