2024 New Jersey Baseball Group 2 State Tournament Preview

This semifinal matchup between Pascack Valley and Caldwell presents a classic clash of consistency against resilience. Pascack Valley's strong record and high scoring potential make them favorites, but Caldwell’s ability to win in crucial games poses a significant challenge. The outcome will likely hinge on the performances of the key players, with both teams looking to capitalize on their recent momentum to secure a spot in the finals.

The other side of the bracket faces Governor Livingston and Seneca against one another. This matchup features a Top 10 program taking on a scorching hot underdog. The Highlanders have been in the mix of the Top 20 rankings all season and are looking to prove worthy of those spots. Seneca's streak might not be long but it should not be taken lightly, as they took down a Top 20 team in the process. 

Pascack Valley vs Caldwell 

Pascack Valley Indians

  • Season Record: 22-8, 9-1 in Big North - National
  • Key Wins: Glen Rock, Bergen Catholic, Lakeland
  • Recent Performance: Pascack Valley enters the semifinals on a high note, with a recent convincing 4-0 win and demonstrating strong performances in the tournament rounds. PV also enters this matchup with heavy momentum, as they hold an 8-game win streak.
  • Key Players:
    • Trevor Kirkby (1B, IF): Leading the team with a .519 average and 16 RBIs, providing powerful offense and reliability.
    • JT Deriso (P): The junior is the ace of the staff, holding a 0.97 ERA with 67 K's.

Caldwell Chiefs

  • Season Record: 16-15, 4-8 in SEC - American
  • Key Wins: Passaic Valley, West Essex, Verona
  • Recent Performance: Caldwell has had a tumultuous path but managed to pull through with key victories, including a tight 7-6 win against Rutherford and a strategic 4-1 victory over Passaic Valley in the North Jersey Section 2 Group 2 Finals. 
  • Key Players:
    • Dan Paris: (IF, P): A standout performer with a .333 average and 21 RBIs, crucial in clutch situations.
    • Dom Velardi (Senior, C): With a .394 average 9 RBIs, and a team high 26 stolen bases, Dom has been a key figure in Caldwell’s lineup, coming up big in critical moments.


Governor Livingston vs Seneca 

Governor Livingston  Highlanders

  • Season Record:  26-5, 9-4 in UCC - Watchung
  • Key Wins: Westfield, Summit, Dayton
  • Recent Performance: The Highlanders have won 14 of their last 16 games, so it's safe to say momentum is on their side going into this matchup. Governor Livingston played two closes games in their run to the Group 2 semi-finals, winning both by one run. This proves that they have the experience and talent to close out games when it matters most.
  • Key Players: 
    • Anthony DeNora: (OF, P): A consistent bat with a .391 average and team leading 29 RBI's
    • Matthew Shaffer: (2B, SS): A speedy infielder that hits .350 and stole 24 bases on the season

Seneca Golden Eagles

  • Season Record: 18-10, 4-4 in Olympic - Patriot
  • Key Wins:  Haddon Heights, Rancocas Valley, Cherry Hill West
  • Recent Performance: Seneca ended the regular season on a strong note, taking down a top 20 program in Cherry Hill West. They carried that momentum into the postseason, coming out on top of every close game they've played so far. Look for the Golden Eagles to ride the hot hand to advance in this tournament.
  • Key Players: 
    • Alex Argabright: (1B,P): A power bat that bats .291 and has 3 HR on the season
    • Aydan Davis: (IF,P): Makes great contact and can drive in runs, batting .385 with 11 RBI.