1999 Baseball Team

1999 Baseball Team

The 1999 Baseball Team was Glen Rock High School’s most successful baseball team.

The 1999 Baseball Team won the Group 1, New Jersey State Championship and was declared the #1 Groups 1 & 2 Team in Bergen County (by The Bergen Record). That triumph was the culmination of a series of extremely successful baseball teams at Glen Rock High School.

With Hall of Fame Inductee Tom Wilson returning for his second stint as Head Coach, the 1996 Team won the B-PSL King Championship and then reached the Group 2, Sectional Semifinal.

In the following season, with Chris, Jon and several other gifted players returning, the 1997 Team had one of the most successful seasons in school history. After winning the B-PSL Carpenter Championship, the Panthers defeated Emerson 4-3 in extra innings and then defeated Secaucus 6-4 to win the Group 1, Sectional Championship. Glen Rock then defeated North Warren 10-7 to win the Group 1, North Jersey Championship before unfortunately losing to defending champion Riverside in the Group 1, State Championship game. The team’s final record was 20-7.

Despite the graduation of the leaders of the 1997 Team, the 1998 Team had an equally successful season. Benefiting from a strong group of athletes, the team defeated Hopatcong by a score of 8-2 to win the Group 2, Sectional Championship and then defeated Governor Livingstone by a score of 8-7 to win the Group 2, North Jersey Championship. Unfortunately, Glen Rock lost to Audubon by a score of 7-6 in the Group 2, State Championship game. The team’s final record was 21-7.

Having been Group, State Runner-Ups in 1997 and 1998, Glen Rock’s 1999 Baseball Team was more than eager to produce a different ending to its season. With Hall of Fame Inductee Matt Percelli pitching a no hitter and the entire team displaying its hitting prowess, it defeated Emerson by a score of 12-1 to win the Group 1, Sectional Championship. With Matt again on the mound, it then defeated Roselle Park by 13-2 to win the Group 1, North Jersey Championship.

After having won the school’s third consecutive Group North Jersey Championship, Glen Rock faced Riverside in the Group 1, State Championship game (the school that had defeated Glen Rock in the 1997 State Championship game). Matt started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the second inning followed by Joe Trobunella’s walk and Steve Boscia’s double producing another run. In the fourth inning, Glen Rock increased its lead to 3-0 when Brian Hirschberg’s single drove in Jerry Dorost, However, Riverside scored single runs in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings (before Matt ended each inning with two of his ultimate career high 14 strikeouts). Thus, the game entered the bottom of the seventh inning with Glen Rock holding a slim lead of 3-2. After Matt got Riverside’s lead batter out, its next batter singled. Matt then delivered a strike out but Riverside’s following batter singled – giving it runners on first and third with two outs. Adding to the moment, Riverside’s next batter was far and away its best hitter — and he had previously singled twice and walked once. Coach Wilson instructed Matt to avoid giving him a pitch to hit. Then, on Matt’s first pitch,  all of a sudden, the Riverside runner on first base attempted to steal second base – in an effort to put a second (and therefore winning) runner in scoring position.

Glen Rock’s catcher, Brian Hirschberg, caught Matt’s outside pitch and fired a one bouncer to second baseman Brent Ferguson who grabbed the ball and tagged the runner to end the game – and make Glen Rock the 1999 State Champions with a season ending record of 22-7.

At the end of the season, Matt was named to the Second Team, All-County and to the New Jersey Section 1 All Star Team. Juniors Grant Adams (outfield) and Brian Hirschberg (catcher) were named to the Third Team, All-County. Junior Steve Boscia (pitcher) received Honorable Mention. Tom Wilson was named All-Suburban Coach of the Year (by The Ridgewood News).

Head Coach Tommy Wilson

Assistant Coach Jim Fink

Grant Adams

Steve Boscia

Jerry Dorost 

Brent Ferguson

Glen Giordano         

JJ Hernandez          

Brian Hirschberg 

Dan Kraut    

Jon Lees       

Owen Miehe

Jeff Mitchell  

Eric Morris    

Kevin Onorato         

Gerry Pascarelli      

Matt Percelli 

Jay Rose      

Kirk Thorne

Joe Trobunella