Playoff time for NJ Senior American Legion baseball

by Marc Narducci | Jul 17, 2022
Playoff time for NJ Senior American Legion baseball

Playoff time is upon us for New Jersey American Legion State Sr. Baseball. For ages 19-and under, the Senior American Legion Baseball Tournament begins this weekend with 16 teams competing in four district tournaments.

The top two teams from each of the four districts will compete for a berth in the state championships. The top eight teams will compete in the state tourney beginning July 22 at the Wood-Ridge Athletic Complex in Wood Ridge.

The New Jersey state champion will advance to the Mid Atlantic Regional Tournament Aug. 3-7 in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The winner of the eight-team regional tournament will qualify for the American Legion World Series in Shelby,North Carolina.

Allentown is the defending state American Legion champion, beating Brooklawn, 5-2 in last year’s championship game.

This year Brooklawn has two teams, but the Brooklawn Red squad is the one that will vie for a state championship.

Since the advent of the NJ State American Legion Tournament, Brooklawn has won the most titles with 30.

Brooklawn has also won four World Series titles in 1991, 2001, 2013 and 2014. The only other New Jersey team to win an American Legion World Series title is Trenton in 1948.

While there once were more than 400 Senior American Legion teams in the state, there are now just 35. The increase in travel ball teams has taken away from American Legion, but there is still great competition.

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Unlike travel ball, where teams may play in weekend tournament, American Legion baseball gives the youngsters the chance to play almost on a daily basis.

The teams in the seven-county South Jersey area play in the seven-team Camden County American Legion League, which began its regular season on June 13 and concluded on July 12.

Five teams from the Camden County League qualified for the district tournament.

Brooklawn Red, Washington Township and South Harrison are competing in District 4 which began on Saturday at West Deptford. Mullica Hill is competing in District 3 in Bordentown. Cherry Hill is in District 2 in Hamilton, Mercer County.

The top two teams in each four-team district will qualify for the eight-team state tournament.

All eyes will be on Brooklawn, which opened the districts with a 15-1 win over Washington Township. Broooklawn has a strong pitching staff led by Gloucester Catholic rising senior lefthander Tanner Nolan, a Rutgers commit, recent Camden Catholic graduate Eric Seick, recent Gateway graduates Gavin Alloway and Jack Norton, Paulsboro rising senior Doug King and Gloucester Catholic rising senior Gabriel Morgan, just to name a few.

Pitching is the key in any tournament and Brooklawn has the arms to certainly compete with the best in the state.
 


Author: Marc Narducci

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