MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The fourth-seeded Columbia High School varsity baseball team dropped a heartbreaking 5-4 decision to top-seeded Millburn in the Greater Newark Tournament semifinals doubleheader at Belleville High School on Monday night, May 15.
Millburn scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings and two runs in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
But the Cougars stormed back with four runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to one.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Cougars had the tying run on second base with one out, but Millburn got the final two outs to hold on for the victory.
It was a far cry from the first two meetings with Millburn in Super Essex Conference-American Division play. Millburn defeated Columbia both times by identical 9-0 scores.
The loss ended the Cougars’ three-game winning streak and moved their record to 9-9. Millburn, which improved to 19-2, will face second-seeded and defending champion Seton Hall Prep in the GNT final this Saturday, May 20, at 4 p.m. at Belleville HS. Seton Hall Prep defeated No. 6 seed Montclair, 1-0, in the first GNT semifinal of the day.
Luke Jackson went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Daniel Cotler went 1-for-2 with an RBI to lead the Cougars to a 3-2 win over fifth-seeded Nutley in the GNT quarterfinals on May 11 at Underhill Field. Christian Pierre went 1-for-3 with a double for CHS. Pete Nolet fired a complete-game five-hitter for the win.
Reid Evans went 3-for-4; Pierre had a two-run double in the second inning and Luke Jackson drove in two runs in the 4-1 win over a good Roxbury team in a non-conference game on May 9 in Succasunna. Palmer Krais pitched two innings of three-hit, one-run ball for the win. Roxbury fell to 11-8 with the loss.