All Stars Academy sweeps to first-place pool finish at Super 12U

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 9, 2024

Gavin West is greeted by All Stars Academy teammates after hitting his second home run. 

By Sean Reilly

Whether it’s on the pitcher’s mound or in the batter’s box, Parker Newlove is a player who thrives on pressure. 

“It’s kind of my thing,” he said on Saturday, after his overall play helped All Stars Academy, from Latham, N.Y., defeat the North Shore Giants Fiordalesi, 9-3, at the Diamond Nation Super 12 Invitational in Flemington. 

After hitting a solo home run for a 5-1 lead with two out in the top of the fifth inning, he was called on to pitch in the bottom of the frame. 

By that point, the Giants had scored two runs against All Stars Academy’s first reliever, and also had the bases loaded with two out. 

Employing an especially lethal curveball, he struck out the next batter to end the threat.

In top of the sixth, his very high pop up on the infield was dropped, scoring two runs for a six-run lead. He pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning, striking out the last two batters looking, to close out the win. 

“It was a bit of a challenge,” he said of his mound entrance in the fifth. “But I shut them down.” 

There were multiple standouts for All Stars Academy. 

Gavin West was 2-for-3 with two solo home runs and a sacrifice fly. Jude Miller hit a two-run homer and starting pitcher Grayson Galusha was effective into the fifth inning while also supplying an RBI single. Diego Scotland and Joseph Lichten each went 2-for-3.

Parker Newlove slides into third base for All Stars Academy.

The team followed up the victory by gaining a 13-3 decision over the NJ Renegades that clinched a first-place pool finish and a berth in the playoffs on Sunday.

In that game, West was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI, Scotland hit a solo home run and Newlove added a bases-empty home run and scored twice. 

In the win over the North Shore Giants, West hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the first. 

The lead was extended to 3-0 in the third, when West reached on a strike three wild pitch, and Miller followed with a home run to center field. 

The Giants closed to 3-1 in the bottom of third, as Ben McNally led off with a double to center and scored on a one-out grounds rule double to right-center from Jonah Rannazzisi. 

West hit a one-out home run for a 4-1 All Stars lead with one out in the fifth. Newlove cleared the fence in left field for a four-run lead with two out.

North Shore’s biggest threat came in the bottom of that inning. 

Michael Fiordalisi led off with a single, and moved to second on a ground out. He also stole third. After a walk to Andrew Salgado, All Stars Academy went to its bullpen.

Salgado stole second, but a ground out to shortstop forced both runners to hold. A walk loaded the bases, Rannazzisi was hit by a pitch to score a run, and a balk brought in another. Dylan Waltz drew a base on balls to reload the bases, and another pitching change brought in Newlove, who struck out the next batter. 

In the top of the sixth, Galusha singled in a run with one out, West hit a sacrifice fly and Newlove hit his high pop that was dropped to score the final two runs. 

North Shore ended the day with a 0-1-1 record after playing to a 7-7 tie against Hustle Baseball. Rannazzisi was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs, and Waltz was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI.

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