CK Cardinals tie Cage Baseball in Super 17 World Series

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 29, 2023

Tommy Diffley takes an inside pitch for Cage Academy during Super 17 World Series.

By Joe Hofmann

Kevin DiPede’s first pitch out of the bullpen could not have been worse for the CK Cardinals 17U team Thursday afternoon.

The rest of his relief appearance was much more like it – and showed that pitching could indeed have a role for him down the road.

The bases were loaded and DiPede was summoned in the third inning against Cage Baseball in a Super 17 Diamond Nation World Series game.

DiPede threw his first pitch and … boink! … he hit Cage’s Danny Corcoran to force in a run.

That is when DiPede put his foot down and stifled Cage the rest of the game.

The two teams finished in a 2-2 tie.

There was no winning team, but DiPede emerged as a winner.

He will be entering his senior year at St. John Vianney in Holmdel in September and showed that he is more than just a solid shortstop and good hitter.

Though DiPede doesn’t consider himself a pitcher, if the Vianney coach ever needs one in a pinch next season, he could do a lot worse than DiPede.

If he needs any references, he can use the Cage hitters, most of whom couldn’t hit with much contact against DiPede.

The kid threw in the 77 mile-per-hour range with a good slider and changeup.

“I would consider it,” DiPede said when asked if he would give pitching a shot.

“In high school, it’s tough for him,” Cardinals coach Jake Webb said. “He is a really good infielder.”

DiPede doesn’t consider himself a starting pitcher but someone who can come in and retire opposing hitters in the middle of the game, just like he did against Cage.

“I’m more of a reliever,” he said. “I like it. It’s a fun time.”

After the hit batsman, he struck out Cage’s John Molnar looking at a curve.

From that point on, DiPede allowed no runs on two hits the rest of the way. He fanned four and walked two.

“He shut it down for us,” Webb said. “He came in in a tough spot and locked it down. Nothing rattles him. He always has a smile on his face.”

Other than the hit batter, he didn’t allow himself to fold under pressure.

“I like to get ahead,” DiPede said. “My slider was working today.”

Cage Academy’s Casey Gardiner takes a big cut in Super 17 World Series game.

“He has a really, really good slider that he can throw at any count,” Webb said. “He also has a great changeup.”

Cage took advantage of the wildness of Cardinals starter Shaun Olcott early on. Olcott walked two in the first inning but couldn’t capitalize but did score a run in the second inning when Molnar singled to center, Brayden Bradley singled hard off Olcott’s glove, and Travis Everham hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.

Cage continued on the offensive in the third when Brendan Cieplensky singled to left and Tommy Diffly and Casey Gardiner walked to load the bases to chase Olcott.

On came DiPede, who plunked Danny Corcoran to make it 2-0.

But that was all the damage Cage would do.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, got themselves back into the game with a run in the fourth and tied it with another in sixth.

Robbie Chiusano singled with two outs, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on DiPede’s infield single.

In the sixth, the Cardinals mounted another two-out, nobody-on rally when Chiusano reached on a throwing error, stole second, and scored on brother John Chiusano’s single to center.

Cage starter Tyler Spencer emerged as another winner in what was a well-played tie game. Spencer pitched well, going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits. He retired the first 11 batters he faced.

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *