Dessart steers Prospect Baseball past Rising Stars into playoffs

By Bob Behre | July 23, 2020

Zion Profit singles home the tying run in the Technique Tigers walk off victory in 18U pool play, one of many highlights during a busy day at Diamond Nation.

Spencer Dessart pitched a six-hitter to lead Prospect Baseball Academy 2 to a 6-3 pool play victory over Rising Stars of Pa. and secure a playoff berth in the 18U Diamond Nation World Series.

Dessert stifled Rising Stars on two hits through the first five innings before surrendering all three runs in the sixth and last inning. Dessart, a rising senior from Bronxville, N.Y., struck out eight and walked none.

Ryan Mottley’s one-out single to right field in the fourth was the first hit for Rising Stars. In fact, Dessert carried a two-hitter and a 6-0 lead into the sixth, Rising Stars’ last at bat, and got the first batter out. But he surrendered consecutive singles to Blake Shantz, Maro Embardino and Shane Fillman; the latter’s hit scored Shantz with Rising Stars’ first run of the game.

One out later, Parker Frey doubled into the left-center field gap to score both runners and shave the deficit to 6-3. Prospect Baseball coach Justin Jensen pulled Dessart at that point for reliever Jack Young, who struck out the next batter to end the game.

“Spencer was at 80 pitches, so no need to push him,” said Jensen, a professional pitcher who reached Double-A ball with both the Red Sox and Yankees before finishing his career with the Somerset Patriots. “Spencer did a nice job mixing his pitches today.”

Dessert benefitted, too, from Prospects Baseball jumping out to a 5-0 lead through two innings. Meanwhile the righthander clamped down on Rising Stars’ lineup through the first four innings, retiring the first seven batters of the game, the last four of which were by strikeout. Two runners did reach base in the third for Rising Stars. Cole Serfass reached on a one-out throwing error and Shantz raced to first base when Dessart’s strike three curveball in the dirt got away. But, with runners on the corners, Dessart caught Embardino looking at a nasty curveball to end the threat.

Mottley’s sinking liner to right field with one out in the fourth was nearly caught by a diving Mike Novak, but it fell for a single and broke up the no-hit bid. Dessart got the next batter to line into an inning-ending double play. Rising Stars got two more runners on in the fifth after Keegan Stem reached on a one-out infield error and Max Squarcia lined a single into left-center field.

But Dessart, again, choked off the rally with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop.

Prospect Baseball struck for two runs in the first inning and three runs in the second to take that early 5-0 lead. The first inning rally came without the benefit of a hit or a ball hit out of the infield for that matter.

Jake Brazzano drew a leadoff walk and was on the move when Robbie Ford hit a bouncer toward the second baseman. Brazzano barely beat the throw to second and both runners were safe. Novak then hit a comebacker to pitcher Zack Hartman who tried to snare it with his barehand. But the ball bounced away as Brazzano scored and Ford reached third.

Novak would later score on a fielder’s choice grounder by Young for a 2-0 lead. Rising Stars averted a bigger inning, though, when the shortstop, Fillman, nailed Ford at the plate trying to score from third on a grounder by Connor Grotyohann. Fillman made a perfect throw and catcher Gabe Weir applied the tag.

All the damage done by Prospect Baseball in the second came after two were out. Matt DeLoreto singled through the right side, stole second and, after a walk to Terryn Babcock, scored on Nick Morro’s single through the middle. Brazzano then lofted a shallow fly down the right field line that was nearly caught as the right fielder approached the foul line, but the ball was dropped as both runners raced home, boosting the lead to 5-0.

Young’s two-out RBI single in the sixth extended the lead to 6-0 and the Rising Stars, again, short-circuited a bigger inning. Brazzano led off with a walk, stole second with Ford at the plate and continued to third when the throw to second got away. Reliever Max Squarcia then uncorked a wild pitch that hit the front of the plate and bounced high in the air. Squarcia raced in, grabbed the ball out of the air and dove and tagged Brazzano for the out. The two players collided hard at the plate but Squarcia was able to hold onto the ball.

Hartman deserved a better fate. He permitted five runs, just one of which was earned, on three hits over four innings. He struck out two and walked four.

Technique Tigers finished 2-1-1 in the 18U DN World Series and did not advance to the playoffs, but had a memorable fourth game of pool play on Thursday. Trailing in their last at bat, the Tigers rallied in dramatic fashion to defeat 9ers Baseball Club, 4-3. Zion Profit delivered a game-tying single and Bryan Calderon followed with a bouncer to the shortstop that scored the winning run. That’s the Tigers celebrating in the photo above.

Connor Maryniak of Bluerocks Baseball tossed a no-hitter on Thursday at Diamond Nation.

Righthander Connor Maryniak of Bluerocks Baseball 16U (3-1) tossed a five-inning no-hitter this afternoon, striking out eight and walking two. The 5-10, 165 rising senior at Gov. Mifflin steered his team to a 10-0 victory over Hustle Baseball in the 18U DN World Series.

The 18U DN World Series playoffs begin with the semifinals at 9:50 a.m. on Friday on Fields 1 and 3. The championship game follows at 1:30 p.m. on Field 1. The playoff pairings were not officially set at press time for this story as the Heavy Hitters (2-0, 14-3) still had a shot, with two late afternoon wins on Thursday, to break into the top four spots in the standings.

The top four teams in the 18U standings at press time were; 1-Diamond Jacks Super 16U (4-0, 29-6), Prospect Baseball Academy2 (4-0, 20-6), Interstate Baseball (4-0, 15-6) and Northeast Supreme Black (4-0, 30-7).

The Super 15U Invitational playoffs begin Friday morning as well. The semifinals begin at 11:50 a.m. on Fields 1 and 3. That championship game follows at 3:30 p.m. That playoff field isn’t quite as firm as the 18U field at this point.

The top four teams in the 15U standings at press time were; 1-Sportika Gallagher 15U Elite (4-0, 19-12), 2-9ers Baseball Club (3-0-1, 25-7), 3-Wladyka Chap (3-0-1, 28-19) and 4-Bucks County Generals (3-0, 25-4). Four other teams can disrupt that field, though. They include the Heavy Hitters 4 15U (3-1, 41-6), FBA Jays (3-0, 28-7), Bronx Bombers 15U (2-0-1, 23-5) and the Bridgewater Panthers (2-0-1, 17-6).

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