Andrew Valay pitched a one-hitter and Guy Lynam, Jr. keyed a three-run bottom of the fifth with a two-run single to guide All-Out 14U Scout to a 4-2 victory over the Morris County Cubs and the 14U Grand Slam championship.
The righty Valay struck out seven, walked three and hit a batter while permitting two runs in a gritty six-inning effort on Sunday night at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J.
“My curveball was working really well and I was throwing it for strikes,” said Valay, who was named the co-MVP of the Grand Slam tournament with his twin brother Alex. “I probably threw 30 percent curveballs but my fastball was there, too.” Andrew’s curveball was indeed a problem for the Cubs all game. Alex Valay came up big in the final pool play game, pitching All-Out Scout past Baseball U. Pa. of Scranton and into the playoffs.
Andrew Valay’s performance in the final was a tidy one as he faced just three batters over the minimum. Meanwhile, the All-Out batters managed just three hits off three Cubs pitchers but worked that staff over for six walks and two hit-by-pitches as it put 14 runners on base. The Cubs committed four errors.
“Andrew’s curveball was awesome tonight,” said All-Out 14U Scout coach Bobby Thorp. “He was able to spot his fastball and keep it down. He mixed in his curveball for strikes and was very consistent.” Valay is 4-0 in the fall, including a no-hitter in a Perfect Game event.
The Cubs did get on the scoreboard first courtesy of Chase Lorent’s leadoff triple to center field in the top of the third. Lorent scored on a wild pitch with one out. But All-Out got that run right back in the bottom of the inning.
Brady Jackson and Mason Myers drew back-to-back walks leading off the inning from the top of the All-Out lineup. Lynam, who reached in the first inning on a hit-by-pitch, deftly bunted both runners over to set up Anthony Cataldo’s RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1-1. Cubs reliever Josh Hale got the next two batters to get out of further trouble.
The game stayed even until the fifth when Lynam, All-Out’s No. 3 hitter, came through with his clutch hit. Alex Valay, the No. 10 hitter, led off and struck out on a curveball in the dirt. Alex, however, was safe at first as the throw was misplayed. The lineup flipped to the top and Jackson reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and promptly stole second base. Myers then reached on a fielder’s choice that included an error that allowed both runners to move up a base.
Lynam then laced his single into left-center field to chase both runners home, suddenly turning the 1-1 deadlock into a 3-1 lead. Lynam was able to take second as the hit was misplayed in the outfield. Cataldo flew out to right for the second out as Lynam tagged and raced to third. Lynam would soon charge home on a wild pitch with Andrew Pron at the plate to boost the lead to 4-1.
Morris County (3-2), however, would bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the sixth. The Cubs had rallied for a 5-4 victory in the semifinals over the Diamond Jacks Super 14U so All-Out knew what it was dealing with.
Lorent, who had provided the only offense to that point for the Cubs, led off the sixth and reached when Valay plunked him with a pitch. He wasted no time stealing second base before taking third on Dean Kaletcher’s bounce out to first base. Jonathan Moore then hit a grounder to third and nearly beat it to first base. He would have been safe if not for an outstanding scoop by first baseman Jude Morgan. Lorent scored on the play to trim the deficit to 4-2.
Evan Radoncic, the No. 10 hitter, then drew a walk to both flip the lineup to the top and bring the tying run to the plate. But Valay, perhaps a little on the low end of his gas tank, reared back and induced a game-ending fly ball to right field to secure the 4-2 victory and the championship.
Morgan’s scoop at first base was actually his third big dig of the game. He dug out two throws from shortstop Brayden Thorp in the second and fourth innings. Each was the first out of the inning.
“We hit real well this tournament but we also played well defensively,” said Thorp. “Those picks at first base were all big for us.”
All-Out (5-0) also ended that fourth inning with a nifty 6-4-3 double play.
Pron, who batted fifth and went 1-for-2 with a walk in the championship game, steered All-Out from the mound in the semifinals, an 8-4 victory over the Delaware Diamonds.
Lynam, Jr., All-Out’s third baseman, had a huge tournament at the plate, ripping a double, triple and home run and knocking in 10 runs in three games.
“Guy hit a three-run home run and a three-run triple in the semifinals,” said Thorp. “He really hit for us.”
All-Out 14U Scout outscored its tournament opponents 45-14. The Cubs held a 25-11 runs advantage on their opponents.
Grand Slam recaps
ASBA WEST CHESTER
ASBA West Chester defeated Sharks Baseball Academy, 10-2, in the 11U Grand Slam championship game. ASBA West Chester (4-0) outscored its opponents 48-16. Sharks Baseball Academy (2-2) was outscored 31-23 by its opponents. No MVP was awarded.
DIAMOND JACKS SUPER 12U
The Diamond Jacks Super 12U defeated Mt. Vernon Patriots Va., 15-7, in the 12U Grand Slam championship game. Gino Sprigarelli and Kamau Taylor of Super 12U were named co-MVPs of the 12U tournament. Super 12U (4-0) outscored its opponents 47-13. The Patriots (3-1) held a 31-27 runs advantage on their opponents.
DIAMOND JACKS SUPER 13U
The Diamond Jacks Super 13U defeated Full Count Futures 13U, 14-0, in the 13U Grand Slam championship game. Michael Meyers of Super 13U was named the 13U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Super 13U (4-0) outscored its opponents 49-6. Full Count Futures (2-2) was outscored by its opponents 32-18.
DIAMOND JACKS SUPER 16U
The Diamond Jacks Super 16U defeated the PA Rebels, 11-0, in the 16U Grand Slam championship game. Anthony Petino of Super 16U was named the 16U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Super 16U (5-0) outscored its opponents 51-18. The PA Rebels (4-1) held a 24-13 runs advantage on their opponents.