2015 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 - Hammonton (District 16)

Hammonton Little League is located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Sports Drive in Hammonton.

Participating Teams
Section 1 Champions Somerset Hills (Bernardsville) (District 17)
Section 2 Champions Livingston (District 8)
Section 3 Champions Jackson Township (District 18)
Section 4 Champions Monroe Township (District 21)

Click here to view 2015 district tournament results for New Jersey.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Somerset Hills 21, Livingston 0 (4 innings)
Jackson Township 8, Monroe Township 0

Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain):
Monroe Township 13, Livingston 3 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Final:
Somerset Hills 12, Jackson Township 1 (4 innings)

Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain):
Jackson Township 12, Monroe Township 4 (elim.)

Championship Series:
Jackson Township 20, Somerset Hills 8 (6 innings)
Jackson Township 7, Somerset Hills 6 (TITLE)


Neither Jackson Township Little League nor Somerset Hills Little League came into the final game of the Joe Graziano New Jersey Little League state championship game with much experience in close games. In sixteen games, Jackson Township won fourteen times, and just two of those contests were settled by five or fewer runs -- a 6-2 victory over Lincroft Little League in the Section 3 tournament, and then a 10-7 loss to Clark Little League in their next game.

Somerset Hills' record was even more extreme -- excluding a 6-0 forfeit victory, in their other twelve contests, just two games were decided by eight or fewer runs. Somerset Hills' closest game was a 10-4 win over Randolph East Little League in the Section 1 championship game.

Even when the two Garden State powerhouses faced one another, the games were not close. Somerset Hills earned a 12-1, four inning victory in the winner's bracket final, and Jackson Township returned the favor when they forced the tournament to a deciding game with a 20-8 thumping of Somerset Hills in the first championship series meeting.

With that context, when the two teams met in the 'if' game at the state tournament, the contest evolved into a test of nerves that more than made up for a month of blowouts. Jackson Township led by a run, then Somerset Hills tied it. Jackson again took the lead, and Somerset responded with a four-run burst to take a 5-2 advantage. Undaunted, Jackson Township came back with three of its own to take a one-run lead, then Somerset Hills again tied the score.

After 29 games consisting largely of one-way traffic, Jackson Township and Somerset Hills combined for four lead changes and two ties, and, with one inning of regulation play left in the game, were deadlocked at 6-6.

In the end, the difference between the two teams was one swing of the bat.

Tommy Cartnick deposited a 3-0 pitch over the center field fence with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and in the process gave Jackson Township a walk-off 7-6 victory over Somerset Hills at Hammonton Little League's field.

With the win, Jackson Township claimed its first-ever state championship in the major baseball division, and advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. Jackson eventually finished as the runner-up in that tournament to eventual U.S. champion Red Land Little League from Lewisberry, Pennsylvania.

"They pitched around him in the at-bat beforehand," said Jackson Township manager Evan Glaser of Cartnick's deciding swing. "He went 3-1 there, and we certainly gave him the green light. If he had something he wanted to take, if he could handle it; let it rip. And he did."

Cartnick's earlier walk came in the fourth inning, when Jackson Township clawed back from a two-run deficit. Austin Parikh opened the frame with a pinch hit home run to left field -- his first homer of the international tournament -- to cut Somerset Hills' lead to one run. One out later, Sean Slusak was hit by a pitch, then Cartnick and Matt Potok drew walks to load the bases. Special pinch runner Justin Berkert dashed home on a wild pitch, and Cartnick scored the go-ahead run on an error.

Somerset Hills had taken its lead after Joe Billotti and Jack Kircher delivered two-run homers in the third inning. After later falling behind, they leveled the score in the fifth, when Dave Iaione reached on a fielders' choice and scored on Drew Mulcahy's groundout.

The win was Jackson Township's second over Somerset Hills in as many nights, and their third win in a row following the 12-1 loss in the winner's bracket final. Jackson earned a rematch by eliminating Monroe Township Little League, 12-4, then forced the tournament to a final game with their 20-8 win over Somerset Hills in the first championship game meeting.

Jackson Township and Somerset Hills combined for eleven home runs in the teams' second meeting, with Jackson hitting two in the top of the first inning and six overall. Cartnick opened the scoring with a three-run homer, and Jared Caruso soon followed with a three-run shot of his own.

Somerset Hills got a three-run blast from Kirchner in the second, and seemed to seize the momentum in the third when they deflated a bases loaded, nobody out threat with a 1-2-3 double play. Instead of escaping the jam, however, the Somerset defense committed an error on the next play that plated two runs and gave Jackson Township an 8-3 lead.

Jackson Township then pulled away, with homer by Ryan Lasko in the fourth, Cartnick in the fifth, and Caruso and Zack Rogacki in the sixth fueling a trio of four-run rallies.

Somerset Hills added home runs from Ed Gambelli, Billotti, Mulcahy, and Iaione, but couldn't recover from Jackson's strong start.

"They came out aggressive (and) hit the ball," said Somerset Hills manager Mike Falduto. "We bobbled a couple of plays, and that's the way it goes. They played well. We knew they could hit, and we know we can hit."

Somerset Hills displayed its hitting prowess in the teams' first meeting. The District 17 champions clubbed three home runs in the top of the first inning before running out to a 12-1 victory. Ryan Falduto opened the fireworks with a two-run homer to left field, then Billotti hit a solo shot to right and Mulcahy added a two-out, two-run homer to left.

Ryan Falduto and Billotti each added their second home runs as part of a seven-run rally in the second inning.

"Somerset Hills can hit," said Glaser after the game. "You just can't leave the ball up against them."

"They're a real good team," said Mike Falduto. "We're just rolling... It's an amazing thing to watch, especially against a quality team like (Jackson Township)."

Jackson Township tumbled into the elimination bracket with the loss, and faced a matchup with a familiar nemesis: Monroe Township had won the New Jersey state championship and an Eastern Region tournament of state champions in the 9-10 year old age division in 2013, and followed that with a state championship in the 10-11 year old age division in 2014. In both summers, Monroe had eliminated Jackson Township in the state championship game. In 2015, though, Jackson Township blanked Monroe, 8-0, in the tournament's opening round, then dispatched the Section 4 winners from the tournament when an eleven-run rally in the fifth inning led to a 12-4 win in the elimination final.

"That was exciting, to finally knock off Monroe," said Jackson Township league president Allen Goldberg after the tournament.

Monroe nurtured a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning of the elimination bracket meeting, and Jackson teetered six outs away from elimination. But the Ocean County team sent fifteen batters to the plate in a decisive rally that broke the teams' bats out of a mini-slump.

Lasko opened the inning with a solo home run, and with one out, Cartnick clubbed a two-run shot that tied the score. Jackson Township loaded the bases, and after Parikh drew a walk to force in a run, Lasko followed with a run-scoring single and Slusak added a three-run double. Jake Wedell and Potok added run-scoring hits, then Jackson closed out the win in the sixth.

"Anyone in our lineup is capable of putting the ball over the fence at any given time," said Glaser after the game. "That (Lasko's home run) was just the spark that obviously the team needed, and even fed off of."

The spark lifted Jackson Township into the championship series rematch with Somerset Hills, and the Ocean County team soon completed its climb from the bottom bracket and into the Mid-Atlantic Region tournament.

"This team at 10 years old and 11 years old made it to the state championship game both years," said Glaser after his team sealed the tournament win with its second victory over Somerset Hills. "So they have been a quality team for a couple of years. But you know, you never can just assume you're going to get back to where you were in the past. You have to earn it.

"I'm proud of these boys," added the Jackson Township manager. "They've been working really, really hard since the beginning of June preparing for this moment, and I'm just honored to be a part of it."

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


  Winner's Bracket Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Somerset Hills 5 7 0 0 12 11 -
Jackson Township 0 0 0 1 1 2 -
  Elimination Bracket Final
Monroe Township 3 0 0 1 0 0 4 - -
Jackson Township 0 1 0 0 11 x 12 - -
  Championship Series Game 1
Jackson Township 6 0 2 4 4 4 20 - -
Somerset Hills 0 3 2 1 2 0 8 - -
  Championship Series Game 2
Somerset Hills 0 1 4 0 1 0 6 12 -
Jackson Township 1 2 0 3 0 1 7 8 -

2015 New Jersey District Champions and Sectional Tournament Results

District Champions
in Section 1
District Champions
in Section 2
D1 - Randolph East
D2 - Pequannock
D4 - Ridgewood
D17 - Somerset Hills (Bernardsville)
D20 - Hobb Engler (Byram Township)

Section 1 Tournament
Host - Kittatinny (District 20)
At Hampton Township Recreation Fields (Newton)

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Randolph East 14, Pequannock 2
2 - Somerset Hills 10, Ridgewood 1
3 - Randolph East 13, Hobb Engler 11
4 - Pequannock 13, Ridgewood 8 (elim.)
5 - Somerset Hills 10, Randolph East 0
6 - Pequannock 10, Hobb Engler 8 (elim.)
7 - Randolph East 14, Pequannock 2 (elim.)
8 - Somerset Hills 10, Randolph East 4 (TITLE)

D5 - Rutherford
D6 - Teaneck Southern
D7 - Washington Park (Jersey City)
D8 - Livingston

Section 2 Tournament
Host - Secaucus (District 7)

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Rutherford 12, Teaneck Southern 7
2 - Washington Park 4, Livingston 3
3 - Washington Park 5, Rutherford 4
4 - Livingston 9, Teaneck Southern 2 (elim.)
5 - Livingston 4, Rutherford 1 (elim.)
6 - Livingston 7, Washington Park 3
7 - Livingston 6, Washington Park 4 (TITLE)

District Champions
in Section 3
District Champions
in Section 4
D10 - Clark
D11 - North Wall
D12 - Nottingham (Hamilton Square)
D18 - Jackson Township
D19 - Lincroft

Section 3 Tournament
Host - Manchester-Lakehurst (District 18)

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Clark 6, Nottingham 3
2 - Jackson Township 8, North Wall 2
3 - Lincroft 13, Clark 12
4 - Nottingham 13, North Wall 4 (elim.)
5 - Jackson Township 6, Lincroft 2
6 - Clark 9, Nottingham 8 (elim.)
7 - Clark 11, Lincroft 1 (elim.)
8 - Clark 10, Jackson Township 7
9 - Jackson Township 14, Clark 4 (TITLE)

D3 - Millville American
D13 - Cherry Hill American
D14 - Blackwood Kiwanis
D15 - West Deptford Township
D16 - Upper Township (Marmora)
D21 - Monroe Township

Section 4 Tournament
Host - Monroe Township (District 21)
At George Doelling Memorial Field

Tournament Schedule/Results:
1 - Cherry Hill American 8, West Deptford Township 4
2 - Monroe Township 14, Millville American 1
3 - Cherry Hill American 11, Upper Township 10
4 - Blackwood Kiwanis 7, Monroe Township 6
5 - Monroe Township 10, West Deptford Township 5 (elim.)
6 - Millville American 11, Upper Township 10 (elim.)
7 - Blackwood Kiwanis 9, Cherry Hill American 5
8 - Monroe Township 15, Millville American 3 (elim.)
9 - Monroe Township 7, Cherry Hill American 4 (elim.)
10 - Monroe Township 11, Blackwood Kiwanis 7
11 - Monroe Township 8, Blackwood Kiwanis 5 (TITLE)

Toward the past

Toward the present

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Last revision: 06/05/2016