Michael Venere contributed an RBI single to the Bucks County Generals Red’s 13-8 win.
By Rich Bevensee
Playing in more of the sour weather conditions that seem to be afflicting weekends this spring, Bucks County Generals Red understood that they still had to throw the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball.
It wasn’t easy, but the Generals rebounded from a one-run loss by doing those basic baseball skills a little bit better than the Complete Game Colonials 13U Blue.
Tommy Ferro’s two-run double highlighted a 10-run first inning for the Generals, who also received a gutsy pitching performance from Jack Malley and earned a shortened 13-8 pool play victory over the Colonials in the Williams Harley Davidson Tournament on Saturday at The Nation in Flemington.
“My one finger turned purple it was so numb,” Malley said after lasting all but ⅔ of the two innings played in the more than 1 hour, 40 minutes of game time amidst constant wind, rain and temps in the low 50s.
“It was some of the worst weather I’ve ever played in. Once the ball hit the turf it got so wet. It was always waterlogged. The ball was really tough to grip. Every time I tried to throw a curveball I would let go of it so high over the catcher’s head.”
The Generals bounced back from a 6-5 loss to the Heavy Hitters earlier Saturday morning to score 13 runs on three hits and 13 walks against the Colonials. They went about their business smartly in the second game of their doubleheader, jumping ahead early and killing much of the game clock (which was reduced from 1 hour, 50 minutes to account for the poor playing conditions).
The Generals’ 10-run first inning lasted 45 minutes and saw 16 batters come to the plate to chalk up two hits and 10 walks. Michael Venere slapped a bases-loaded infield single to drive in the game’s first run, and Ferro followed with a two-run double to left.
The Generals tacked on six more runs courtesy of four passed balls and two bases-loaded walks.
“Hitting was pretty challenging today,” said Ferro, who finished 2-for-2 with three RBI. “It was hard to grip the bat, but it was more about your focus and how you concentrate. It’s just water, so you just gotta get used to it.”
The Colonials nibbled away for three runs in the bottom of the first, as John Blackman scored on a dropped third strike and errant throw to first, Peter Feely stole home, and Chris Peakler scored on a wild pitch.
The Generals got those runs back immediately in the second when Ferro drove an RBI single through the middle and later stole home on a double steal, and Chase Drissel scored on an infield error for a 13-3 lead.
With the clock ticking down, the Colonials were making things interesting, scoring five runs and loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the second, which meant the tying run was on deck.
Blackman forced a run home with a walk, Janosz scored on a wild pitch, Feely drove in a run while reaching on a fielding error, Blackman scored on a balk and Feeley scored on a wild pitch. That got the Generals to within 13-8 and Generals coach Jeremy Stewart brought in Paul Carpenter to relieve Malley and finish the game.
After giving up a pair of walks, Carpenter helped eliminate one threat by tagging out a runner at home trying to steal. Then with the clock at 0:00, he got a strikeout to end the game.
“It was tough, man,” Generals coach Jeremy Stewart said. “I was telling these guys when I went out there to change pitchers, I grabbed the ball Jack was using and it was slippery as anything.
Jack is usually a strike thrower so he does really well. Given the conditions, he struggled a little bit but battled through it. Even our last pitcher (Carpenter), he looked at me and said, ‘I can’t grip the ball,’ and I said, ‘Do the best you can.’”