Brooklawn Post 72 heads to regionals after state title win

by Marc Narducci | Jul 31, 2023
Brooklawn Post 72 heads to regionals after state title win
Brooklawn Post 72’s Sr. American Legion baseball team is back in a familiar position – contending for a regional and possible World Series title.

Last week Brooklawn won its 31st New Jersey American Legion state title with a 5-0 win over Hamilton Post 31 at the Wood-Ridge Athletic Complex, the team’s first state title since 2019. There was no American Legion tournament in 2020 due to COVID, and Brooklawn had previously lost the last two state titles to Allentown. 

Since the American Legion began conducting state tournaments in 1928, Brooklawn has won 31 state and four World Series titles, with the most recent national championship being in 2014.
Brooklawn now advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Morgantown, West Virginia. The winner of this regional will earn a spot in the American Legion World Series which will be held Aug. 10-15 in Shelby, North Carolina.

Brooklawn will begin their regional championship on Wednesday against Pennsylvania state tournament’s runner-up, Paxton, who previously lost 12-10 against Quakertown. That game will be at 1 p.m. 

Brooklawn benefited greatly from the play of left-handed pitcher Tanner Nolan, a recent graduate from Gloucester Catholic. 

After pitching the Rams to the NJSIAA state Non-Public B title and then pitching in the Carpenter Cup in late June, Nolan took some time off.

He returned to the mound during the NJ state tournament. In his second summer appearance  for Brooklawn, Nolan pitched to win in the state championship game with five shutout innings, striking out four and walking none. 

Brooklawn’s head coach and Nolan’s former Gloucester Catholic coach, Dennis Barth, said that he entered the championship game wanting to limit Nolan to 60 pitches. 

He ended up throwing 61 pitches and as regionals begin, he will have his pitch count increased. 

Nolan, who is headed to Crowder College, a junior college in Missouri, has top of the rotation stuff, but he’s not the only one. 

In the state title game, left-hander Graham Adams, a recent graduate of Rancocas Valley, pitched the final two shutout innings.

The offense is led by catcher Damon Suriani, a recent graduate of Gloucester Catholic, who will play Division II at Barton College, and third baseman Nick Spaventa, a recent GCIT graduate, who will play at Penn.

Designated hitter Tyler Bunting, a recent Gloucester Catholic grad who will play at Wilmington University, was named the MVP of the NJ American Legion Tournament.

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On another local note – there were two other teams from the seven-county South Jersey area that were among the eight teams to advance to the state tournament, Bordentown Post 26 and Cherry Hill Post 372. 

Bordentown lost its first game, 2-1 to Montgomery Superior, then stayed alive by winning, 9-3 over Lawrence Post 414 before being eliminated with an 8-4 loss to Montgomery Superior.
Cherry Hill had the misfortune of opening with Brooklawn, losing that game, 4-1. After a 15-5 win over Montgomery Superior Red, Cherry Hill was eventually eliminated in a 5-4 loss to Whitehouse Post 284.

Author: Marc Narducci


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