WESTFIELD, NJ — No one expects a senior in his first full year of varsity baseball to lead a top 20-ranked team in the state in hits. Meet Westfield second basemen Bobby Abbott.

Abbott, this week’s Ron Banksy and Associates Athlete of the Week, continued the best season of his career by going 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored in a 10-3 win for the Blue Devils over Franklin in the first round of the state tournament last Monday. The senior second basemen, who played mainly for JV last year, has a team-leading 32 hits and a .432 batting average on the current season for the 21-5 Westfield varsity boys baseball team.

“Bob is the most improved player from last year to this year by far,” said senior captain and fellow middle-infielder Chris Rinaldi. “He goes all-out every play and never quits. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

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Abbott credits his success this season to his efforts during the off-season.

“I decided there was nothing I loved more than baseball,” Abbott said. “In the summer I spend just about every waking moment thinking about, playing, practicing and working for baseball. It is a game where I feel the most at home and there's nothing that I'd rather be doing.”

For the Blue Devils, Abbott’s devotion to the game has paid off. Breaking the school record this season with 18 straight wins, the team is currently ranked No. 12 in the state and holds a No. 2 seed in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 Baseball tournament. They will take on Woodbridge in the next round Thursday at Bob Brewster Sr. Memorial Field.

“It has been a very successful season. We've got a great group of guys on the team and I've had a lot of fun playing,” Abbott said. “It's very easy to have success when you're having fun, and I think that has played a large part in the season I've had.”

After this season, Abbott will continue his playing career for the Division 3 Franklin & Marshall Diplomats.

Known as his common motto around the dugout, according to his teammates, all that Abbot had left to say is this: “I love baseball.”  

Mack Liederman is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.

The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located on the South Avenue Circle in Westfield, the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.