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Senior right-hander Brendan Shamieh is one of the top hurlers on a deep and talented pitching staff for top-seeded Seton Hall Prep in 84th Greater Newark Tournament which assembled its 24-team field this past Tuesday night at Columbia High School. (Photo by Richard Morris/SHP)
Lead-off batter and leftfielder Richie Schiekofer helps propel a potent lineup for second-seeded Millburn in the 2016 GNT field. (Photo by Glenn Kross- visit www.glennkrossphotography.com)
15-Time Champion SHP No. 1 Seed
To no one’s surprise, perennial champion Seton Hall Prep was accorded the top seed for the 84thy Greater Newark Tournament which seeded its field of 24 teams Tuesday night at Columbia High School.
The Pirates, who have won three straight titles and a record 15 GNT championships, are followed in the seedings by Millburn, the team they defeated in last year’s final, while Nutley garnered the third seed, also as expected.
The top 14 seeds all have byes into the first round on Saturday, May 7. Following SHP (14-2), Millburn (11-2) and Nutley (9-5) among the top eight seeds are 4-Montclair (7-5), 5-Columbia (8-3), 6-Newark Academy (7-5), 7-Livingston (5-7) and 8-Bloomfield (5-8).
The 2016 GNT got underway Thursday (April 28) with the ‘Play-In’ bracket game as 23-seeded North 13th Street Tech edging (26) Technology, 8-7. On Friday afternoon, 25- Barringer nipped 24- Shabazz, 4-3. There are four Play-In preliminary contests on Saturday (see schedule below) and those winners will attempt to assume the 15th and 16th seeds in the final Play In bracket contests next Thursday, May 5.
The Play-In games, the first round and quarterfinals (Thursday, May 12) are all at the higher seeded team’s home field followed by the semifinals on Saturday, May 15, at Belleville with games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The championship is slated for Saturday, May21, at Verona’s historic Doc Goeltz Field with first pitch slated for noon.
SHP and Millburn are the clear favorites and the two SEC-American Division strongholds have now split their two regular season contests after Friday's 4-3 Millers victory at the Kelly Athletic Complex in West Orange. The Pirates had defeated Millbun, 6-5, back on April 8.
SHP is led by a deep and talented pitching staff that includes University of Rochester-bound Brendan Shamieh (3-0, 0.36 ERA, 19 K's in 19 IP) and fellow senior right-handers Gerard DePhillips (Shenandoah University of Va.-bound, 1-0, 0.00 ERA so far this spring) and Ryan Toohers (Villanova, 1-0, 1.56 ERA) along with very promising freshman righty Nick Maldonado (3-0, 0.78 ERA, 26 Ks in 18 IP).
The Pirates lineup is spearheaded by Toohers (.366 BA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI), Elon University-bound senior right fielder John Savino (.359 BA, 2 2Bs, 9 RBI) and senior third baseman-1B Patrick O’Hare (NJIT-bound; .343 BA, 4 2B, 12 RBI).
Millburn, which won the Group 4 state title last spring, has a veteran group led by pitchers Kevin Czpaelski (Sacred Heart) and Brian Lannino (Lafayette) plus a talented lineup that includes second baseman Johnny Serruto (Muhlenberg) and leftfielder Richie Scheikofer.
Nutley is led by hard-hitting Rutgers-bound outfielder Anthony Condito while Montclair features pitcher Makhi Booker. A top pitcher who could impact the ECT is ninth-seeded Verona’s Collin Kiernan, who has struck out 19 batters twice already this season.
The Hillbillies (10-4) will visit eighth-seeded Bloomfield in the first round on May 7 with the winner advancing to meet top-seeded SHP assuming the Pirates survive their first round contest against the upper bracket ‘Play-In’ survivor.
For the first time in several years, the GNT final will not be played at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, which is scheduled to be demolished for office buildings. The May 14th semis, previously held for many years at Verona, will be at Belleville this season, while the championship game will be at Verona on Saturday, May 21.
2016 Greater Newark Tournament:
“Play In” (all games prior to semifinals at higher seed)
Thursday, April 28 Result:
(23) North 13th Street Tech 8 (26) Technology 7
Friday, April 29:
(25) Barringer 4 (24) Shabazz 3
Remaining First Play-In, Prelim Games:
North 13th Street Tech at (18) Cedar Grove
(27) Newark Tech at (19) East Side
Barringer at (17) West Essex
(21) Science Park at (20) Bloomfield Tech
On Or By Thursday, May 5:
NT/ES winner vs. N13th/CG survivor
Science/BT winner vs. Barr/WE survivor
First Round, Saturday, May 7:
(16) Upper Bracket ‘Play-In’ survivor at (1) Seton Hall Prep
(9) Verona at (8) Bloomfield
(12) MKA at (5) Columbia
(13) Caldwell at (4) Montclair
(15) Lower Bracket ‘Play-In’ survivor at (2) Millburn
(10) West Orange at (7) Livingston
(11) Belleville at (6) Newark Academy
(14) Glen Ridge at (3) Nutley
2016 Greater Newark Tournament:
Game Dates: Note: Prelims (Play-In), first round and quarters all at higher seed
Preliminary Rounds “Play-In” Bracket: Thursday, April 28; Saturday, April 30 and Thursday, May 5
First Round (Round of 16): Saturday, May 7
Quarterfinals: Thursday, May 12
Semifinals: Saturday, May 14, at Belleville, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (lower bracket first game)
Final: Saturday, May 21, at Verona’s Doc Goeltz Field, noon
GNT: Most Titles Won: (1933-2015)
15 Seton Hall Prep
3 East Side
*From 1933-72 GNT was a statewide tournament
Most Appearances In Finals:
4- SHP (1997-2000)
3- Morristown (1967-69)
3- Irvington (1938-40)
3- SHP (2013-2015)
Nmber Of Teams Entered In Recent GNTs:
GREATER NEWARK TOURNAMENT FINALS
2015: Seton Hall Prep 12 Millburn 6
Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister
*Historical information provided by Jeff Goldberg
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