by Andrew Garda
The 6-seed Montclair High School baseball team fought hard and held a tough 2-seed Seton Hall Prep squad to just one run on four hits, but couldn’t get their bats hot and fell in the Greater Newark Tournament semifinal, 1-0.
This was a much different outcome than the meeting between these two teams on May 2, when the Pirates beat the Mounties 11-0. If Seton Hall Prep thought they would roll through MHS this time around, they must have been shocked by their inability to get runs in.
The Mounties had Conor McGrath on the mound to start the game, but got roughed up in two innings of work, allowing one run in the second inning off a sacrifice by Pirate batter Ryan Hebert to drive in Mike Ukrainskyj.
McGrath may still have been fatigued after pitching just a week ago, and was pulled in favor of senior Henry Brooks.
Head coach Ron Gavazzi has said many times this season that the depth of his pitching staff was something he trusted, and Brooks proved that to be true Monday with a great performance out of the bullpen, holding Seton Hall Prep to three hits during four scoreless innings.
Brooks struck out two batters as well and while he occasionally found himself in a jam with bases loaded, always found a way to get the last outs he needed and keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, the Pirates had some great pitching of their own. Kevin Young threw a solid game against MHS, preserving the win with a shutout. He wasn’t unhittable – the Mounties were able to generate five hits – but never let MHS build up momentum.
By the time the Mounties found a crack in his armor, when Evan Chaladoff led off the seventh with a single, the Pirates were able to lean on reliever Nick Maldonado to end the game.
The Mounties have plenty of baseball left, with five regular season games (four on the road) left beginning with a trip to Millburn on Thursday, May 18. Then they’ll head into the NJSIAA Tournament and see if they can make some noise there like they did in the GNT.
For in depth analysis of the Montclair-Seton Hall Prep game,
check out Thursday’s edition of the the Montclair Local.