Coming soon: Essex Player of the Year, Essex Pitcher of the Year; Essex Team of the Year, Essex Game of the Year..
In a season with some stud-like performances, Sam Corio’s overall game was fantastic for Bloomfield.
The senior, who will play at Kean University, this fall, was a lock down defensive player in centerfield. On occasion, she was also called on to pitch, and her work at the plate resulted in over 100 career hits.
Making diving catches in centerfield became second nature for Corio. Watching her throw out would-be base runners attempting an extra bag, usually at third base, or at home plate, seemed almost routine.
But it was her play, on the night of May 12, which cinched the Stud award for the kid I called ‘Pleasant Colony‘.
In a game against Newark Academy, at The Pond, in Bloomfield, Corio went back on what appeared to be a home run, and at the centerfield fence, jumped, and caught a ball that was clearly a few feet over the wall.
“Believe it or not, we actually practiced that a day earlier,” recalled Bloomfield coach Bob Mayer. “That was probably the best catch, in the outfield, I’ve ever seen. Incredible.”
Corio enjoyed the praise, but was pretty ho-hum about the play.
“I had a good jump on it,” the affable Corio said. “When I got to the fence, I could see I had a chance, but had to time the jump right.”
The play helped Bloomfield win a thriller on its Senior Night, and to make it even better, Corio scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Bengals rallied to win, 7-6. Bloomfield was leading, 5-2, in the top of the seventh, before Newark Academy rallied to take a 6-5 lead.
Corio’s arm strength was tremendous. I remember being at a Bloomfield-Livingston game early in the season, at The Pond. Livingston had a runner on first and a clean single meant the runner should easily get to third. Corio scooped up the ball and threw a laser to third. Livingston coach Jason Daily, who figured his player would easily make it to third, had to implore the runner to slide hard. The player beat the throw, but you could actually hear the ball sizzling to the bag.
In Corio’s last high school game, against Kearny, in the state tournament, she threw out a base runner at the plate, from deep centerfield.
After the game, a few Kearny fans took a moment to say to her ‘are you the centerfielder?’ And when she said yes, the response was along the lines of ‘wow, you’re a great player.’
The stats are impressive. Corio hit .438, with four homers, 21 RBI and 35 hits. She had a .516 on-base percentage, five doubles and two triples. She was 11-for-13 in stolen bases and made just two errors all season.
In the circle, Corio was 6-3, with a 3.28 ERA, striking out 45 in 60 innings.
Corio will continue her education at Kean University this fall, where she aspires to be a teacher. And she’ll also play softball in a very good conference. Here’s hoping for continued success, Pleasant Colony.