Gill Dolan of US9 Prospects 24 is congratulated by teammates Cameron Beltramini (28) and Cal Chance after hitting home run.
By Sean Reilly
The US9 Prospects 24 opened play at the Diamond Nation Super 17 Invitational with a win Monday, but Gill Dolan didn’t feel like he contributed much to the victory.
“I didn’t have a day I wanted,” he said. “I went 0-for-2 at the plate.”
It wasn’t anything he needed to change his approach over, but the Weymouth, Mass. product also wanted different results when his team faced the MVP New England 2025’s on Tuesday afternoon in Flemington.
The lefty batter and shortstop came to the plate with two out and nobody on in the top of the first inning, and he sent the ball over the fence in right with his wood bat for a home run that propelled his team to a 6-3 triumph.
Dolan added a fourth-inning walk and a sixth-inning double for his team, an effort which surely left a positive impression with the more than 20 college coaches who were watching the game in the scout tower and from behind the plate at Field 3 at ‘The Nation.’
Because all of the players in the contest were from either Connecticut or Massachusetts, many of those attentive coaches were from New England schools.
“I want to come out here and show the coaches what I’m able to do,” Dolan said. “That’s how to start out the tournament right. I want to play baseball at the next level, and hopefully this summer I can find a school that loves me, and I love them.”
Dolan wasn’t the only US9 Prospects player to impress. Gavin Rigney was 2-for-3 with one RBI, and the pitching trio of Connor Niemiec, Gabe Knudsen and Daniel Margolies limited MVP England 2025’s to three hits while also producing quality at-bats.
One of those hits for MVP New England was Garrett Snyder’s RBI triple to center field with one out in the bottom of the first for a 1-1 tie.
US9 Prospects 24 regained the lead in top of the fourth. Margolies hit a single with one out, and moved to second on a base hit by Rigney. Margolies stole third, and scored on a throwing error.
MVP New England took a 3-2 lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth. The frame began with walks to Max Corradi and Owen Callaghan. A double steal ensued, and both were safe after a throw that went to second base. Corradi kept going toward home, and was safe. Callaghan, meanwhile, scored on a two-out single to center by Dominic Trolio.
US9 Prospects took control after scoring four times in the top of the sixth.
The first batter struck out, but Tadd Cavanaugh and Dylan Murphy followed with walks, the latter on a full count. Knudsen then hit a single to left field, and an error on the play brought in Cavanaugh with the tying run. It also left runners on second and third for the top of the order.
With the infield playing in, Margolies was retired on a ground out to shortstop that scored Murphy for a 4-3 lead. Rigney followed with a hit to right field that scored Knudsen, and after the double to left center by Dolan, a passed ball brought in Rigney with the sixth run.
The US9 Prospects opened the tournament with a 10-1 win over the TKR Reds on Monday. They’ll conclude with matchups against the Sussex County Miners 17U on Wednesday and Baseball U-Scranton on Thursday.
When they take the field for those games, Dolan will be ready.
“I’ll keep going with the same approach,” he said. “Seeing the coaches here, it makes you want to compete even more and become a better player. I want to keep getting after it and show the coaches what I’m all about, and hopefully things fall into place.”