Grayson Fuller makes contact for In The Zone Knights in a battle with Stars Baseball Academy.
By Sean Reilly
Sean Hinspeter has been hitting well so far this season, and nothing about a trip to Diamond Nation this weekend has changed his results at the plate.
The catcher and No. 5 hitter for Stars Baseball Academy went 3-for-3 with a double and five RBI when his team defeated the In The Zone Knights, 11-2, at the 12U Williams Harley Davidson Tournament on Saturday afternoon in Flemington.
Two of Hinspeter’s hits and four of his RBI came with two out, including a two-run hit that fell just inside the left field foul line for a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning for Stars Baseball Academy, which went 1-2 over the weekend in its pool-play games.
Hinspeter wasn’t the only standout for his team.
Pitcher Antonio Leto was solid, allowing just five hits for the win. Tyler Santos was 2-for-4 with two runs and Tom Rae was 1-for-2 with two walks and three runs. Rae slugged a two-run home run to right field to end the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Hinspeter was also 2-for-4 in his team’s first game of the tournament on Friday for the Rockland County-based team.
“It felt good up there,” he said. “It was amazing to bounce back today. We had more energy, our bats were more alive and we had all of our players.
“I’ve been seeing the ball better this year,” he added.
His first-inning hit came after Rae and Brendan Bane both reached on walks with two out.
The Morris County-based In The Zone Knights struck with two outs in the top of the second. Ryan Wang singled, stole second and scored on a double to right-center by Connor Cunningham.
Stars Baseball scored a run in the third when Hinspeter’s one-out double to center scored Bane, who ended 1-for-2 with a walk and three runs.
The Knights narrowed their deficit to 3-2 when Bo Chen delivered an RBI single in the top of the fourth, but Stars Baseball broke the game up with five-run bottom of the inning.
Leto started that uprising with a one-out single on a full count. Two more hits loaded the bases for Rae, who drew a walk. After a force out at the plate, Hinspeter hit a two-run single up the middle. Nicholas Vargas singled in the fifth run.