BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bloomfield Bengals senior Chris Veloz stole home plate on a hit from his teammate Danny Carter, breaking a tie with the Nutley Raiders en route to a 3-2 Monday night victory.
The game-winning play was preceded by a pop fly, which the Raiders failed to catch.
“Nutley lost the game when Danny popped up and nobody caught the ball,” Bengals Head Baseball Coach Mike Policastro said in a post-game interview.
The coach knew the chances of fitting in another run were high, when there were two outs and Carter was at bat next.
“He’s been like a professional hitter up there. He’s now hit 20-for-29, so that’s pretty ridiculous,” Policastro told TAPinto Bloomfield.
After three scoreless innings, runs were scored by Seth Antonicello and Vinny Russo of Nutley and Carter and Elliot Urgent of the Bengals to tie the game.
Now at (5-10, 2-8 SEC) Policastro is relieved that the Bengals still have a shot as the 16th seed in the NJSIAA Tournament.
“The kids are fighting so hard, but it comes to a point where you’re scratching your head saying, ‘what else can I possibly do to get a W for them’” the coach explained. “That was a much needed win.”
Bengals pitcher Dylan Piacenza recorded three strikeouts before Jamir Ramos took over the mound and struck out another four Raiders.
“Dylan battled so hard for us and he kept us in the game,” Policastro told TAPinto Bloomfield. “Then Jamir came in from short stop and started popping strike after strike.”
For the Raiders, Josh O’Neill dominated the game with six strikeouts before Marty Higgins closed the game with one.
Policastro added that it was ecstatic to beat the rival after dropping their April 10 game to them by two runs.
“We were able to hold a team in check that we lost 4-2 to earlier this season,” the coach said. “We seem to always have great battles with them.”
The Bengals will host the (8-6, 2-3 NWJAC) Morris Knolls Golden Eagles today. The two teams will meet at Bloomfield Middle School at 4 PM.