Gary Perone of NY Prospects dives back into first where Yadi Mateo of Super 13U is guarding the gate.
Dylan Wayne finally put an end to a wild final inning-and-a-half in the most patient way possible. He drew a four-pitch walk-off walk as the Diamond Jacks Super 13U nipped NY Prospects 13U, 5-4, in a Super 13U World Series pool play game on Wednesday at Diamond Nation.
The Diamond Jacks scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 2-1 deficit before NY Prospects rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead at 4-3. But the Diamond Jacks answered in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory and improve to 3-0 in tournament play.
“It’s a 13U game. Crazy things happen,” said Diamond Jacks Super 13U coach Mike Buckelew. This one had all the elements a 13U game can offer.
In the end, righthander Sal Garcia provided 3.2 innings of relief and picked up the win. He also helped himself with a timely single in the middle of the game-winning rally in the seventh.
Garcia followed Zach Fronio’s leadoff walk with a single to center field. And the Diamond Jacks were in business moments later when A.J. Saccento drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Tony DeNora followed with a hard single to left field that scored Fronio with the tying run. After a strikeout, the lineup flipped back to the top to Wayne.
“We were confident coming into the inning,” said Wayne. “We’ve been able to score a lot of runs this summer so we knew we could come back.”
Sometimes overt aggression is what’s needed to win a game. Other times you need to let things come to you. Wayne, in this instance, waited patiently for a hittable pitch that never came and gladly drew a walk that forced Garcia home with the winning run. Wayne also triggered the two-run rally in the sixth that, temporarily, put the Diamond Jacks back in front.
“I was just trying to get on base any way I could,” said Wayne about the rally in the sixth. “I got a fastball up.” And he hit it hard to center field. Wayne raced to second base on a wild pitch with Jayden Capindica at the plate and scored when Capindica singled inside first base, tying the game at 2-2. Capindica then stole second with Andrew Parisi batting with no outs.
Parisi lofted a long shot to left that left fielder Matt Rao somehow chased down near the fence for the first out. Rao made a terrific play in both chasing down the blast and snaring the ball over his shoulder.
Capindica was still at second base with two outs when J.R. Rosado stepped in and ripped a single to center to score Capindica and put the Diamond Jacks in front, 3-2. Rosado, the Diamond Jacks catcher, also had a terrific game behind the plate.
Garcia had entered with two outs in the fourth and held NY Prospects scoreless from that point and through one out in the seventh. But NY Prospects rallied. Gary Perone drew a walk and Jacob Saladis singled over third base to put NY Prospects in business. Rao followed with a bloop single to left field that loaded the bases.
The Diamond Jacks nearly got out of the jam and won the game right there on a double play. But they could only get the runner at second on Vin DeGrado’s grounder to shortstop. That allowed Perone to score from third with the tying runs and, when the throw to first was in the dirt and bounced away, Saladis scored all the way from second to put the Prospects ahead again, 4-3.
Quality pitching kept the score down in a game neither team seemed willing to wrest control of in the early going. NY Prospects’ righthander Anthony Catalano and the Diamond Jacks lefty A.J. Saccento hooked up in a nice duel. Catalano would permit just three runs on seven hits, strike out six and walk two in a gritty effort that featured the righthander pounding the strike zone with fastballs and curves.
The lefty Saccento got the start for the Diamond Jacks and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on two hits over 3.1 innings. He struck out four, walked two and hit a batter. Garcia permitted two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits, struck out three and walked four. It was Garcia’s first appearance on the mound this summer after recovering from an elbow strain.
“My curveball and two-seamer were working pretty good,” said Garcia. “My first inning I was just trying to locate pitches. I was more confident in my second inning. I was starting to get the feel for it.” Garcia has been on the field this season as a middle infielder.
NOTES: DeGrado drew a walk in the top of the third, moved to second on a fielder’s choice grounder and came around on a pair of infield errors by the Diamond Jacks. … Capindica’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 1-1. John Donahue led off and was hit by a pitch. He stole second, moved to third on DeNora’s single and scored when Capindica lined a shot into right field. … NY Prospects regained the lead in the fourth and that was triggered by Aiden Colasante’s one-out double deep down the left field line. Perone then drew a walk and Saladis singled to load the bases. Rao then hit a deep-enough fly to right field to allow Colasante to tag and score from third base. But when the first baseman Mateo cut the throw off he was able to nail Perone trying to sneak over to third base.
… Rosado threw out a runner attempting to steal by so much in the second inning the runner didn’t even bother to slide. He also picked off another runner at second base in the fifth inning.
… Mateo and DeNora combined on a no-hitter when the Diamond Jacks Super 13U defeated Mid-Atlantic Hurricane, 8-0, in the team’s second game of the day. That victory completed the team’s pool play record at 4-0 and it stood at the top of the Super 13U World Series standings having outscored its opponents 35-7.