Emotions have been running high in Suffern, N.Y. the past couple of weeks. The Suffern High baseball team recently suffered a tragic loss when two players, Vincent Crotty and Christopher Konkowski, were killed in a car accident. They were honored before a recent game in a touching ceremony that included the players' fathers throwing out the first pitch and former Yankee Bernie Williams escorting the families onto the field. Righthander Robbie Aviles started that game and pitched well, leading his team to victory. Just a few days later, he rose to the occasion again and twirled a perfect game.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Aviles said. "My curveball was feeling pretty good tonight. This whole season is dedicated to those two kids. Every game we play is 100 percent for them. It's really brought our team together as a family."
Aviles is a big righthander with three pitches that he can command. He struck out 11 over the seven innings, looking as sharp as ever as he threw just 68 pitches, 47 for strikes.
"That was the easiest game I've ever coached," head coach Ron Gamma said. "He probably had the best command of his pitches I've seen in four years. He was absolutely terrific."
Aviles and Gamma both mentioned how tough the recent weeks have been but have seen an incredible response from the community and opponents. Before Aviles through the perfect game, Nanuet (N.Y.) High players presented bouquets of flowers to the families that lost their sons. Other teams have painted the players' numbers on the sidelines and worn arm bands to commemorate them.
"As a group they're just so motivated," Gamma added. "Every team we've played has been unbelievable."
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