The team began by losing to Matawan by a lopsided 20-0 score, Bayonne Ripken’s worst loss in its 17-year history. Winning their fourth game still qualified them to continue, and they won the District Tournament with three straight wins.
“I felt if we could just get that first win to qualify for the playoffs, we could do something,” said manager Tony Klich. “Once we did, I believed we could pull off the impossible.”
They then went undefeated in the State Tournament to capture the 2014 Northern New Jersey State Championship.
Bayonne completed the States in grand style when Julian Gonzalez broke a 3-3 tie with Edison in the bottom of the 6th inning with a towering grand slam to give Bayonne the victory on its own turf, at The Yard at Haddad Stadium, and net them a berth in the Cal Ripken 11U Regionals, which begin this week in Delaware.
This was Bayonne’s fourth state championship.