Heartbreaking Loss For Baseball

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The Hillbillies baseball team got an outstanding game from junior right-hander Dean DeNicola and played perfect defense, but it was to no avail. Nutley eked out a 1-0 victory Friday afternoon thanks to a perfectly placed bunt in a first-round game of the Greater Newark Tournament at Nutley’s home field.

DeNicola allowed five hits in six innings – and not more than a single hit in any inning – while striking out four Nutley hitters. Nutley entered the game as the No. 5 seed in the tournament, and Verona was seeded No. 12.

Offensively, however, Verona couldn’t put together much against Nutley ace Kevin Garcia, who struck out 11 Hillbillies and allowed five hits. He did not walk a batter. Junior Luke Sniatkowski went 2-3 in the game with two singles, including a lead-off single to start the seventh inning, but Garcia quickly worked out of trouble with a strikeout and fielder’s choice.

Verona senior catcher Chris Ohlweiler, senior third baseman Kris Jones and DeNicola each singled in a fast-paced game that was completed in less than two hours. (Only two runners reached third base in the contest, and one came around to score the game’s single run on the bunt.)

Nutley (10-6) scored the game’s only run in the fourth inning. With runners on first and third base and two outs, Nick Liaci laid down a perfect bunt to plate the winning run for Nutley, which advances in the GNT to play in the quarterfinal round next week.

Verona gets back to work at home Monday afternoon against Newark Academy in a Super Essex Conference game. The Hillbillies also are scheduled to play Cedar Grove at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, at Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State.

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