The final three Essex County teams exited the NJSIAA tournament on June 4. And while Livingston, Mount St. Dominic and Newark Academy fell short of their ultimate goal of winning an overall state championship, the performances which led to yesterday’s game spoke volumes of the tenacity and fortitude which made 2013 a very good season.
Livingston finished 25-4 and won a second straight Super Essex Conference (SEC), Essex County Tournament (ECT) and NJSIAA, North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 championship. Its 19-game winning streak ended in a 2-1 setback to Watchung Hills at Livingston’s new mini house of horrors, better known as Nutley’s home field.
Truth be told, the field is beautiful and Livingston is usually pretty good at Nutley, winning four straight SEC games there from 2010-2013. But, for the second straight year, the Lancers lost a Group 4 semifinal there, and as one of the fans said as the team headed to the bus, ‘hope we never see this place again.’
Mount St. Dominic’s 25-7 campaign concluded with a 1-0 setback to the state’s top-ranked team, Immaculate Heart Academy, at Ivy Hill Park, in the North Non-Public A final. The game was every bit as good as the final score indicated. IHA, which just finds ways to win, like a great team does, scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth.
Sam Platt pitched a marvelous game for the Lions, but the ‘Affirmed’ Steph Thomas kept the MSDA bats quelled for most of the game to record the shutout.
Newark Academy dropped an 8-2 decision to Lodi Immaculate in the North Non-Public B championship game. The Minutemen had a tremendous season, finishing with a school record mark of 22-8.
Congrats to coach Sergio Rodriguez and his team on a great season.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll have a complete recap of the 2013 season, with three All Essex County teams and photos of all the honorees, an Essex Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Coach of the Year and a number of feature stories on some of the kids.