Diamond Jacks Gold 14U overpowers Wladyka Continental

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 2, 2023

Henry Garlits delivered at the plate then closed out his team’s victory on Saturday.

By Luis Torres

Henry Garlits admitted he hasn’t had the best time swinging the bat in recent weeks. 

He said he’s been inconsistent, struggling to string together plate appearances where he gets a hit by barreling up the baseball

But he’s had a fantastic weekend swinging the bat during the 14U Independence Weekend Firecracker Tournament and it continued on Saturday. 

Garltis smoked a two-run triple as part of an eight-run second inning, helping Diamond Jacks 14U Gold come away with a 10-0 win over Wladyka Continental in four innings at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

Garlits also closed the game out, throwing the final two pitches of the contest when he entered the game with the bases loaded.  It was an exclamation mark on a good day for him.

“I was sitting on a fastball, I was looking for a pitch, and he gave it to me and I teed off on it,” Garlits said. “Once I saw that in the gap, I made sure I should not stop running, and I was thinking three all the way. 

“I needed that. I’ve been struggling at the plate a little bit. That swing definitely felt good. I feel like I’m back in my rhythm.”

Diamond Jacks Gold 14U opened the scoring in the first inning on an RBI groundout, setting the tone for what was to come. The team ended up sending 12 hitters to the plate in the second inning, with Garlits breaking the game open with his two-run triple that gave Diamond Jacks Gold 14U an 8-0 lead.

“That second inning was a good inning,” Diamond Jacks 14U Gold coach Logan Steidinger said. “We had a lot of really good approaches at the plate. Guys worked walks, you have a guy on the mound having trouble throwing strikes, and we got guys working walks. I always say you have to punish bad baseball.

“Another team is making mistakes, you have to put them away, and that’s what we did. We looked really good today.”

Starting pitcher Peyton Keller kept Wladyka Continental off balance by changing speeds. He wasn’t overpowering as he didn’t record a strikeout, but he pitched to contact and let his defense play behind him.

Keller battled through some command issues, walking five hitters, but he permitted just two hits, pleasing Steidinger with his performance.

Keller narrowly missed out on tossing a four-inning complete game, throwing 3 ⅔ innings and handing the ball over to Garlits with the bases loaded.

Garlits said he was nervous when he entered the game because he had to scramble in the bullpen to get ready. But he delivered by ending the game when Steidinger called on him.

“It was a little bit scary because I only threw like three pitches in the bullpen before I came out,” Garlits said. “But I came in there and made sure I threw strikes, and I got the job done. That’s all that matters.”

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