Bell helps Somerset Select to pool play sweep in 14U Easter Extravaganza

By DN WRITING STAFF | March 30, 2024

Nate Kramer scores on Parker Dipollina’s sacrifice fly for Somerset Select. 

By Sean Reilly

Batters are seldom intentionally walked in tournament play at Diamond Nation.

It happened twice to Avery Bell of Somerset Select on Friday, and the amazing thing about it is that he is a 12 year-old player competing in a 14U event.

Bell was issued a free pass in the midst of a 3-for-3 performance, with a triple and double, in a 12-9 decision over the North Jersey Heat 14U at the 14U Easter Extravaganza.

His second intentional walk came with runners on first and second with nobody out in the third inning of Somerset Select’s second game, which turned into a  10-2 victory over the North Jersey Diamondbacks 14 Black in Flemington.

Bell ended that game 1-for-2 with two runs, in addition to the walk which helped set up a four-run inning. 

“We had a lot of good fielding, defense and situational hitting,” Bell said. “It feels really good.”

Diamondbacks first baseman Colin Patterson stretches to record a putout.

His success as a 12U player competing up two age levels is significant. Not only is the age a major difference, so is the larger size of the field. 

“It’s fun playing up,” Bell said. “I love playing on the bigger field. It’s an adjustment, but I’m used to it. I play with the same approach.” 

Somerset Select scored twice in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 lead in the nightcap. 

Jacob Martin led off with a double, and he scored when Tim Hansen singled and advanced to third on an outfield error. Nate Kramer walked, and stole second before Bell made his only out of the day on a pop to shortstop. Zach Pizzie then drove in Hansen by hitting a single to shortstop. 

Somerset Select extended its lead to 6-0 in the third. 

The frame began with singles by Hansen and Kramer before Bell was walked after a pitching change. 

With the bases now loaded and nobody out, Pizzie walked. Parker Dipollina hit a sacrifice fly to center for the first out, and Logan Santiago reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Bell for a 5-0 advantage. The last run of the inning scored on an error.

The Diamondbacks scored their first run in the fourth, after Devin Hunt walked with one out and later scored on a wild pitch. 

Somerset Select scored three more times in the bottom of the fourth. Jack Flessner was safe on a leadoff error and Rosario Dipollina walked before the first out. Bell then singled to load the bases. Pizzie drew a bases-loaded walk and Parker Dipollina hit a two-run single to right field.

Avery Bell follows through at the plate for Somerset Select.

The Diamondbacks used a leadoff double from Luke Havel and an RBI single from Hector Loriano to cut its deficit to 9-2 with one out in the fifth. 

Somerset Select ended the game via the eight-run mercy rule in the bottom of the inning. Johnny Boyke led off with a walk and Flessner followed with a bunt single. Rosario Dipollina then hit an RBI single to right field to end the game. 

The Diamondbacks were beaten by the Morris County Cubs, 6-3, in their opener on Friday. They will face Somerset Select again in a semifinal playoff game on Saturday afternoon. The other semifinal will pair the Cubs (2-0) against the Heat 14U (0-2), with the championship to follow.

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