BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- The sounds of 'play ball' will be welcomed by many New Jersey high school baseball players, beginning on July 14.
Among the teams that will compete in the 'Last Dance' tournament will be Bloomfield High, and head coach Mike Policastro couldn't be happier.
"I'm just glad these kids will get a chance to play," said Policastro, referring, of course, to the team not competing this past spring. "We're guaranteed three games, and maybe more, depending on how we do in that first round."
The Last Dance Tournament was put together by a conglomerate of baseball coaches throughout the state, who wanted to see the players get a chance to compete after missing the spring campaign. There are approximately 222 teams playing, in pool play, state wide.
Bloomfield will be part of the West Orange-Montclair regional, and will begin play on July 14, in Montclair, against Montclair Kimberley Academy. The other two teams in the bracket are Montclair High and Kushner Academy. Bloomfield is seeded second while Montclair gained the top seed. Each team is assured of playing three games, with one game each on July 14, 15 and 16.
In the other half of the pool play, Seton Hall Prep, Passac Valley, West Orange and Belleville will compete, with those games at West Orange High, also from July 14-16.
"You're guaranteed three games, that first weekend," said Policastro. "If you win the bracket, you move on to the next round, the following weekend. It would be great to keep playing, but right now, I just want to see the guys get on the field, and play. They'll be practicing (beginning on June 28), and then I can meet up with them when it's time to play the first game."
Policastro explained that if a team keeps winning, it keeps playing, into an ultimate championship round, probably in early August.
Bloomfield's roster features 23 players, with eight seniors, eight juniors, five sophomores and a pair of freshmen. The seniors are Evan Carr, Joseph Czerepusko, Brandon Estelle, Jordan Mosley, Hilbert Nina Deleon, Christian Parisi, Jason Torres and Vincent Torrisi.
The juniors include Tyler Batori, Jordan Daniels, Andre Dean, Dillon Jennings, Evan Kaplan, Christopher Kopacz, Jacob Munoz and Brandon Wojak.
The sophomores are Charles Abplanalp, Liam Hempstead, Logan Kot, Jackson Laub and Nicholas Ong. The freshman players are Christopher Sanchez and Keithdem Perez.