Why Amateur Sports matter in small towns
(Facebook: New Providence Reds)
On Saturday, August 27, I was witness to an incredible baseball game. After nine innings, the score was tied at 0-0, and the heart of the New Providence Reds lineup was up to bat. While these players were feared hitters, the whole team had struggled against pitcher Mike Brizzolara of the North Jersey Yellow Jackets. Lead off hitter Billy Holden singled, and after short stop Matthew Nesto flew out, third baseman Tom Pavero singled and Holden scored from second on a pitcher’s error. Outfielder Nick Sommo followed with a double to bring in Pavero, and catcher Pat Rooney knocked in a hit to score Sommo. With a three run cushion, Reds pitcher Scott Horowitz would surrender a run before retiring the remaining hitters, and Horowitz celebrated with his teammates after an incredible ten inning, 133 pitch, 3-1 win. The scrappy, gritty squad had just beaten the number one ranked team in the Intermediate “Wood” League of the New Jersey Amateur Baseball League, to capture their third title in four years and first in this level of play. Players, fans, and family rushed the field to celebrate the achievement.