Seton Hall Prep baseball team advances to Non-Public A North semifinals

Seton Hall Prep senior Alex Kim attempts to bunt in the 15-0 win over Bloomfield in the Greater Newark Tournament final on May 21.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Friday, June 3, the No. 2-seeded Seton Hall Prep baseball team defeated No. 7 seed Bergen Catholic, 5-3, at Porcello Field in West Orange in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Non-Public A North tournament quarterfinal. The Pirates, who extended their winning streak to nine games and improved to 20-6 on the season, were scheduled to host No. 3 seed St. Joseph (Montvale) on Tuesday, June 7, at Porcello Field. St. Joe’s defeated Pope John XXIII (Sparta), 2-1, on Sunday, June 5.

Seton Hall opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when senior Ryan Sprock led off the inning with a double into the left-field corner. Junior Elijah Foster was hit by a pitch. After one out, senior Matt Monteleone blasted a three-run homer to right field to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. In the third inning, Seton Hall increased its lead to 5-0 when seniors Alex Kim and Sam Nomura both reached on errors. Senior Chris Maldonado ripped a single to right field to make the score 4-0, and Nomura later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-0. The Crusaders scored an unearned run in the fourth inning and two runs in the top of the seventh to make the final score 5-3. Starting pitcher and senior right-hander John Cerwinski (6-0) pitched five innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Junior James Macko pitched one inning, getting out of a first-and-second jam with no out by inducing a fielder’s choice and a double play. Sam Nomura pitched the seventh inning and allowed two runs on two hits.

Following the game, Nomura said, “It wasn’t the smoothest of outings, but I trusted everyone around me and myself to do the right thing.” 

Macko added, “I gotta give credit to my infielders, because that was a great play by third baseman Ryan Sprock and second baseman Alex Kim, because that was a very slow ground ball and they turned the double play. I made the right pitch at the right time.” 

Monteleone said, “I got my pitch, and I capitalized on it. Just running around the bases I felt like I was flying.”

Notes: The Super Essex Conference last week announced the all-American division team. First team selections were Cerwinski, Maldonado, Sprock and Monteleone. Honorable mention selections were junior Justin Shadek and senior Patrick Walega.

Photo Courtesy of Rich Morris/SHP.