There aren’t a lot of changes to the FMTC Top 10 in Essex County for this week. Livingston is still No. 1, as they’ve been since the season began.
The Lancers take on No. 2 Mount St. Dominic, in Caldwell, on April 29 in a game that could decide the Super Essex Conference’s (SEC) American Division champion. Truth be told, the SEC, while a nice championship to attain, won’t change the top of the pecking order. Should Livingston not win the Essex County Tournament (ECT) championship on May 18 however, then maybe there could be a new No. 1, depending on who wins the title. (Another words, Mount St. Dominic would probably be the only team to jump ahead of Livingston, but would need to win the county title).
Mount St. Dominic and Livingston both have one loss in SEC play, with Livingston losing an early season contest to Cedar Grove and Mount St. Dominic dropping its lone league game, at Livingston, the following week.
Looking around Essex County the past week, it was kind of uneventful. The warm weather is beginning to take charge as May nears, which is always encouraging. Livingston started the week with a win over Bloomfield despite starting pitcher Jess Peslak being on the sidelines with a virus. The Lancers followed with victories over West Orange, Nutley and Edison, with Peslak back in the circle and spinning a one hitter against Nutley.
Mount St. Dominic continued its winning ways, including out-of-conference wins against Blair Academy and Rutherford. Cedar Grove had a good week, including a win over West Essex while Nutley continues playing very well. The Raiders won a big game, under the lights last Friday, against Bloomfield, 3-2.
And speaking of Bloomfield, Bob Mayer’s Bengals are clearly the team to beat in the Liberty Division, with a few coaches in the American Division, including Livingston’s Jason Daily feeling Bloomfield can be a major factor in the ECT.
And don’t discount Newark Academy, which came out of nowhere last year to make it to the semifinals. Sergio Rodriguez’s team returns just about the entire team which excelled late last season and gained the seventh seed for this year’s tourney. Rodriguez has already said that Glen Ridge, who his team will face in the first round of the ECT, could be a factor, too.
Montclair had a strange week, defeating Caldwell, but losing to Millburn. Columbia and West Orange both surprised Glen Ridge.
So, here’s the latest Top 10. And don’t forget, the first round of the ECT is set for later this week. Some teams will play earlier than May 4, which is the traditional day to begin the first round because the SAT’s are being administered next Satrday. The quarterfinals are on May 11 at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals and championship game are slated for May 17 and 18 at Ivy Hill Park in Newark.
2-Mount St. Dominic (14-3)
4-Cedar Grove (9-5)
5-West Essex (7-7)
7-Newark Academy (9-4)
8-West Orange (6-11)
9-Glen Ridge (7-5)