The Verona High School baseball team soundly defeated Becton High School, 7-0, in the opening round of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 playoffs.
Senior Max Vasile went seven innings, pitching a four-hit shutout that saw him striking out five batters with just one walk. Tom DeNicola had his best game this season, going 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, three runs and two RBI. Luke Weiss was also 3-for-3, with two RBI, a run and a long homer that you can watch below. Mike Cifaretto, who has been strong on the mound for Verona in many games this season, and catcher PJ Lombardi both were 2-for-3.
From here, the playoffs get interesting. Verona, which went into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, takes on No. 5 Cedar Grove at home on Doc Goeltz Field on Thursday, May 22. Verona beat Cedar Grove 8-1 on April 24, and 7-2 on May 6, but the Panthers played well in the Greater Essex Tournament before falling to Seton Hall Prep in the finals. And there’s already been one upset in the North 1, Group 1 brackets already: No. 16 Wallington defeated No. 1 Wood-Ridge 2-1 on Monday. Thurday’s game begins at 4 p.m.