Jason Basilicata pitched a terrific four innings for the 9ers Baseball Club at the Super 17 Invitational.
By Steve Merrill
9ers Baseball Club right-handed starting pitcher Jason Basilicata shut down the Northeast Pride 23 Scout en route to a 9-1 mercy-rule victory in five innings at the Super 17 Invitational Week 1 pool play opener on Monday morning.
The Super 17 Invitational, one of the major showcases in the northeast, has set up shop at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J., Monday-through-Friday this week.
Basilicata tossed four innings, allowing two runs on two hits with five strikeouts. The righty’s fastball sat in the 84-86 mph range, topping at 87 and he mixed in a wipeout slider. Basilicata allowed just two base runners, both in the second inning. He set down the Pride in order in the other three frames.
“I felt like I had a lot behind my fastball and I was trying to work off that,” said Basilicata. “My slider was working really well, breaking off a little and getting them to swing at it. The defense also made really good plays behind me, that’s all I could ask for.”
An offseason injury had held Basilicata back with his velocity so far, but it is starting to climb again. Basilicata noted his velocity has recently jumped back up again to the mid-80s. The Donovan Catholic (Toms River) High School pitcher also didn’t have his best change-up on Monday but got by with just the fastball and slider combo with the Pride’s lineup.
“Normally I’m comfortable with the change-up, honestly,” Basilicata said. “In the school season it worked really well for me, more than my slider I’d say. I just didn’t have it today.”
The .9ers offense gave their starter a nice cushion to work with, plating four runs in the top of the first off Pride starter Colin Ray. Leadoff man Charlie Tallman walked, then advanced on an error on a pickoff throw. He then stole third with one out and Gavin Degnan at the plate. Degnan chopped one to shortstop and it was muffed, allowing Tallman to score the game’s first run. The 9ers added three more runs in the inning, with two coming on a fielder’s choice play.
“A 4-0 lead early lets him (Basilicata) attack the zone and go corner to corner,” 9ers head coach Jimmy Wynne said. “He trusts that slider more than anything else. He mixed his stuff well today. Overall, I thought he did awesome with his first outing this summer.”
Braden Seeber and Cody Orsulak were the only hitters to record a hit for the Pride. In the bottom of the second inning, Seeber singled and then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. Orsulak then drove him in for the Pride’s lone run of the game.
The 9ers would add two runs in the third inning. Degnan singled and then immediately scored on Leo Mangiamele’s triple. The following batter was Hawkins Sutter, who knocked in Mangiamele with a base-hit, making it 6-1.
Christopher Cartnick joined the action in the fifth inning for the 9ers, lacing a double to drive in Sutter and Jack Moses. Sutter was the lone 9er to reach base three times in the game, going 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs batted in, and two runs scored. Cartnick would eventually come around to score on a Charlie Rossman sacrifice fly to make it 9-1.
Cal Champeau put on the finishing touch for the 9ers, pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning to close out the game. Both teams are set to continue action at the Super 17 Invitational on Tuesday evening at Diamond Nation.