The New Providence Reds were defeated by the Montclair Bulldogs in the third round of the New Jersey Amateur Baseball League Playoffs on August 5th by a score of 3-1 to officially end their playoff run for the 2017 season. The Reds finished the regular season at 9-9 continuing their streak of finishing .500 or better dating back to twelve seasons ago when they started as the Whitehouse Reds.
Of the Reds nine regular season losses, eight were by 1 or 2 runs. In the playoff tilt at Montclair, the game was scoreless into the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bulldogs got in the board. The Reds came right back in the 6th to tie it up on an Ariel Melendez RBI single. The Bulldogs would score two in the bottom of the 6th to hold on to defeat the Reds and advance.
League Cy Young winner Matt Pustay got the win for the Bulldogs while Scott Horowitz turned in another solid start for the Reds despite taking the loss. Reds pitcher Harry Cohen pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for the Reds without allowing a run. Cohen will be entering his junior year as a pitcher on the Drew University Baseball Team in Madison.
Despite the playoff elimination the Reds still had plenty of highlights throughout the Summer.
Horowitz capped off another successful season on the mound, finishing with a record of 5-1 with a 1.19 ERA, while striking out 73 in 53 innings of work. His quest for a third straight Cy Young Award came up a little short, as he finished 2nd in the league voting.
At the plate for the Reds, Joe Randazzo finished tied for 7th in the league with 20 hits, 4th with 7 doubles and 5th with 29 total bases. Tom Pavero finished tied for 2nd in the league with 14 runs scored and 3rd with 11 stolen bases. Melendez finished 7th in the league with twelve RBI while Nick Sommo finished with 11 RBI good for 8th in the league. Melendez finished with career highs in RBI, hits (17) and batting average (.333).
The Reds were again managed this season by Matt Sommo and Sal Nesto, both of New Providence and both former coaches on the college level. Derek Nesto and Connor Fox assisted as the team batboys.
This season, the Reds were once again sponsored by Orangetheory Fitness and Sport Clips, both in the Village Shopping Center in New Providence.
Joining the sponsorship team in 2017 were Taylor Rental who are in located in Berkeley Heights and the Chimney Rock Inn, with locations in Gillette and Bound Brook.
The Reds are a part of the New Jersey Amateur Baseball League (NJABL) and were the Metal Division Champions in 2013 and 2014 and the Intermediate Wood Champions in 2016. For more information on the New Providence Reds, visit their new website and "like" their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @NewProvReds. For more information on the NJABL, visit Newjerseyabl.com.