Diaz’s hurling allows Broad Street Park to walk off with Petrowski’s 100th win

Jose Rodriguez Broad Street Park

By Rich Fisher

June 12: Broad Street Park earned a walk-off win and manager Mike Petrowski walked away with his 100th victory.

It all happened when courtesy runner Shane Hoffman barreled home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh to give BSP a 3-2 victory over visiting Ewing. Post 313 battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second inning.

“Sometimes you just gotta find a way to beat teams when you can’t hit,” winning pitcher Nick Diaz said.

The Hamilton West sophomore was one of the reasons BSP found a way, throwing five hitless, scoreless innings and allowing just one walk. And that single base on balls nearly scored in the fourth inning when Dakota Ditmars reached second on a fielder’s choice but remained there when Brien Cardona made a diving catch on a line drive to rob Ewing of a run and keep the score 2-1.

“He’s pretty good,” Diaz said. “That was a crazy play.”

Other than that, the hurler had no issues as he retired the game’s final 10 batters. He said he’s not a strikeout pitcher despite his six Ks.

“But the curveball was working and I was throwing the fastball pretty hard today,” he noted.

Diaz had only thrown one inning during the legion season and his last high school action was six weeks ago but he did not feel rusty.

“Not really,” he said. “I’d been working in the bullpen a lot and just staying ready.”

Petrowski was initially undecided about keeping Diaz on the roster, but the right-hander proved himself quickly.

“When I came in and was picking this team I kind of knew about him but he was on the outside looking in,” the coach said. “When I saw him in tryouts I said, ‘This guy’s got some stuff.’ When you get to districts and states you need guys with stuff. You can’t teach it, the way the ball comes out of his hand. He’s got a hard, sharp slider so he’ll help us down the road.”

Diaz gave his offense a chance to come back, which it did with runs in the third, fifth and seventh. Darius Land hit a two-out triple and scored on Justin Wiltsey’s single to make the score 2-1. Another two-out hit, this one by Jose Rodriguez, tied it in the fifth. It was his second hit of the night.

“Jose’s been cold, I kind of got on him a little bit,” Petrowski said. “I said, ‘You need to step up.’ This was probably the first time in two years he moved from leadoff to number two tonight, to light a fire under his butt.”

The winning run came when Connor Luckie hit a leadoff single in the seventh. Hoffman stole second, went to third on defensive interference and scored on a pitch went to the screen.

When it was over, Petrowski praised his team while discussing his milestone.

“I told them they buy into what we do,” he said. “We play a little different than a lot of teams and it takes a lot in the summer for teams to buy in. They’ve done that, so hats off to them.”

About The Author

Rich Fisher has been around the Hamilton Township sports scene for so long that he actually got Rich Giallella’s autograph when Giallella was still a player! Proud product of Hamilton YMCA and Lou Gehrig baseball leagues and former teammate of Jim Maher on a very average Barton & Cooney rec basketball team, Fish graduated from Nottingham Junior High and Steinert High school and has covered township sports since 1980. His goal in life is to convince Maria Prato that Jersey tomatoes are at least 100 times better than California tomatoes.