Wyatt DeMeo of Diamond Studs unleashes in Super 16 Invitational.
By Rich Bevensee
They may not be home run hitters by trade, but teammates Wyatt DeMeo and Anthony Saniscalchi both managed to get the job done in their own unique way on Saturday evening.
DeMeo homered by motoring around the bases with his exceptional speed. Saniscalchi, a gap-to-gap line drive hitter, provided the longball by tapping into what he believes to be unheralded power.
Both homers were vital for Hunterdon County-based Diamond Studs Baseball, which built an eight run lead and then hung on to snag a four-inning, 12-10 victory over the Bucks County Generals 2025s in the Super 16 Invitational at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
Saniscalchi, who just completed his sophomore season at Delaware Valley High, led the Diamond Studs by going 3 for 3 with a single, a double and a monstrous home run over the left field fence. Saniscalchi’s blast was the highlight in the Diamond Studs’ six-run fourth inning which vaulted them to a 12-4 lead.
“Just got under it. Got lucky, I guess,” Saniscalchi said.
“That was a no-doubter,” Diamond Studs coach Travis Zilg said. “He’s not a home run hitter. He’s a line drive hitter, finds the barrel a ton, but not a home run hitter by any means. I’ve told the guys to anticipate a spot on a 3-1 pitch and I think he just ran into a pitch that was in his spot.”
Saniscalchi, who led Del Val in hitting (.333), hits (21) and doubles (six), had just one home run to his name before Saturday. He went deep against county rival South Hunterdon for a two-run homer on May 3.
“Because of my stature (5-7, 150 pounds) I may look like a line drive hitter,” Saniscalchi said. “I hit a couple off the fence in high school. I think I’m more of a power hitter than some people think.”
DeMeo, who saw limited action in his sophomore season at North Hunterdon this spring (2-for-18), wasted no time impacting his summer club. In the bottom of the second, he ripped a 1-1 fastball into center field, and the sinking liner skipped to the wall while DeMeo dashed around the bases for a three-run home run. It was his first homer since his Little League days.
“When I saw it sinking I knew it had a chance to get past the center fielder,” DeMeo said. “When I saw that, I’m thinking, ‘I’m gone. I’m gone. All day.’ I knew I had the speed for it.”
“Wyatt is the fastest kid I’ve ever coached,” said Zilg, who has 11 years of coaching AAU and club ball and seven years at the college level under his belt. “He’s electric on the bases.”
The Diamond Studs enjoyed a number of offensive contributors. Tyler Anderson, one of North Hunterdon’s top hitters (.321), went 2-for-3 with a triple. Voorhees teammates Ray Schiavo (two-run single) and Joey Nolan (RBI double) fueled the Diamond Studs’ six-run fourth. And North Hunterdon’s Ben Linzer added an RBI single.
All told, eight of 10 Diamond Studs scored at least once, seven chalked up a base hit, and five drove in runs.
“This is a new group and we still have a couple of guys not playing this weekend because their high school teams are still in the playoffs (state tournament),” Zilg said. “So there are still a couple of missing pieces but I think this team can be elite this summer.”
Joe Paccione pitched the first 2⅔ innings for the Diamond Studs, allowing four runs on three hits and five walks with one strikeout. Noah Szbonya handled the rest, yielding six runs on two hits and five walks with one strikeout in 1⅓ innings.
Szbonya had Diamond Studs fans on the edge of their seats in the bottom of the fourth, getting the first two outs before the Generals rallied for six runs and placed the tying runs on base. Szbonya slammed the door on the 10th batter of the frame with a game-ending strikeout.
“The score doesn’t indicate how we played the game,” Zilg said. “Noah is a PO (pitcher only) for us and those are moments where I could have easily pulled him if things got hairy. He’s young and he has to learn those are moments kids can grow from, and if he fails there he can get motivation from it. But he was able to get through it.”
The Diamond Studs, who opened their weekend with a 7-3 loss to the Diamond Jacks Super 15U on Friday, will conclude their weekend with a matchup against Wladyka Baseball American on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Noah Behm launched the biggest hit of the night for the Bucks County Generals with a three-run triple in the bottom of the third which, at the time, narrowed the Generals’ gap to 6-4.
Behm, who drove in four runs total, started the game for the Generals and pitched two innings, allowing six runs on six hits.
Jack Pye and Mason Coyne both had two-run singles for the Generals, while Behm and Chase Fulford forced in runs with bases-loaded walks.
Pye pitched 1⅔ innings and allowed six runs on three hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Blake Bell finished up on the hill, pitching the final ⅓ of an inning and allowing a double.
The Generals concluded their Super 16 Invitational weekend with the Diamond Studs game. They split their doubleheader on Friday, bowing to Diamond Jacks Super 15U, 10-3, and defeating Wladyka Baseball American, 4-1.