DeAngelis helps RCBC Ghost 12U Nationals open with victory

By DN WRITING STAFF | March 30, 2024

Chris DeAngelis of RCBC Ghost 12U Nationals approaches home plate after hitting a two-run HR.

By Sean Reilly 

The RCBC Ghost 12U Nationals opened their 2024 season on Friday morning, and Chris DeAngelis was in the thick of the action. 

He was the starting pitcher who settled in after allowing two early runs, later hit a two-run home run, and then threw out a runner stealing for a critical out deep in the game as the boys from Staten Island edged the PRD Pride 12U Donuts, 7-5, at the Diamond Nation Easter Extravaganza in Flemington. 

RCBC followed that win with a 10-2 triumph over the Lincroft Tides to make it a perfect day at “The Nation.” 

The Donuts, meanwhile, followed with a 14-6 victory over Jersey Boyz Baseball to finish the day with a 1-1 record. 

Each team in the 10-team tournament plays a third pool play game on Saturday, with the top four advancing to the playoffs later in the day. 

The RCBC Ghost Nationals are one of three teams who went 2-0 on Friday. It started with the comeback win over PRD Pride Donuts, who held a 3-0 lead in second inning and a 4-2 advantage in the third, and still led by a run until RCBC took control in the fourth.

Johan Covington legs out an infield hit for PRD Pride 12U Donuts. He was 2-for-2 with a walk.

“It felt good to be back,” DeAngelis said. “We come back a lot to win games, and it was good to win our first game that way.” 

The PRD Pride Donuts, who are based in Mount Laurel, scored twice in the top of the first. Leadoff man Johan Covington legged out a hit to the right side of the infield and moved to second on an out. He stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Luke Lockhart walked with one out, advanced on a wild pitch, stole third and scored as Marco Fifis grounded out to shortstop. 

The Donuts added another run when Andrew Clauss led off the second inning with a home run to center field. Clauss was also his team’s hard-throwing starting pitcher. A left-hander, he consistently clocked in the low 70s on the Field 6 scoreboard. 

RCBC got two runs back in the bottom of the second. Daniel Toro hit an RBI double to center with one out. He would be erased trying to score on a wild pitch. After DeAngelis walked, courtesy runner Chris McConnell advanced two bases on wild pitches before scoring on a first-and-third play which resulted in the third out of the inning on the bases, this one at second.

The Donuts began the third inning with a walk to Covington, who stole his second and third bases of the game to reach third. Lockhart hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the 4-2 score.

RCBC scored once in the bottom of the inning, which began with walks to Evan Yaverbaum and Joseph Bonura. An infield out moved them to second and third, and Yaverbaum scored on a wild pitch. 

RCBC went ahead when it scored four times against the Donuts bullpen in the fourth. 

Brendan Swanson led off and was hit by the first pitch. McConnell walked, and they each moved up a base on a wild pitch. Toro then delivered another extra-base hit, this one a two-run triple to right field for a 5-4 lead.

Andrew Clauss, who homered in his other at-bat, follows through on an infield hit for PRD Pride 12U.

DeAngelis was up next, and he hit an opposite-field shot over the fence in right field for a three-run advantage. 

“I got my right pitch and I hit it,” DeAngelis said. 

With the 1:50 time clock showing less than 10 minutes remaining, the Donuts came to bat in the fifth inning knowing it was likely their last chance to come back.

Covington doubled to right field with one out, but was thrown out trying to steal third by DeAngelis. 

“I’ve practiced that a lot,” DeAngelis said. “That kid was really fast and he stole on me twice. I just figured he would try it again and I got him.” 

It was a very important play, since Colby Martin followed with a double to right field, and Lockhart drove him in with a double to right field. 

RCBC then made a pitching change, its third of the game, and it resulted in Bonura getting a three-pitch strikeout. 

The clock expired with RCBC batting in the bottom of the inning.

“We have to work on some things, but that’s why we’re here,” noted RCBC coach Marc Yaverbaum. “They battled through it and persevered.”

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

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