WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange baseball team has been selected as the second seed in its pool-play bracket for the Last Dance Tournament that will begin July 14.
The Mountaineers head a four-team field in the West Orange Regional, which will be played on the turf at West Orange High School. On July 14, West Orange will play the Passaic Valley Hornets, and Belleville will play top-seeded Seton Hall Prep. Times for the games are still to be finalized.
Millburn varsity baseball coach Brian Chapman has been one of the primary organizers of The Last Dance Baseball Tournament, which includes 222 teams from all over New Jersey participating in a three-week competition that begins with three days of pool play followed by two weeks' worth of bracket-style playoffs. Every team is guaranteed at least three games during the pool play portion, which runs from July 14-16.
The survivors of the first three days of pool play will enter into a bracket format when the tournament resumes July 21. The state championship game is scheduled for July 31 at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton.
The tournament is the brainchild of Mike Murray Jr., the athletic director and head baseball coach at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen. The late Mike Murray Sr. was a friend and mentor of Chapman, who has been one of Murray Jr.'s right-hand men in getting this summer tourney off the ground as New Jersey continues to reopen in stages after the pandemic shutdown that began in March, wiping out all spring high school sports seasons in its wake.
Every coach, player and umpire will have their temperatures taken when they arrive at the field before every game. Checks will be made by paid, certified athletic trainers. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home.
Players and coaches will be required to wear masks in the dugout and to keep a social distance as much as possible. Players on the field, however, will not be required to wear masks.