Millburn's 10U Baseball Team Wins District Title
Team was undefeated in district action; here's a wrap of the tournament.
The Millburn-Short Hills Youth Baseball's 10-year-olds team won its district championship in Scotch Plains on Tuesday, July 5th, 8-2, over Westfield's White team behind the 3-hit, complete game pitching of Jordan Brochin.
It was a battle between two unbeaten teams, both entering the game with records of 4-0 in district play. A see-saw battle for the first three innings, Millburn was unable to push across a run in the first after Brochin's two-out double put runners at second and third. After giving up a run in the bottom of the first, Millburn scored two runs on a double by Ben Chrzanowski followed by successive bunt singles by Ben Sauberman and Tyler Adelman, a walk to Brandon Krikorian and a sacrifice fly by Zack Butter.
Westfield came back to tie the game on a single with two outs and runners on first and second. On the play, right fielder Ben Sauberman made a perfect throw to cut-off man Brochin who spun and fired to third baseman Alex Byington to nail the runner to end the inning after allowing only one run.
Millburn took the lead for good with a run in the top of the third on an RBI single by Sauberman after hits by Jason Talpalar and Brochin and a walk to Chrzanowski loaded the bases. Millburn broke the game open with five runs in the top of the fourth as its first seven batters reached base safely starting with Byington's lead off double off the fence in left field.
The team then rode its strong pitching and defense the rest of the way, including a number of tough catches by centerfielder Jason Talpalar and right fielder Ben Sauberman and a back-handed defensive gem in the hole by shortstop Zack Butter to open the bottom of the sixth. Only two Westfield batters reached base after the second inning. The defense combined for eight assists and 16 putouts. In addition to his strong pitching, Brochin added three assists and snagged a hard line drive with a runner in scoring position while nursing a one-run lead in the bottom of the third inning. Millburn's 14-hit attack was led by Talpalar and Brochin, each with three hits. Sauberman and Ben Chrzanowski also had multi-hit games. Evan Jacob and Sauberman led the team with two RBIs apiece.
Millburn began its quest to repeat as district champions against Westfield's Blue team on June 25th. The core of this Millburn team is the same as last year's 9-year-old victors. Millburn prevailed 3-0 against Westfield Blue in a well played pitchers' dual. Talpalar knocked in the game's first run in the bottom of the third after a single by Byington and a sacrifice bunt by Butter who beat it out for a hit. The team added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Viraj Sethi led off lining a single to center field. After an error and a sacrifice bunt by Butter, Brochin laced a two out, two run double. Brochin pitched five strong innings, getting out of a jam in the first inning with runners on second and third when Byington playing third threw out the runner at first on a sharply hit grounder. Brochin then retired ten of the next eleven batters. Matt Schwind pitched a one-two-three sixth for the save.
On June 26th, Millburn defeated Springfield, 10-5. With two outs in the top of the first, Millburn rattled off five straight hits to jump out to a 4-0 lead. The rally included singles by Talpalar, Jacob and Schwind and doubles by Brochin and Chrzanowski. In the second, Millburn doubled its lead scoring four more runs with two outs on singles by Talpalar and Jacob and a two run single for the second inning in a row by Schwind. Talpalar and Chrzanowski pitched for Millburn, giving up only one earned run combined. Catcher Evan Jacob threw out two runners trying to steal second base and shortstop Zack Butter orchestrated a 6-6-3 double play.
Millburn's next opponent was Mountainside on June 29th. Adelman pitched a four inning, complete game shutout as Millburn rolled 14-0. The team scored at least 3 runs in every inning. In the first inning, Millburn took advantage of some miscues to jump out to a three run lead. Brandon Krikorian led off the second with a double down the third base line. One out later, with runners on first and second, Talpalar laced an RBI double to right field, followed by an RBI single by Brochin. Millburn completed its five run inning with a run scoring double by Schwind and an RBI single by Chrzanowski. In the third inning, Millburn scored its three runs on consecutive RBI doubles by Talpalar, Brochin and Sethi. Millburn scored its final runs in the fourth inning on hits by Byington, Talpalar and Brochin.
The semi-finals on July 4th against host Scotch Plains was a rematch of last year's thrilling eight inning district finals. Millburn struck first on a sacrifice fly by Brochin in the first inning. The team added four runs in the second on singles by Adelman, Krikorian, Butter, Talpalar and Brochin. In the fourth inning, Millburn scratched across three more runs on two hits capped by a two run single by Christian Eliopoulos. Talpalar pitched four scoreless innings for the win, never allowing more than one runner to reach base in any inning and only allowing one runner to reach second base. Chrzanowski got the last six outs for his second save of the tournament.
Millburn now moves on to the Northern New Jersey State Tournament starting July 15th in South Plainfield.