Shutout and steal: Those were the words of the day on Saturday as Verona High School baseball defeated Columbia High School 1-0 in the first round of the Greater Newark Tournament.
Verona came into the 87th annual edition of the GNT as the #9 seed to Columbia’s #8. But when the game was shifted to Doc Goeltz Field early yesterday afternoon, the Cougars’ momentum seems to have shifted too.
Pierce Coppola was the starting pitcher for Verona and, as with the game against Caldwell on April 29, he gave almost no ground to his opponents. Coppola struck out 10 Columbia batters, and allowed just two hits and a walk.
But the game was deadlocked 0-0 until the top of the eighth, when Jake Milmoe got a base hit. David Motley was put in as runner–and he ran for all he was worth. Motley first stole second feet first, then made his way around and launched a successful dive for home.
As with the Caldwell game, Pierce Coppola ran up against high school baseball’s pitch count and had to cede the mound to Nick Coppola. The ending for Columbia was the same.
The Hillbillies will face #1 seed Nutley in Nutley for the next round of the GNT on Thursday, May 9. Before that happens, however, Verona will travel to MKA on Monday and host Newark Tech on Wednesday. Verona is now 11-5 on the season and 6-3 in league.
Photos copyright Kathleen Seubert. Used by permission.