Baseball U PA-Scranton shuts out Wladyka National in Super 17

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 24, 2023

St. John’s commit Chaz Wright of Baseball U Scranton at bat in Friday morning’s Super 17 game.

By Will Harrigan

With an entire roster that will likely play college baseball, including two Division I commits, Mike Guy’s Baseball U PA-Scranton club has plenty of firepower.

So, giving ‘The U’ free passes on the bases makes it that much more impossible to beat them.

And that was the case on a rainy Friday morning at Diamond Nation, as Baseball U Scranton pitched a 6-0 shutout victory over Wladyka National to cap off an unbeaten week at the Super 17 Invitational.

Baseball U finished a successful week in Flemington with a 3-0-1 mark. The Super 17 Invitational is a showcase event rather than a tournament, and, as such, no playoffs are held.

Wlaydka, which traditionally fields three teams worth of players on its rosters and has two play at any given time during the week, saw its American and National clubs finish at an even 4-4 on the week.

“We had a really good week, and I think a lot of our guys got the exposure we were looking for, which is what really matters,” said coach Guy. “All week long, we saw tough team after tough team, and that’s what we love about playing tournaments at Diamond Nation.”

Four walks, two hit batsmen, and two wild pitches – shortly before a 15-minute delay due to rainy conditions – from Wlaydka pitchers allowed Baseball U to jump out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Peter Modrovsky and Isaac Gesford each drew RBI free passes in that span.

Following the delay, Wladyka relief pitcher Aiden Kempf – the lone New Yorker in the large Wladyka 17U program, hailing from Nanuet HS – came in and retired six of the next seven batters.

Two innings later, Adam Horvath would get up and rope a double down the line to reach scoring position. Following a wild pitch, Dante Ruby would fly out to deep left field to plate Horvath and extend the lead to 5-0.

Wladyka National’s Aiden Kempf throws a pitch for Wladyka National in Friday’s game.

In the sixth, Roman Valvano would single and move his way over to third on two wild pitches. A walk drawn by Patrick Munley would put runners on the corners, where Baseball U would partially execute a double steal that saw Munley caught in a rundown, but Valvano crossing the plate.

Six runs were more than enough run support the duo of Valvano and starting pitcher Mason Matello would need.

Matello would walk his way into a bases loaded, one-out jam in the fourth, but Valvano would come in and induce a double play ball on just one pitch to instantly end the Wladyka threat.

“We got some timely pitching for sure, but our guys threw the ball well all week. That’s been a strength of this team as they’ve played together,” said Guy.

Doubles by Mateo Figundio and Gervany Pagan accounted for two of Wladyka’s three hits, but all were ultimately stranded.

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