South Plainfield captures First State Title with 8-4 victory over Northern Burlington

A dreamlike run through the state playoffs finally culminated in a dream finish for the South Plainfield High School varsity baseball team, which defeated the Greyhounds of Northern Burlington by a score of 8-4 on Saturday afternoon at Toms River North High School to capture the school's first ever NJSIAA Group 3 championship.

The Tigers, who defeated Warren Hills, Ferris of Jersey City, Roxbury, Cranford and Mount Olive in the state playoffs to advance to the title game, knew they would be in for a tough task when Greyhound ace Ryan Shinn was announced as the starting pitcher for the final. Shinn entered the contest with a record of 9-0.

But the South Plainfield strategy remained the same as it had all season. The Tigers went station to station in the top of the first inning and manufactured the first run of the game. Designated hitter Kyle Dickerson (who reached base in all four of his at-bats) was hit in the shin. Team captain LJ Scarpitto moved the runner over with a sacrifice bunt. With one out, third baseman Chris Graves roped an RBI single to left center, scoring Dickerson.


By: Brian Erhardt (