Livingston Rides McLaughlin’s Arm to Advance in State Tournament and Win Ninth Straight, 8-2
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 • 9:06pm
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Towson-bound Brady McLaughlin has been Livingston’s most consistent pitcher and arguably one of Essex County’s premier pitchers all year. Unfortunately, McLaughlin has not received the run support he so rightfully deserves. However, that changed Tuesday afternoon as Livingston won 8-2, their ninth straight victory, over North Bergen in the first of the NJSIAA State Tournament.
“It was just another day on the mound,”McLaughlin said. “Today was a complete team effort and now we have to concentrate on Randolph.”
McLaughlin has posted a 1.54 ERA (earned run average) over 11 starts this season but his record stands at 2-2.
On Tuesday, McLaughlin pitched a complete game three hitter while striking out seven.
Livingston got on the board in the second inning as John Sorrentino singled home both Nick Grande and Brian Writt.
“It is huge to pitch with a lead,especially in the state tournament,” McLaughlin continued.
The scrappy North Bergen bunch did push a run across in the top of the fourth inning to cut Livingston’s lead in half. Kevin Alonso singled and then stole second base. While Alonso was in scoring position, Kevin Cepeda hit a ground ball right past McLaughlin that found its way into center field and that scored Alonso.
Livingston led 2-1 after four innings of play.
After both pitchers settled down in the fifth inning, Livingston received the run support and rally McLaughlin has been looking for all year as they had a six-run sixth inning.
The rally started with two walks to Nick Grande and Brian Writt; a pass ball advanced both runners, which made North Bergen bring the infield in. Then John Sorrentino hit a ground ball right past the diving shortstop and both Grande and Writt scored their second runs of the game. After another walk, giving the Lancers first and second with no outs, Connor Kimmel doubled in the next two runs to increase the lead to 6-1.
Then Jordan Farber added an RBI double and Farber was plated on a single by McLaughlin.
“To go from one run lead to a seven run lead was great for our team and Brady,”Kimmel said. “We have been hitting much better as of late and with Brady on the mound we know we have the best shot towin.”
North Bergen did scrap across one more run in the top of the seventh but McLaughlin silenced them immediately after.
“This is the time when we need to step up and play our best baseball. Randolph has defeated us the past two years in state and over the next few days there will be nothing but focus from this year,” McLaughlin concluded.