Anthony Bott of the Diamond Jacks 10U scores a run in the team’s victory over Locked In Expos.
By Joe Hofmann
The Diamond Jacks 10U baseball team had barely finished their Cornflakes before they took the field for an 8 a.m. game Friday.
That’s when they rubbed the sleep out of their eyes, strapped on their hitting shoes and pounded the baseball.
And there was very little the Locked In Expos could do about it.
The Diamond Jacks rolled to a 21-3 victory in the 10U Boys of Summer Tournament at Diamond Nation.
The Diamond Jacks hit as though they were sailing through a turnstile during evening rush hour.
One by one, batters strode to the plate, reached base, rounded the bases and scored a run. Rinse and repeat.
The Gashouse Gorillas from Bugs Bunny would have been proud.
“We had some good, competitive at bats,” Diamond Jacks 10U coach Peter Minsavage said. “We played good heads-up baseball and we had composure.”
The Diamond Jacks scored eight runs in the first and then, if that weren’t enough, added on 13 more in the second, for a monstrous 21-0 lead.
How balanced was the hitting performance? All 11 Diamond Jacks hitters in the order contributed with either a walk, a hit, getting hit by a pitch, a run, or an RBI during the second, which saw the team send 18 batters to the plate.
Put another way, that means the team would have batted around twice had it batted nine.
“The kids are developing their game,” Minsavage said. “These kids did a nice job and they are giving max effort in games and in practice.”
The Diamond Jacks gave a preview of what was coming in the bottom of the first when their first five hitters had base hits and seven of their first eight had hits.
How overwhelming was the first inning? Minsavage’s hitters didn’t make an out until the No. 9 hitter.
Allan Pena singled to lead off and stole second, winning pitcher Tyler Lagang reached on an infield hit and stole second, and Nate McGann tripled to right center and scored when the return throw to the infield bounced away.
Ryan Nigro kept the conga line moving when he singled before Jack Suarez’s RBI triple. Tim Donahue reached on an outfield error, Anthony Bott singled in a run and Josh Labrador ripped a two-run double to right.
The blowout would only worsen in the second.
Pena and Lagang walked and McGann was hit by a pitch. One batter later, Suarez walked in a run and Donahue had a two-run single to right center. Bott singled, Labrador was hit by a pitch and Jack Bower and Gage Higgins had RBI singles before Luca Eberle walked.
Pena doubled in two before Lagang and McGann singled in one run apiece before Nigro’s 6-3 RBI groundout.
“We were finding the gaps and we ran the bases,” Donahue said.
The hard-throwing Lagang, meanwhile, was dominant on the mound, striking out five in his two innings of work, allowing just Eric Conklin’s one-out double in the first. But Lagang fanned the next two hitters to get out of it unscathed.
“Tyler pitched great,” Minsavage said. “He’s a well-rounded player.”
In the third, the Expos scored three times off Anthony Bott. Ian Johnson doubled, Joe Lopresti reached on an infield hit and Brady Hood hit a two-run triple. Collin Waldron singled home Hood.
But the three runs were not nearly enough.
The game ended fittingly, with the Diamond Jacks ending it with a punctuation mark.
The Expos had the bases loaded in the third when Mason Doresett hit a bouncer to third. Donahue calmly picked it up, stepped on third, and threw over to Labrador at first to complete the 5-3 double play.
“I knew I’d either step onto third and make the throw or I’d throw it right to second to start the double play,” Donahue said.