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With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high school sports season suspended, seniors who play spring sports are missing out on their final athletic opportunities. With that in mind, each week during the spring the Shore Sports Network will feature a senior athlete who would normally be making headlines on the field, diamond, track, golf course, tennis court or volleyball court. Each athlete will receive a $25 Jersey Mike’s gift card as the iconic Jersey Shore business continues its support of Shore Conference athletics.

SSN Senior Spotlight, Point Boro's Nick Guzzi
Point Boro's Nick Guzzi. (Photo by Paula Lopez. Artwork by Steve Meyer/Townsquare Media NJ).

Athlete: Nick Guzzi

School: Point Boro

Spring sport: Baseball

Position: Pitcher

Bio: Guzzi had a fantastic junior season to lead Point Boro to its most decorated season in program history as the Panthers won the Ocean County Tournament and the Central Jersey Group 2 sectional title and reached the Group 2 state final. The hard-throwing right-handed pitcher went 9-1 with 1.23 earned run average, a 0.78 whip and 84 strikeouts in 62.2 innings. At the plate, Guzzi hit .326 with 29 RBI. He pitched the Panthers to their first Ocean County Tournament championship with dominant performances in wins over Toms River South (six-hit shutout) and Toms River East (one hit, eight strikeouts in five innings) and then a win over Jackson Liberty in the title game.

In the Group 2 Playoffs, Guzzi got off to an unsuspecting start when he pitched only two innings in a 17-3 blowout win over A.L. Johnson in the sectional quarterfinals. Guzzi, however, turned up the heat in the next round, shaking off a first-inning home run to throw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks in a 6-1 win over top-seeded Governor Livingston on the road. He did not get to take the ball again until the championship game and although he suffered his first loss of the season in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Pascack Hills, he took a one-hitter into the sixth inning against the two-time Group 2 champion while going toe-to-toe with Maryland commit and Cleveland Indians 36th-round selection Ryan Ramsey. Although the 2019 season ended with a disappointing result, few players at the Shore have a more promising outlook for 2020 than Guzzi. - Matt Manley

Other sports: none

College plans: Signed to St. John's University.

How are you staying in shape/practicing your sport?: "I've been working out and throwing."

Hardest part of being out of school/sports: "Not being able to play with my teammates."

One positive that has come from having to stay at home: "Having time to work on my delivery."

Favorite stay-at-home activity: Training

Coach's corner: "If we had a game today, Nicholas Guzzi would get the ball on the mound! Nicholas has always been a leader within this program and he continues to be just that. Even though we are not on the field together, Nick still inspires his teammates with a positive attitude. Nick has posted a few of his workouts via social media which reminds our players that although we are staying home, we #RefuseToLose to COVID-19 and we are all in this #Together". - Dave Drew, Point Boro head baseball coach.

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