2004 New Jersey State Little League® Tournament Results
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New Jersey State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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New Jersey State Tournament
Host - Pequannock (District 2)
At Washington Park

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions North Hunterdon American (High Bridge) (District 17)
Section 2 Champions Millburn-Short Hills (District 9)
Section 3 Champions HTRBA (Hamilton) (District 12)
Section 4 Champions Cherry Hill Atlantic (District 13)

Click here to view 2004 district tournament results for New Jersey.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
HTRBA 3, Cherry Hill Atlantic 1
Millburn-Short Hills 5, North Hunterdon American 4 (7 innings)

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
North Hunterdon American 7, Cherry Hill Atlantic 0 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
HTRBA 2, Millburn-Short Hills 1

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Millburn-Short Hills 3, North Hunterdon American 2 (elim.)

Championship Game:
HTRBA 4, Millburn-Short Hills 0 (TITLE)


When the HTRBA Little League last reached the New Jersey state championship game, the end result was not what the Hamilton-based club had hoped. HTRBA reached the finals of the double-elimination 1996 New Jersey state tournament without a loss, but a state championship proved elusive when the Big Red Machine suffered a pair of one-run losses to Millburn-Short Hills Little League.

Eight years later, HTRBA and Millburn-Short Hills again met in the Garden State's championship game, and the District 12 champions again stood one win away from a state championship.

Matt Patterson made sure that the ending was more to HTRBA's liking.

Patterson fired a two-hit shutout and drilled a three-run home run in the second inning as HTRBA blanked Millburn-Short Hills 4-0 in the 2004 New Jersey state championship game at Pequannock Little League's Washington Park.

With the win, HTRBA -- the Hamilton Township Recreation Baseball Association -- claimed its first-ever state championship, and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

"I'm so happy for these kids," said HTRBA manager Tim Fitzpatrick. "All their hard work paid off."

Patterson was in firm control throughout the championship game, needing only 71 pitches and striking out three in a complete game effort. Millburn-Short Hills hit only three balls out of the infield, and advanced no baserunners beyond second base.

"He had some real pop tonight," said Fitzpatrick of his pitcher. "The adrenaline must have been flowing.

"The defense has been so tight making the plays," he added. "And Matt is just incredible. He just continues to be as solid as ever."

Patterson's home run capped a four-run rally that provided the game's only scoring. Vinny Rizzo sparked the inning with a double into the right field corner, and scored when Millburn mis-handled Kevin Fitzpatrick's sacrifice bunt attempt. Patterson's two-out home run later in the inning gave HTRBA its biggest lead in any of its state tournament games.

HTRBA's victory was its second over Millburn-Short Hills in the four-team tournament. Two days earlier, the bottom third of HTRBA's batting order manufactured a run in the bottom of the sixth inning as the District 12 champions edged Millburn 2-1 to reach the championship game.

Kevin Fitzpatrick keyed the deciding rally with a one-out single to centerfield. He moved to second on Joe Welke, Jr.'s sacrifice bunt, and scored when eleven-year-old David Paquette's single caromed off the outstretched glove of the Millburn first baseman and rolled into right field.

"They came up huge for us," said Fitzpatrick of his seventh, eighth, and ninth-place hitters. "The base hit, a good bunt, and David (Paquette) always manages to get the ball in play. If you can do that, you've got a good chance of something good happening."

Paquette had scored the game's first run on Jason Ricciardi's single to right center field in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Millburn second baseman Ty Udland tied the game by homering on the first pitch in the top of the sixth inning.

HTRBA pitcher Matt Stankowski kept Millburn off the scoreboard prior to the home run. Backed by a pair of double plays and a diving stab by third baseman Ryan Samuels that snuffed a second inning rally, Stankowski scattered seven hits while throwing a complete game.

"I told Matt to pace himself," explained Fitzpatrick. "He made one mistake, and paid for it. But he battled and he kept us in the game."

Patterson also made only one mistake in HTRBA's 3-1 win over Cherry Hill Atlantic Little League in the tournament opener. Cherry Hill's Jim Yezzo sent Patterson's first pitch of the game well over the center field fence, but the HTRBA pitcher quickly recovered, striking out ten and keeping the Cherry Hill offense in check for the remainder of the game.

"He's a smart pitcher," said Tim Fitzpatrick. "There were times when the coaches were calling pitches from the dugout and Matt was changing them. He knew what the batter did the last time up."

HTRBA stranded five baserunners in the game's first three innings, but eventually broke through in the fourth. Rizzo opened the inning with a single to right field and Welke, Jr. followed with a single between first and second. Ricky McLaughlin and Patterson then delivered two-out base hits that gave HTRBA the lead.

With two outs in the sixth, Patterson fouled off eight two-strike pitches before lining a double off the center field fence that scored McLaughlin from third with an insurance run.

"He fought and he fought until he got something he could handle, and he drove it," said Tim Fitzpatrick of Patterson's at-bat. "The same thing with the team. They fight and fight and come back strong."

Millburn also bounced back strongly following the first loss to HTRBA, scoring all of its runs on two-out hits in a 3-2 victory over North Hunterdon American Little League. Chris Benedict and Udland gave Millburn an early lead with RBI singles in the second, but North Hunterdon tied the game in the fourth. Ryan Buckley scored on Ryan Ibsen's double, and Ibsen later scored on Patrick Hesser's bunt single.

In the fifth, Jeff Wang doubled and scored the eventual winning on eleven-year-old Dom Dasti's single to left field.

Millburn-Short Hills, which had defeated North Hunterdon 5-4 in extra innings earlier in the tournament, reached the state championship game for the second time in three years, and for the fourth time in eleven years.

"We had an unbelievable season," said Millburn-Short Hills manager Kevin Ford after the championship game. "And second place in the state of New Jersey is nothing to be disappointed about."

HTRBA's coaching staff was equally pleased with their team's effort.

"I told them we're not coming back tomorrow," said Coach Joe Welke, Sr. of the message to his team before the championship game. "Get it done today."

HTRBA's players followed orders, and avoided the heartbreak felt by their predecessors in 1996. The Big Red Machine couldn't re-write the ending from that year's tournament, so instead of changing history, they did the next best thing.

They made it.

Follow HTRBA at the Mid-Atlantic Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
HTRBA 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 - -
Cherry Hill Atlantic 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 - -
  Opening Round
Millburn-Short Hills 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 5 5 2
North Hunterdon American 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 4 11 1
  Elimination Bracket Semifinal
Cherry Hill Atlantic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
North Hunterdon American 0 6 0 0 1 x 7 7 1
  Winner's Bracket Final
Millburn-Short Hills 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 -
HTRBA 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 - -
  Elimination Bracket Final
North Hunterdon American 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 7 0
Millburn-Short Hills 0 2 0 0 1 x 3 5 0
  Championship Game
Millburn-Short Hills 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 -
HTRBA 0 4 0 0 0 x 4 - -

2004 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Mendham
D2 - West Milford American
D4 - Hillsdale
D17 - North Hunterdon American (High Bridge)
D20 - Lackawanna

Section 1 Tournament
Host - New Milford (District 4)
At John Connelly Field

Tournament Results:
1 - North Hunterdon American 8, Mendham 0
2 - Lackawanna 3, West Milford American 2
3 - Mendham 5, West Milford American 0 (elim.)
4 - North Hunterdon American 7, Hillsdale 3
5 - North Hunterdon American 7, Lackawanna 5 (7 innings)
6 - Hillsdale 7, Mendham 5 (elim.)
7 - Hillsdale 7, Lackawanna 5 (elim.)
8 - Hillsdale 5, North Hunterdon American 3
9 - North Hunterdon American 14, Hillsdale 0 (full six innings; TITLE)

D5 - Wood-Ridge/Moonachie
D6 - Fort Lee National
D7 - West New York National
D8 - Livingston American
D9 - Millburn-Short Hills

Section 2 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Livingston American (District 8)
At Gammond Field and Krutoy Field
Championship Game at Krutoy Field

Tournament Results:
1 - West New York National 7, Fort Lee National 4
2 - Millburn-Short Hills 2, Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 1
3 - West New York National 4, Livingston American 2
4 - Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 10, Fort Lee National 0 (5 innings; elim.)
5 - Millburn-Short Hills 6, West New York National 4
6 - Livingston American 2, Wood-Ridge/Moonachie 1 (elim.)
7 - Livingston American 1, West New York National 0 (elim.)
8 - Livingston American 9, Millburn-Short Hills 8 (9 innings)
9 - Millburn-Short Hills 4, Livingston American 3 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Sayre Woods South
D11 - South Wall
D12 - HTRBA (Hamilton)
D18 - Toms River East American
D19 - Marlboro Township South (Morganville)

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Sayreville (District 10)

The Section 3 tournament is using a round-robin format.

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Sayre Woods South 9, Marlboro Township South 7
2 - South Wall 11, Toms River East American 6
3 - HTRBA 8, Toms River East American 1
4 - South Wall 7, Sayre Woods South 0
5 - Toms River East American 6, Sayre Woods South 5
6 - HTRBA 6, Marlboro Township South 0
7 - HTRBA 3, Sayre Woods South 2
8 - Marlboro Township South 6, South Wall 4 (8 innings)
9 - South Wall 7, HTRBA 3
10 - Marlboro Township South 3, Toms River East American 2 (8 innings)



South Wall 3 1
Marlboro Township South 2 2
Toms River East American 1 3
Sayre Woods South 1 3

Championship Game:
11 - HTRBA 4, South Wall 3 (7 innings; TITLE)

D3 - South Vineland
D13 - Cherry Hill Atlantic
D14 - Audubon
D15 - Deptford
D16 - Hammonton
D21 - Monroe Township (Williamstown)

Section 4 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Cherry Hill National (District 13)

Tournament Results:
1 - Hammonton 6, Monroe Township 5 (9 innings)
2 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 16, Audubon 6 (4 innings)
3 - Deptford 7, Hammonton 6
4 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 5, South Vineland 3
5 - South Vineland 14, Monroe Township 6 (elim.)
6 - Audubon 10, Hammonton 8 (elim.)
7 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 12, Deptford 0 (full six innings)
8 - South Vineland 8, Audubon 7 (elim.)
9 - Deptford 5, South Vineland 2 (elim.)
10 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 12, Deptford 0 (4 innings; TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/06/2005