Emma’s arm and bat propels Wladyka Continental in 14U Spring Fever

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 19, 2024

Charlie Emma delivers pitch for Wladyka Continental during 14U Spring Fever action. 

By Sean Reilly

Charlie Emma has had a decent start this spring competing for Wladyka Baseball Continental. 

On Saturday afternoon at Diamond Nation, it got even better. 

Emma was the starting pitcher and cleanup hitter when Wladyka Continental faced the Pennsylvania-based Dirt Devils in its opening game at the 14U Spring Fever tournament. 

He excelled on both fronts, allowing one hit over five scoreless innings and going 3-for-3 at the plate as Wladyka gained a 6-1 victory in Flemington. 

“We’ve had a good season so far and I’ve had a good one so far,” he said.

Emma struck out six and walked six, with no runner advancing beyond second base. He was helped by two caught-stealing plays and a pickoff. Four of the walks came over his final two innings of work, when a nuisance light drizzle made it harder to throw. 

At the plate, he singled three times, scored two runs and drove in a run.

“I threw strikes,” he said. “I was mixing a couple of curves in there, but mostly fastball in and fastball away, looking to locate my pitches. At the plate, I was looking to get contact, trying not to do too much, just get the bat on the ball.”

While Emma stood out, it was still an unmistakable team effort for Wladyka, which took a 2-0 lead by scoring twice in the top of the second. 

Emma led off with a single to right field, and Dylan Merz followed with a single to second base. The runners then advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Liam Vonroth hit a grounder to shortstop which scored Emma, but a throwing error to first base also allowed Merz to score. 

That score held until the seventh inning, when Wladyka tacked on its other four runs. 

The first two batters, Matt Canzani and Austin Kiely, reached on walks. After an infield fly to the pitcher, James Iseman hit an RBI single to left field. Emma followed with a run-scoring single to center. After a pop up to shortstop, both Iseman and Emma scored on wild pitches with Vonroth at the plate.

The Dirt Devils scored in the bottom of the seventh, after Dom Ricci led off with a walk and eventually came around to score on a one-out ground out by Shane Mulvey. 

Emma was the lone player in the game with multiple hits.

Chase Hensman pitched the first six innings for the Dirt Devils. He allowed three hits, with six strikeouts and four walks. He also drew three walks at the plate.

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