BRIDGEWATER, NJ -- The Somerset Professional Baseball Series, a newly-created 12-game season featuring the Somerset Patriots and the New Jersey Blasters, will have Piscataway residents jumping at the opportunity to head to the ballpark, and not just for live baseball in itself.
Adam Tricarico, a Piscataway native and Piscataway High School graduate from 2014, is on the roster for the Patriots. Both the Patriots’ and Blasters’ rosters consist of local players from mostly New Jersey and a few combined from New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
“It's really special for me to be playing for the Patriots now,” Tricarico said. “My family and I always loved going to the games when I was a kid. Now being able to play for them is an incredible opportunity when considering I live so close to the stadium. Having the opportunity to play in front of family and friends means a lot to me.”
After his time was up at PHS, Tricarico headed to Canisius College on scholarship where he played baseball. Two years in, he transferred to Rutgers-Newark. Last summer, he played professionally for the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds of the Empire Pro Baseball League up in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
In 30 games for the Thunderbirds, Tricarico had 23 hits in 70 at-bats with 12 runs scored, three home runs, 17 RBI, seven stolen bases, and 10 walks. Plattsburgh won the Empire League Championship in 2019.
One of Tricarico’s opponents on the Blasters, Zach Lipshitz, informed him of the tryout for the Patriots last month and Tricarico got in contact of the Patriots’ Director of Baseball Operations, Jon Hunton, who is actually managing the Blasters, and went through a private workout and the open tryout.
Since making the team, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder has been gearing up for action on the diamond in front of fans.
“We've been having some scrimmages during practice, but it doesn't compare to being under the lights and playing for the fans,” Tricarico said. “The energy will be high and it should be a lot of fun for everybody.”
The Somerset Professional Baseball Series will run from July 17-August 22 at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater. Games will go on at 7:05 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Limited tickets are available and Somerset will follow the guidelines and safety protocols regarding COVID-19 from Gov. Phil Murphy and the CDC. Players will be tested often and fans must wear masks and distance themselves from one another.
“A 12-game season sounds a bit crazy since I've never played a season with that few games. However, I don't expect anything to change. I expect all of us to go out, compete, and provide the community a great way to forget about what's going on around the world for a few hours,” Tricarico said. “Hopefully we can put on a good show and give the fans what they want to see.”
Though Tricarico and the two teams have to wait a couple of days until first pitch, they are all itching to get out there.
“I am so ready to play ball again,” Tricarico said. “I wish opening night was tomorrow. For a moment, I thought I'd never play ball again and now that we are a few days away from opening night I couldn't be more excited. Time away from the game like that makes you really appreciate the game and to not take anything for granted. I'm going to go out there and enjoy every moment and play hard. I can't wait.”
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway.
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