His team had just lost an epic contest to Indian Hills in a battle of unbeaten teams in the Bergen County championship game.
With her team trailing, 4-3, Maddie Levine of Indian Hills hit a two-strike, two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning as Indian Hills defeated Immaculate Heart Academy, 5-4, in front of a huge crowd in Saddle Brook.
Head coach Anthony Larezza’s IHA team dealt with its first loss after 30 wins with class, knowing it was within a pitch of beating a 31-0 team for another county title.
It was a game in which Indian Hills (32-0) had built early leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before IHA would rally with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth as Daniella Ibarra hit what appeared to be the clutchest of hits, a two-out, two-run single that put IHA ahead for the first time in the game, 4-3.
“This one is on me,” Larezza said afterward. “I call the pitches. I called for a curve ball and (Levine) hit it. I should have called for the screw ball. I take full responsibility.
“Our kids played great. I told them not to get down. We’ve got a game on Monday (at home, against Lyndhurst, in an independent game) and then we play on Tuesday, at Seton Hall (against Mount St. Dominic for the North, Non-Public A title). We know what it will take to get back to Toms River (for the Non-Public A championship on June 7).
“That’s our focus, and these kids will be fine.”
Just two hours after a one-run game between two teams that were a combined 61-0, came down to one pitch, Larezza was on twitter.
“We will be home to Lyndhurst on Monday, 4 p.m.,” the tweet read.
Another words, back to work.