NY Gothams pitcher Colin Correia prepares to throw a pitch in Super 16 World Series.
By Will Harrigan
After seeing his team’s 15U World Series opener on Tuesday morning, it is clear NY Gothams 15U coach Gabe Diaz has a real problem on his hands.
But unlike common baseball issues that keep managers up at night, like defensive worries and pitching depth, it’s a problem Diaz very much wants to have: too many hitters.
His team of mostly New York City-based players is filled with sluggers who make solid contact every time they get up. To drive that point home, two of his reserves came into the game as pinch-hitters, only to promptly rope a pair of run-scoring doubles without skipping a beat.
All of it led to an offensive explosion, as the Gothams launched their 15U World Series quest with an 11-1 victory over Eastbay Aviators at Raritan Valley Community College. The game was the opening contest for both in the event.
“It’s tough to fill out the lineup every time we play. It really is,” Diaz said. “We have a lot of guys that can come in and just mash. We’ve been doing very well in our tournaments because of our depth, and it’s a lot of fun to coach when you know there is not an easy out on this team.”
The Gothams put up a crooked number in the bottom of the first to immediately put the pressure on.
Gus Magill’s leadoff walk was followed by an opposite field bloop infield single by Colin Cashin to set the table. Magill and Cashin are products of Chaminade and Fordham Prep, two fine New York parochial school programs.
Following a passed ball, Lenox Rendon would cash in two batters later by launching a deep fly ball to center to plate Magill and open the scoring.
A dropped pop-up with two outs off the bat of Aaron Gilden, proved to be devastating for the Aviators. Taking advantage of the new life, Old Bridge product Noah Balbuena roped a two-RBI single to left field to run the lead up to 3-0.
It turned out that would be the only run support Gothams starter Colin Correia needed. A right-hander who tosses his high school ball for Xavier High in Manhattan, Correia only surrendered two hits and only allowed one ball out of the infield in a four-strikeout performance in as many innings.
“Colin has pitched a lot of big games for us, including at Perfect Game tournaments. But the reason I had him pitch today was actually the mound,” said Diaz. “A lot of guys will struggle with a dirt mound, but he’s incredible, fixing it to his liking and not letting it affect him.”
The Aviators scored their lone run in the second. Christian McClain led off the inning by reaching on a Gothams fielding mishap, and three batters later was driven in by an RBI single up the middle by Christian Meadows.
Correia would work out of a bases loaded jam by recording a strikeout and a pop up to short to escape any more damage.
A double off the bat of Peter Strott plated another run in the second to bring the advantage back up to 4-1.
Hector De Los Santos pinch-hit in the third and doubled in the gap to score Rendon, who had also doubled to lead off the inning.
Balbuena and Korbin Mendez followed with two more doubles in the inning to extend the lead up to 8-1. To place the cherry on top, Luke Arcella of Manhattan’s Trinity School also roped a pinch-hit double, good for the fifth Gothams extra base hit of the inning.