If you compartmentalize a baseball game into hitting, fielding and pitching, you can quickly identify where you were strong and weak. If you were strong in all three, you, almost definitely, will be talking from a winning perspective.
Exhibit-A for that consistently strong approach this past weekend was All-Star Baseball Futures Navy 2024, which did all the little things contained in winning baseball on the way to an 8-4 victory over the Locked In Expos in the 15U Home Run Classic Green Bracket championship game.
All-Star Baseball used a huge fourth inning when it brought 11 batters to the plate and struck for six runs on five hits and a pair of walks to turn a 2-2 deadlock into an 8-2 lead.
“Everyone chipped in and did their part,” said ASBA Futures coach Mike McCardle.
That was the case for the entire tournament, although Tristan Lander did stand out and was named the 15U Home Run Classic’s Most Valuable Player. “Tristan is a terrific center fielder and he just came up with a bunch of big hits for us and was on base all weekend,” said McCardle
Lander, a freshman at Malvern Prep, Pa., had an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning when ASBA took a 2-1 lead. He reached on an infield error and scored in the middle of the six-run rally in the fourth. He also singled in the fifth.
The Expos scored the game’s first run in the top of the second on Oliver Acuna-Casey’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder to the right side. Ryan Carracino had started things with a leadoff walk, moved to second on a groundout and to third on a passed ball.
All-Star Baseball tied the game in a hurry in the bottom of the inning when Cooper Paule followed Drew Brown’s leadoff walk with a booming RBI triple to right-center field. Paule came home on Lander’s single through the middle.
Locked In tied the game at 2-2 in third during a rally started with two outs and no one aboard. Andrew Kowantz and Blayze Conte drew back-to-back walks before Carracino drove Kowantz home with a single through the middle.
The contributors were many to the ASBA Futures Navy rally in the fourth. Bronzo Riccardo, the No. 8 hitter, drew a leadoff walk, Tague Davis singled and Lander reached on a throwing error to load the bases with one out. Danny Surowiec followed with a two-run single to center field that gave ASBA a 4-2 lead. Jon Holt walked to reload the bases and Lander scored from third when Cole Kirschner reached on catcher’s interference.
Pete Omiridis followed with an RBI single to center that boosted the lead to 6-2. Pinch-hitter Shawn Satterfield put the icing on the cake with a two-run single to left field.
“These guys have been together since they were 10 years old and play well together,” said McCardle. “We hit consistently, played good defense and got strong pitching all tournament.”
Reliever Surowiec entered in the third inning with two outs, a run in and two runners aboard and proceeded to retire seven straight batters to get ASBA to the sixth inning with a chance to close out an 8-2 lead. The Expos did put up a fight, though, scoring twice in the top of the sixth with the time limit already expired.
Kowantz led off the sixth and drilled a shot into right-center field for a double. Robbie Costello brought Kowantz home with a two-out single to center field to shave the deficit to 8-3. Acuna-Casey drew a walk and Dom Costanza reached on an infield error that brought home Acuna-Casey and drew the Expos to 8-4. Locked In was just one more base runner away from bringing the tying run to the plate. But Surowiec induced the next batter to hit a bouncer to third base and Omiridis fired to first to end it.
Justin Root pitched well and got the win in ASBA’s 14-3 tournament-opening victory over NJ Glory Select. Paule’s arm was mighty in ASBA’s 11-1 victory over East Coast Sandhogs in the team’s second game on Saturday. And Hayden Stezenko’s pitching helped deliver a 9-3 triumph over Legkick Nation to secure ASBA’s championship round berth.
Home Run Classic recaps
BUCKS COUNTY GENERALS
The Bucks County Generals defeated the Diamond Jacks 10U, 7-4, in the 10U Home Run Classic championship game. Isaiah Hissner of the Generals was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Generals (3-0-1) outscored their opponents 37-28. The Diamond Jacks (2-2) held a 39-30 runs advantage on their opponents.
Lower Dauphin defeated the Diamond Jacks Super 11U, 15-7, in the 11U Home Run Classic championship game. Lower Dauphin (4-0) outscored its opponents 52-10. The Diamond Jacks (4-1) held a 46-26 runs advantage on their opponents.
15U (White Bracket)
PA SHOCKERS 2024
The PA Shockers 2024 defeated Tri-State Arsenal 2024 National, 5-2, in the 15U White Bracket championship game. Deacon Brown of the PA Shockers was named the 15U White Bracket Most Valuable Player. The PA Shockers (4-0) outscored their opponents 45-6. Tri-State Arsenal (4-1) held a 26-11 runs advantage on its opponents.
17/18U WOOD BAT
CB Raiders defeated the Mid Atlantic Hurricanes, 9-1, in the 17/18U Wood Bat Home Run Classic championship game. The Raiders awarded the MVP to their entire team for their hitting prowess in the tournament. The Raiders (5-0) outscored their opponent 44-8. The Hurricanes (4-1) held a 28-17 runs advantage on their opponents.