Having pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat in the semifinals, it wasn’t surprising to see Complete Game Academy 14U enter the 14U Summer Bash championship game with a bit of a hop in its step.
The team from Lancaster, Pa. made its long trip to Diamond Nation well worth it when it rode the pitching of Nathan Savage and some timely hitting to a 6-3 victory over Canes NY and the tournament championship.
Ben Troyer was named the 14U Summer Bash Most Valuable Player after a terrific tournament at the plate. Troyer also pitched a complete game in his team’s 6-4 victory over All Stars Academy Platinum in the last game of pool play. That victory set up Complete Game with the No. 2 playoff seed.
Savage limited the rugged Canes NY lineup to three runs on five hits over the first five innings, striking out two and walking three. The righty Savage presented Canes NY a steady diet of off-speed stuff that minimized solid contact.
“I like to use my curveball when I get ahead,” said Savage, who was, indeed, often ahead in the count to the Canes NY batters. “I’m not the biggest dude and I don’t have an 80 mile-per-hour fastball. So, I use my off-speed stuff to keep hitters off balance.”
It was Savage who came in to finally squelch what was a seven-run rally in the top of the sixth by RCBC Marucci in the semifinals. The big inning wiped out a 6-2 Complete Game lead and turned it into a 9-6 deficit. But Complete Game didn’t flinch, striking for four runs in the bottom of the sixth, its final at bat, to win 10-9 and secure a spot in the championship game.
Canes NY entered the final off a tight one, too, as it staved off a late rally by Monmouth Liberty Baseball Club to win 7-5.
Chuck Sheerer and Brayden Hostetter each drew a bases-loaded walk to stake Complete Game to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Adrian Rodriguez and Josh Toole had drawn walks around Dylan Jackson’s single to left field to set the table. Canes NY starter Adrian Orbe settled down and got out of further trouble with a strikeout and a ground out.
Orbe faced just six batters over the next two innings and enabled Canes NY to get its offense clicking. Orbe, in fact, ignited a three-run rally in the top of the fourth with a one-out single through the left side.
Sadiel Rodriguez then hit a hard shot to center field, but the center fielder was playing shallow enough to scoop up the line drive on a hop and fire to second to force out courtesy runner Eddie Nunez. It appeared Savage may have gotten some good fortune to get out of trouble, but he walked Sebastian Santos and pinch-hitter Nasir Stevenson followed with a hot grounder inside third base that went for a two-run, game-tying double.
The two-out rally continued when Monty Gantz drew a walk and Jaime Tomayo, the No. 11 hitter, singled to right-center field to score Stevenson with the go-ahead run. Tomayo, however, was nailed trying to take second base on the throw home. The catcher, Toole, gunned him out to end the inning.
Complete Game got itself back in front with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and it was Toole and Sheerer who got things going.
Toole drew a leadoff walk and Sheerer followed with a single to left field. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Toole scored the tying run on a passed ball with one out as Sheerer took third. Isaiah Shayter then hit a bouncer toward the mound and reliever Santos tried to cut Sheerer down at the plate. Sheerer, however, slid under catcher Rodriguez’s tag and Complete Game was back in front, 4-3.
Complete Game then manufactured a couple of insurance runs in the fifth. Troyer led off and hit a shot off Santos leg for an infield single and took second on a wild pitch with Rodriguez at the plate. Rodriguez hit a slow roller down the first base line and beat the catcher’s throw to first. Troyer, alertly, never stopped running from second base and scored as Canes NY left home plate uncovered. Rodriguez stole second and took third on Toole’s fairly deep fly to center field, then scored from third on a wild pitch with Sheerer batting with two outs, boosting the lead to 6-3.
Savage had pitched a scoreless fifth before Sheerer took the ball for the sixth inning and Canes NY’s final at bat. The righty wasted no time in closing things out, inducing a pop out second baseman Braden Leed and striking out the next two batters to secure the championship.
“The big thing is, we don’t let up,” said Complete Game Academy coach Keith Daly. “There’s no give-up in these guys. They battle. They showed that in their last at bat in the semifinals.”
Complete Game Academy 14U (5-0) outscored its tournament opponents 46-20. Canes NY (3-2) held a 35-28 runs advantage on its opponents.
Summer Bash recaps
Delaware Diamond Kings
The Delaware Diamond Kings defeated the Howell Bombers, 12-11, in the 10U Summer Bash championship game. Jordyn Brown of the Kings was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Kings (4-0) outscored their opponents 59-36. The Bombers (1-2) were outscored by their opponents 47-29.
Richmond County Baseball Club Marucci defeated EBC, 3-2, in the 11U Summer Bash championship game. Sam French of RCBC was named the 11U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. RCBC (4-0) outscored its opponents 53-11. EBC (3-1) held a 38-14 runs advantage on its opponents.
Spring Prodigy defeated Dawghouse Baseball Dawgs, 9-3, in the 12U Summer Bash championship game. Donovan Lettieri of Spring Prodigy was named the 12U Summer Bash Most Valuable Player. Spring Prodigy (5-0) outscored its opponents 55-16. Dawghouse Baseball (4-1) held a 63-15 runs advantage on its opponents.
Bergen Crush defeated Club Nine Baseball, 4-0, in the 13U Summer Bash championship game. J.T. DeRiso of Bergen Crush was named the 13U Summer Bash Most Valuable Player. Bergen Crush (4-0) outscored its opponents 28-3. Club Nine Baseball (4-1) held a 40-23 runs advantage on its opponents.
Complete Game Academy
Complete Game Academy defeated Canes NY, 6-3, in the 14U Summer Bash championship game. Ben Troyer of Complete Game was named the 14U Summer Bash Most Valuable Player. Complete Game (5-0) outscored its opponents 46-20. Canes NY (3-2) held a 35-28 runs advantage on its opponents.
Baseball U. Anthracite
Baseball U. Anthracite defeated 15U Elite Sportika Baseball, 9-1, in the 15U Summer Bash championship game. Jonas Aponick of Baseball U. was named the 15U Summer Bash Most Valuable Player. Baseball U. (5-0) outscored its opponents 30-9. Elite Sportika (4-1) held a 24-20 runs advantage on its opponents.