The 41st Essex County Tournament is getting closer, and with it, some big games are approaching. Cedar Grove and Mount St. Dominic played an exciting game last week and will meet up again this coming Friday, at the Mount’s home field.
Most will agree that the Panthers and Lions are the top teams in the county and the favorites to meet in the ECT final in a few weeks.
Upsets have been a part of the tournament over the years, however, and this season has certainly been unpredictable.
After slow starts, Verona, Bloomfield and West Essex have played much better. Columbia and Millburn are off to fast starts, as well, at 7-2 and 9-2 respectively.
Here are the latest rankings.
FMTC Top 10
1-Cedar Grove (10-3): It edged Mount St. Dominic, in a tremendous game and played another classic last weekend, against IHA.
Mia Faieta (arms folded, standing) has pitched very well for the Panthers. (Click on photo for larger
2-Mount St. Dominic (8-5): The defending ECT champions won 2 of 3 in Ohio last weekend, and are still the dominant team within Essex County, over the past five years.
3-Columbia (7-2): Six straight wins to start the season, including a win over Nutley gives the Cougars a high ranking this week.
4-West Essex (4-5): Knights had back-to-back wins over Livingston and Nutley last week.
Lily James, here with her parents, has been a key to West Essex’s recent surge.
5-Verona (4-6): Hillbillies have won three straight, including a win over Nutley, and their pitching could make it very dangerous in the county tournament.
6-Nutley (5-6): Edged Livingston, in 8 innings, after losing in 8 to the Lancers six days earlier. Has a big early season win over an 8-3 Teaneck team.
7-Bloomfield (5-5): After 0-4 start, including 3 losses by a combined 5 runs, it has won five of its last six and Lexi Corio’s pitching could be a factor.
Lexi Corio had a good run in the 2017 Essex County Tournament and hopes to find similar success this year. (Click on photo for larger image)
8-Livingston (3-6): Lancers are always competitive, but it’s lost four of its last five, three of which have been by one run. Livingston has a good win over Verona.
9-Millburn (9-2): Millers have played well, winning six straight heading into this week’s action.
10-Caldwell (7-3) and Montclair (6-5): Mounties picked up a huge win over Columbia, rallying from 3-0 down, on April 23 to win, 9-5, while Caldwell has been pretty consistent all season.