West Essex Tournament innings

West Essex and Morris Knolls Gear Up for Powerful Group 3 Final

West Essex will travel to Morris Knolls on Monday afternoon to try and dethrone the reigning Group 3 Champs. The Knights have not won a sectional title in 13 years when they ran the table back in 2011. First pitch is slated for 4 pm as all eyes will be focused on the matchup.

West Essex

The Knights enter the final after beating Ramapo in a 15-12 slugfest on Friday. West Essex has won seven games in a row, and their offense has been a major factor during the stretch. The offense was fully displayed against Ramapo; the team totaled 15 runs on 15 hits. The game was put away after the Knights drove in a total of 11 runs in the last two innings of the game. 

The West Essex offense is led by Joe Panzarino, who leads the team with 28 RBIs on the year, and Jake Epstein, leading the team with a .395 batting average. The Knights will send their ace Chris Murano coming in at 6-1 on the year with an ERA sitting at 1.78 to lead the team. Murano has electric stuff, striking out 68 batters thus far, and will need to be on his game to get past the Golden Eagles.

selective focus photography of white baseball balls on ground

                Photo by Mike Bowman

Morris Knolls

Morris Knolls has been firing on all cylinders during the state playoffs, putting together a record-setting season in the NJAC. The lineup does not have a weakness in it, with all starters batting above .300, and three of them (Luke Dickerson, Dylan Fitzsimmons, and Joe O’Toole) have averages north of .400. 


As a team this year, Knolls has a combined .356 batting average but has also hit a whopping 32 home runs on the year. A big part of that has been the outstanding year Luke Dickerson has had, belting 17 long balls, putting him just one home run shy of tying the state record. The Golden Eagles are lined up to have their top pitchers ready to go against West Essex. James Khan should be the one to take the ball looking for this third win in the state playoffs. The Senior hurler has only allowed three hits and one earned run in 11 innings leading into Monday’s matchup.

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Bridgewater Panthers County Tournament Final

                Photo by Mick Haupt 

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