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Baseball returns to New Jersey in form of ‘Last Dance’ high school tournament

High school baseball is back in action for the next three weeks as more than 200 teams participate in the statewide “Last Dance” tournament.

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2020, 1:33 AM

Updated 1,412 days ago

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High school baseball is back in action for the next three weeks as more than 200 teams participate in the statewide “Last Dance” tournament.
The event features nearly 2,500 high school baseball players from around New Jersey.
“We waited four years for our senior season, so this being the next best thing is pretty awesome,” says Middletown South senior Anthony Esposito. “All the teams are coming together and playing. It’s great.”
All 222 teams competing in the tournament are guaranteed to play three games in a pool play.
The tournament was organized by St. Joe’s Metuchen Athletic Director Mike Murray. It is not a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned event. But new guidelines from the state made it possible.
“I never thought it would happen. I’m not going to lie, because it’s a lot of work and a lot of credit needs to go to the guys who ran this, because it’s a great thing they did for the kids,” says coach Dean Esposito
Safety will be the top priority and every host site has an athletic trainer who will take players’ temperatures and supply PPE. Spectators will be asked to maintain social distance.
The players say that they are just happy to be back on the field.
“A sense of normalcy, just something to smile about, and happiness all around,” says Shore Regional Senior Sam Martucci. “It just builds a bigger and better community.”
After pool play concludes this week, 32 teams will advance to a single-elimination bracket. The tournament runs through July 31 when one champion will be crowned at Arm and Hammer Park in Trenton.


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