WARREN, NJ - Hugs, tears, and the crowd roared. Senior Anthony Marino started as catcher and in the second inning, he got a hit. Jack Stefurak and Dan Roth each went 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run, Eric Plesko went 2-for-3 with one double and two runs, and Matt Mastrobattista went 2-for-4 with a run to lead Watchung Hills over Arthur L. Johnson on Senior Day, Saturday, 8-3. Senior pitcher Brian Reiss also got a hit.
Earlier this school year, Marino was diagnosed with cancer and students rallied to support him with Watchung Hills teams dedicating their seasons to him. On February 19, Marino tweeted,"Officially done with all treatments! Thank you all for your love and support!#MarinoStrong"
Tyler Lombardo allowed two earned runs on five hits, four walks and struck out two for Watchung Hills.
And grinning from ear to ear, senior Matt Mastobattista closed out the game, pitching for the first time since Little League. On October 19, Mastrobattista tweeted a photo of his shaved head with Marino's #9,"For my bro @anthonymarino09 best friend I could ask for on and off the field #9 #marinostrong"
The victory was the 50th career win for Head coach Joe Tremarco. Tremarco presented a game ball to Marino after the game.
Senior softball player Alyssa Murray designed and sold the t-shirts “Strike Out for Anthony” with profits donated to the Family Reach Organization, which helps families of pediatric cancer patients pay for medical bills, utilities, and other needs.
And this spring, Anthony's sister Katie Marino became only the 18th player in state history to achieve 1000 strike outs in her high school career playing for Pingry. She'll soon be playing for the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame. A former Warren Middle School stand out, she helped lead Pingry's Softball Team to become the first time State Prep B champs.
Watchung Hills is now 22-4 on the season and will face Plainfield on Monday in the first round of the state tournament.
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