Nearly four months after its last practice, the Bloomfield High baseball team was finally reunited with its coach, Mike Policastro, on July 14, at the 'Last Dance' high school baseball tournament.
The Bengals finished 1-2 in the three-day event, dropping the first two games to Montclair Kimberley and Kushner Academy, before defeating Belleville, 7-2, on July 16.
Policastro was pleased with his team's overall performance.
"It was just great to see them again," said the coach, noting that beyond virtual meetings, on a lap top, he hadn't seen the team since mid-March, when the NJSIAA shut down the spring sports season. "We had a good time, being back on the field and playing. That's what the Last Dance was all about, getting the kids out there and coaching them again."
Policastro noted his team was rusty in some instances. While Policastro was unable to coach them, leading up to the Last Dance, the team did get some practice time in with out-of-district supervision.
"Some of the mistakes we made were early-season ones," said Policastro. "But again, it was great to be out there. Hitting fungos to the kids was challenging. I was a little sore, having not done that in a few months."
Bloomfield's first game, against Montclair Kimberley, was played in Bloomfield, on July 14. The next two contests were contested in Jersey City, on July 15 and 16.
Christian Parisi pitched a tremendous game in the win over Belleville, striking out six in five innings of work. Vin Torrisi closed out the game with an impressive knuckleball to quell a Belleville rally in the seventh inning. Torrisi has committed to playing baseball at William Paterson, starting this fall.
After the final game, Policastro admitted it was tough to wrap up a very difficult season.
"Very tough," he said. "It's always emotional at the end of a season, but obviously this year was way different. I wish we had a chance to had a regular season. I would have liked to see how well we could have done. But I'm very happy to have had the chance to coach them again, especially the seniors."
Policastro was also pleased with the turnout of youngsters for his annual baseball camp, for students in grades 2-8.
"We had 42 kids last week, we're expecting over 50 for this week and the numbers look good for the following week," said Policastro. "It's something I've been doing since I was named head coach here. It's really enjoyable. I'm happy about the enthusiasm."