2006 New Jersey State Little League® Tournament Results
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New Jersey State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

New Jersey State Tournament
Host - Neptune Township (District 11)
At Fred Boenig Little League Complex

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions West Milford National (District 2)
Section 2 Champions Livingston American (District 8)
Section 3 Champions South Wall (District 11)
Section 4 Champions Cherry Hill Atlantic (District 13)

Click here to view 2006 district tournament results for New Jersey.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
West Milford National 3, Cherry Hill Atlantic 0
Livingston American 12, South Wall 2 (full six innings)

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
South Wall 6, Cherry Hill Atlantic 2 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Livingston American 7, West Milford National 3

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
West Milford National 6, South Wall 4 (elim.)

Championship Series:
West Milford National 4, Livingston American 0
Livingston American 10, West Milford National 0 (5 innings; TITLE)


Livingston American Little League opened the international tournament with ten straight wins, six double-digit offensive performances, and two tournament championships. Then the District 8 champions ran into a roadblock, in the form of West Milford National Little League pitcher Brendan Mayers.

Not to worry. Livingston American saved its best for last.

Twenty-four hours after managing just one hit in a 4-0 loss to Mayers and West Milford National, Livingston American scored in four of its five offensive innings and rode the one-hit pitching of ace Zach Gray to a 10-0, five inning victory over the same team.

The win, Livingston's second in three state tournament meetings with West Milford National, came in the final game of the New Jersey state tournament at the Fred Boenig Little League Complex in Neptune Township. Livingston American claimed its first state championship since 1974, and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

"He was incredible," said Livingston American manager Joe Cunningham of Gray's title game performance. "He can throw his changeup in any count. He was just incredible."

Gray kept West Milford National off the scoreboard in the top of the first inning, then Livingston American's offense went to work. After a Jon Pena single, John Sorrentino opened the scoring, slamming a two-out, two-run home run over the right center field fence. Nick Ebert was hit by a pitch, then Gray extended the lead with a run-scoring double.

Livingston American doubled its lead in the third. Livingston batted around and slowly bled West Milford National in an inning where five different batters stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Ebert drove in the first run with a single, then the District 8 champions added a second run on an error and a third when Clint Callahan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

West Milford National threatened in the fourth inning, loading the bases with one out, but Gray recorded two of his five strikeouts to end the threat.

The Livingston pitcher then slammed a two-out, three-run homer over the right center field fence in the bottom of the inning, and in the fifth, Brandon Levy's single to left field drove in another run and invoked the mercy rule.

Livingston's nine hit offensive attack was a far cry from the previous day, when Mayers allowed only three baserunners while pitching his second shutout of the state tournament. Mayers retired the first eight hitters he faced and allowed only one baserunner with less than two outs. He struck out seven batters and allowed only one walk.

"That was all Mayers," said Cunningham of his team's loss to West Milford National. "If we had to face that kid twice, it would have been a different story. That kid is as good a pitcher as I've seen in the state."

"We were all confident today, because nobody has hit Brendan in the state of New Jersey so far this year," said West Milford National manager Ed Pevny after the game.

West Milford National stranded six baserunners in the game's first three innings, then scored all of its runs in a fourth inning rally that started after a pair of strikeouts. An error, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, then West Milford finally broke through when Matt Tietz reached for a high fastball on a 3-2 pitch and sent it well beyond the right field fence.

"They obviously pitched around Matt and Brendan early in the game," explained Pevny, who called timeout to conference with Tietz before the shortstop's fourth inning plate appearance. "I said 'Matt, they've loaded the bases now. They can't pitch around you.'"

With his team able to afford a loss in the double-elimination tournament, Cunningham had elected to save Gray for a potential final game meeting rather than match him up against Mayers.

"We had the upper hand," explained Cunningham of his decision to hold Gray for a potential 'if' game. "So I was able to do that."

Livingston American gained the upper hand by opening the tournament with a pair of victories. The District 8 champions, who returned four players from a team that finished as the Section 2 runner-up the previous year, opened with a 12-2 victory over South Wall. Livingston pounded three home runs among its six extra base hits in the win.

Sorrentino opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning, and Levy delivered a two-run double in the second.

Ebert added a three-run homer over the right field fence in the third, and homers by Levy and Pena extended the lead to 12-0 in the sixth inning.

"We ran into a buzz saw," said South Wall manager Ken Taylor. "With out best pitcher out there getting hit like that, it looked like it deflated the kids a little bit in the opening innings."

"We're definitely an offensive team," said Livingston American coach Buddy Wolfe. "The kids have been hitting like this all summer."

The next day, Livingston continued the hit parade, using three home runs to score four times in the first inning of a 7-3 victory over West Milford National.

German Valdez and Levy opened the scoring with back-to-back solo shots, then Ebert added a two-run homer later in the inning.

"We're typically used to playing from ahead, but before you know it, we're down four runs in the first inning," said Pevny. "But I saw a lot of good things and I was proud of the way we battled back."

West Milford narrowed the early deficit to 4-3, but Livingston American added three insurance runs in the fifth to seal the win.

"That (the winner's bracket final) is always the key game," Pevny explained later. "On any level, you have to win that game. Otherwise, you're forced to win three games in three days, and you need three pitchers."

West Milford earned a rematch, building a 6-0 lead and holding on late for a 6-4 victory over South Wall in the elimination bracket final. Tietz keyed a pair of early West Milford rallies, slicing a two-out double in the first inning before Mayers launched a two-run homer, then singling in the third to spark a three-run flurry. Mayers followed Tietz's third inning hit with a single, then Joe Manganella scored both runners with a single of his own, and Garvin Jones beat out an infield hit with two outs to extend the inning and score another run.

South Wall scored four runs in the fifth inning, then Tietz moved from shortstop to the mound and staved off a final South Wall push with a game-ending strikeout after a pair of hits and a hit batsman loaded the bases.

"Matt deservedly got the game ball," said Pevny after his team moved into the state championship game for the first time in the league's history. "He started things off in the first inning with his two-out double and made a couple of tremendous plays in the field."

Tietz turned in a trio of highlight reel defensive plays at shortstop in the game's early innings. He made a diving catch of a blooper beyond third base in the first inning, then lept to snare a liner in the third. In the fourth, his backhand stop and strong throw to first prevented another South Wall baserunner.

"We came out strong, but couldn't finish it off," added Pevny. "I watched (South Wall) tack on six runs last night against Cherry Hill, so I never thought it was over."

South Wall had staved off elimination after their opening round loss with a 6-2 win over a hard-luck Cherry Hill Atlantic Little League team. Cherry Hill's top pitcher, Nick Catullo, was lost for the tournament early in the team's opening round game after being hit by a pitch on his hand. Catullo and Mayers were locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel at the time, but West Milford National soon broke through for a 3-0 victory.

Mayers finished that outing with a four-hit shutout, but Gray was equally solid later in the tournament as Livingston extended its summer with a berth in the Mid-Atlantic region tournament.

"I've never been there," said Cunningham of the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol. "I don't know what to expect. All I can tell you is we'll go up there and play as hard as we can. We'll represent New Jersey proud."

Livingston American won all of its pool games at the region tournament, then downed Naamans Little League (Wilmington, Delaware) in the semifinal round. But a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Mid-Island Little League (Staten Island, New York) a 2-1 victory in the region championship game.

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


  Opening Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
West Milford National 0 0 0 1 0 2 3 - -
Cherry Hill Atlantic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 -
  Opening Round
Livingston American 1 2 3 3 0 3 12 - -
South Wall 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 - -
  Elimination Bracket Semifinal
South Wall 0 1 1 0 0 4 6 - -
Cherry Hill Atlantic 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 7 -
  Winner's Bracket Final
Livingston American 4 0 0 0 3 0 7 - -
West Milford National 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 - -
  Elimination Bracket Final
West Milford National 2 0 3 0 1 0 6 - -
South Wall 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 7 -
  Championship Series Game 1
Livingston American 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -
West Milford National 0 0 0 4 0 x 4 - -
  Championship Series Game 2
West Milford National 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -
Livingston American 3 0 3 3 1 10 9 -

NOTE: The inning-by-inning scores for the first championship game are correct, but Livingston American may have been the home team in this game.

2006 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Madison
D2 - West Milford National
D4 - Bergenfield
D17 - Piscataway American
D20 - Phillipsburg Area Baseball - Garnet

Section 1 Tournament
Host - Wayne (District 2)
At John 'Chick' Choka Field

Tournament Results:
1 - Bergenfield 9, Piscataway American 2
2 - Madison 11, Phillipsburg Area Baseball - Garnet 1 (5 innings)
3 - West Milford National 4, Bergenfield 2
4 - Phillipsburg Area Baseball - Garnet 18, Piscataway American 2 (5 innings; elim.)
5 - Madison 10, West Milford National 1
6 - Bergenfield 8, Phillipsburg Area Baseball - Garnet 0 (elim.)
7 - West Milford National 7, Bergenfield 4 (elim.)
8 - West Milford National 2, Madison 0 (No-hitter)
9 - West Milford National 11, Madison 3 (TITLE)

D5 - Lyndhurst American
D6 - Ridgefield
D7 - Hoboken South
D8 - Livingston American

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Edgewater (District 6)

Tournament Results:
1 - Livingston American 12, Ridgefield 1 (4 innings)
2 - Lyndhurst American 3, Hoboken South 2 (5 innings; rain)
3 - Hoboken South 9, Ridgefield 3 (elim.)
4 - Livingston American 5, Lyndhurst American 0
5 - Lyndhurst American 5, Hoboken South 2 (elim.)
6 - Livingston American 10, Lyndhurst American 2 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Milltown
D11 - South Wall
D12 - West Windsor
D18 - Brick American
D19 - Freehold Township National

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Tinton Falls (District 19)

Tournament Results:
1 - West Windsor 13, Freehold Township National 1 (5 innings)
2 - South Wall 8, Milltown 0 (4 innings, rain)
3 - Freehold Township National 7, Milltown 6 (elim.)
4 - West Windsor 1, Brick American 0
5 - Brick American 12, Freehold Township National 0 (elim.)
6 - South Wall 5, West Windsor 0
7 - West Windsor 6, Brick American 5 (elim.)
8 - South Wall 4, West Windsor 1 (TITLE)

D3 - South Vineland
D13 - Cherry Hill Atlantic
D14 - Erial
D15 - Oak Valley
D16 - Hammonton
D21 - Waterford Township

Section 4 Tournament
Championship Game Host - Clayton Community LL (District 15)

Tournament Results:
1 - Waterford Township 4, Erial 2
2 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 11, Oak Valley 1
3 - Hammonton 9, Waterford Township 0
4 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 11, South Vineland 1
5 - Erial 6, South Vineland 4 (8 innings; elim.)
6 - Oak Valley 6, Waterford Township 5 (elim.)
7 - Hammonton 6, Cherry Hill Atlantic 5
8 - Erial 4, Oak Valley 1 (elim.)
9 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 7, Erial 1 (elim.)
10 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 10, Hammonton 2
11 - Cherry Hill Atlantic 3, Hammonton 1 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/10/2007