|the latest regional New Jersey high school sports news|
Montclair's senior right-hander Sam Ackerman continued his superb pitching as he delivered a 1-hitter over six innings while retiring 17 of the 18 batters he faced in leading his team past Livingston, 6-0, in a North 1, Group 4 state tournament first round game in Montclair. (Photos by Glenn Kross- www.glennkrossphotography.com)
Montclair's shortstop Eli Kashi handled four ground balls flawlessly vs. Livingston in Monday's North 1, Group 4 state tournament game as he continued to demonstrate why he has been one of top fielders in the state while boosting Mounties to 6-0 win.
Montclair's No. 3 hitter Brett Cooper had big day going 3-for-3 with double and a run
Montclair's Brett Cooper dives back to second just ahead of tag on pickoff attempt by Livingston as Lancers' shortstop Kyle Desmond prepares to apply the tag on play.
(continued from page 1)
“It will be a challenging week for sure with the states and the GNT, but we’re just focused on winning games and that’s all that matters,” said Montclair’s No. 3 hitter and veteran center fielder Brett Cooper, who went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored in Monday’s impressive Mounties’ win. “We just get ready for the next game and that’s it. We don’t look past what’s immediately in front of us.”
Ackerman (6-2) retired 18 of the 19 batters he faced, including 16 in a row following a two-out single up the middle by Livingston’s Justin Tepper in the first inning. He did not allow another ball out of the infield and received excellent support from his infield, particularly senior shortstop Eli Kashi.
“I felt pretty good with the extra day’s rest after Sunday’s rainout of the GNT final,” said Ackerman. “All four of my pitches (2-seam and 4-seam fast balls, curve and change-up) were working and I was in the zone the whole game getting ahead of virtually every hitter.
“Plus, everybody played great behind me and when you have a defense like we’ve got it just makes pitching a lot easier.”
Ackerman also had his bat involved in the Mounties’ first three runs, executing a nice squeeze bunt that resulted in two of his teammates – Ben Hamilton and Leo Poggie- alertly both reaching home on the play in the second inning, and then hammering a two-out RBI triple to plate Jared Berman, who had singled, in the fourth.
Chris Vincent had a bloop 2-run single and Hamilton delivered a booming RBI double to center field during a 3-run fifth for Montclair against Livingston’s starter and loser Luke Rodino (4-4).
“It’s good to see our lineup really seeing the ball well and getting some big hits,” said Hamilton, the senior right fielder. “I had been in a pretty good slump before the GNT semis, but since then I’m 9-for-12 while hitting as well as I have in some time and hopefully I can keep it up.”
Meanwhile, Montclair got back to work with Tuesday’s annual Yogi Berra Cup Game against crosstown rival Montclair Kimberley Academy at Yogi Berra Stadium, a local, in-town annual game the Mounties won for a sixth straight season, 17-5. Then, on Wednesday in another SEC-crossover, Montclair breezed to a 13-0 win at Columbia.
Next up is Friday's 1 p.m. N1G4 showdown at Randolph followed the next day withthe Prep in GNT title tilt, also at 1, at Verona.
If Ackerman can continue on the roll he's been on when he faces Pirates (26-2) on Saturday that will go a long way to giving the Mounties a solid chance in their efforts to defend their GNT crown.
“The bottom line is Sam Ackerman had total command of all his pitches against Livingston, and has that demeanor, that look about him right now that it’s his game and he’s not going to get beat,” said Mounties' eighth-year head coach Ron Gavazzi. “He’s had that look since his no-hitter against West Orange and he’s locked in right now and not letting up at any time on his teammates.
“We’ve been playing our best ball in the month of May (winning eight of their last nine), and our guys are hitting on all cylinders now, really cleaning the field, our base running is sharp, we’re getting good quality ‘AB’s’ and our pitching is there. I’m proud of our guys who just keep competing and competing and that sums up their character as ball players.”
North 1, Group 4 state tournament quarterfinal:
(11) LIVINGSTON (9-14) 000 000 0 -0 R 1 H 1 E
(6) MONTCLAIR (16-9) 020 130 x -6 R 7 H 0 E
2B- Montclair- Brett Cooper, Ben Hamilton 3B- Sam Ackerman
W.P. Sam Ackerman (6-2) L.P. Luke Rodino (4-4)
North 1, Group 4 state tournament:
Sectional quarterfinals, Friday, May 24:
(8) Ridgewood at (1) Wayne Valley
(13) Clifton at (12) Memorial
(6) Montclair at (3) Randolph, 1 p.m.
(7) Bloomfield at (2) Bellevillle
First Round results on Monday, May 20:
(1) Wayne Valley 7 (16) Paterson Eastside 3
(8) Ridgewood 7 (9) Morris Knolls 6
(12) Memorial 8 (5) Fair Lawn 1
(13) Clifton 3 (4) North Bergen 2
(3) Randolph 10 (14) Passaic Tech 0
(6) Montclair 6 (11) Livingston 0
(7) Bloomfield 4 (10) Union City 1
(2) Belleville 1 (15) West Orange 0
Montclair's No. 5 hitter Ben Hamilton (4) delivered booming RBI double in 3-run fifth
Copyright 2005 Sideline Chatter - comments - contact the webmaster