Justin Batts crushed a three-run HR for Baseball Warehouse on Tuesday.
Frankie Flannery pitched four no-hit innings and Justin Batts keyed an eight-hit attack with a three-run home run as Baseball Warehouse 2023 Black defeated the Eastend Aviators (Boyce), 13-3, in the 15U Diamond Nation World Series yesterday in Flemington.
Flannery and reliever Connor Drury nearly combined on a no-hitter but, with one more out needed to secure the gem, the Aviators’ A.J. Herbst lined an RBI single through the left side of the infield to break up the bid.
Baseball Warehouse carried the no-hitter into the Aviators’ final at bat in the bottom of the sixth but an error, two walks and two hit batters gave Herbst the opportunity to break it up. Batts, Baseball Warehouse’s third baseman, ranged far to his left but just missed Herbst’s bouncer as it slipped through the hole into left field.
Flannery, who struck out five, was clean through four innings except for a leadoff walk in the first inning and two-out walks in the third and fourth innings.
“I was a little off balance at the start,” said Flannery, who walked Connor Levasseur leading off the bottom of the first inning. “But I fixed the problem and stayed balanced after that.”
Batts singled after Zach Konstantinovsky drew a one-out walk in the top of the first inning, but Eastend starter Andrew Berman squelched the rally by inducing a groundout and striking out Charlie Taub. Batts would get another shot, though, in the middle of Baseball Warehouse’s seven-run rally in the third.
The bottom of the Baseball Warehouse order ignited the uprising, quickly loading the bases on singles by Tommy Papeo and Jackson Ferrer and a walk to Scott Pede. Drury followed with a two-run single just inside the first base bag. Sammy Berardo then singled home the third run of the rally before Zen Hurike walked to reload the bases. The order flipped back to the top and Matt Yascko took a bases-on-ball of his own to reload the bases.
Reliever Anthony Carullo got a break when Berardo tried to score on a wild pitch but catcher Kevin Ohlsen retrieved the ball and fired to his pitcher at the plate and cut down the Baseball Warehouse runner.
Batts then came up with two outs, runners on second and third and four runs already in. He didn’t waste any time depositing a fastball well behind the left field fence for a three-run home run and a 7-0 lead for Baseball Warehouse. Batts’ drive was more of a liner than a fly ball and just kept carrying.
“Our bats came to life in the third inning,” said Baseball Warehouse coach Joe Augustine, who pitched for Kean University’s 2007 Division 3 College World Series champion team and spent two years with the Royals organization in the minors leagues. “Batts has some pop for us. That was big.”
Flannery, meanwhile, was mowing down the Aviators.
“Frankie was throwing strikes,” said Augustine. “He was able to keep his pitch count down, which is important this time of year.” Flannery threw 55 pitches in his tidy four innings of work.
“I was throwing mostly fastballs,” said Flannery. “I think I only threw two curveballs.” The righthander did a nice job spotting that fastball on the corners.
Whatever small hope Eastend was holding to fell away in the sixth when leadoff walks to Konstantinovsky and Batts triggered another big Baseball Warehouse rally. Taub, who had left two runners in scoring position in the first, came through this time with a ringing two-run triple into the left-center field gap. Taub scored easily when Frankie Garbolino’s long fly to center was dropped, before Ryan Della Fave’s sac fly and Jackson Ferrer’s two-run triple down the right field line would cap the scoring.
Baseball Warehouse, 2-0 in the 15U DN World Series, is back in action at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday opposite the Northeast Expos. The Eastend Aviators (0-2) face Baseball U. Pa. at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
K-men Zsak and Ferri
The Diamond Jacks Super 16U team opened its summer season on Monday with a dominating pitching performance on the way to an 8-0 victory over Rainers.
Lefthander Donovan Zsak and righty Nicki Ferri combined to strikeout 14 of the 15 batters they faced in a dominating no-hitter. Zsak struck out 11 and walked one over the first four innings and Ferri struck out the side in order in the fifth to cap the five inning game for the Super 16U. Only one batter reached base for Rainers.
Zsak, a rising junior at St. Joseph (Met.), is committed to Virginia. Ferri, a rising junior at Hunterdon Central, is uncommitted.