BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Berkeley Heights/Mountainside White Sox, a summer offshoot of the Gov. Livingston High School baseball team, defeated Oratory Prep, 8-5, Tuesday night in the opening game of the statewide Last Dance Tournament at Snyder Avenue Field. (Coverage to follow.)
Before the game, Dwight Gooden threw out the ceremonial first pitch to restart the local baseball season after the entire spring sports season had been canceled as a result of the pandemic. Gooden was the 1984 National League Rookie of the Year with the New York Mets, won the 1985 Cy Young Award with the Mets, pitched a no-hitter for the New York Yankees in 1996 and won World Series rings with the Mets in 1986 and the Yankees in 1996 and 2000.
Gooden told the players from Berkeley Heights and Mountainside before the game, "You need to always give your best effort, because you never know who might be in the stands watching you."
The victory sets up a matchup between the White Sox and Summit in the second day of pool play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Snyder Avenue Field. Summit defeated New Providence, 4-2, on Tuesday.
If Berkeley Heights/Mountainside wins on Wednesday, the team would play either Scotch Plains-Fanwood or Westfield Thursday for the chance to move on to the bracket play portion of the tournament that will begin next week.