Fast start sends Body Armor Titans to big win at 12U Beat the Heat

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 22, 2023

Derek Tomitz, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, locks in on pitch for Body Armor Titans 12U.

By Sean Reilly 

Derek Tomitz takes his role as leadoff hitter for the Body Armor Titans 12U seriously. 

In fact, he began thinking about Friday’s game at the Diamond Nation 12U Beat the Heat Tournament from the moment he woke up at his home on Long Island. 

“I usually start thinking right when I wake up,” he said. “As the leadoff hitter, I want to get things going with a big hit.” 

Tomitz thought about his approach on the drive to New Jersey, and also when he took some cuts before the game in the batting cages at ‘The Nation.’

“I was thinking about my swing,” he said. “I’ve been pulling off instead of swinging through the ball.” 

Tomitz took the first pitch of the game – and the entire tournament – for a ball, and then crushed the second offering over the fence in left field for a home run that sent the Titans to a 15-1, four-inning victory over Valley Dogs 12U Gray in Flemington.

He ended the game 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored for the Titans, who had five players finish with multiple hits. That group included Richie Oakley, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI. 

“I wasn’t expecting a home run on the second pitch,” Tomitz said. “But it felt really good. This game was a great start for us.”

The Titans scored three times in the top of the first. Dylan Zizzo, the third batter of the game, hit a soaring liner over the fence in center for a solo home run, and Logan Kirwin (2-for-2, two runs) hit a double and scored on a wild pitch.

The Titans then erupted for seven runs in the second for a 10-0 lead.

With one out, Liam Reese (2-for-2) singled to left field and Tomitz followed with a full-count single. Tomitz stole second, and both scored on a hard-hit ball past first base by Marco Comande (2-for-4).

Dylan Sanders hit a sacrifice fly to center field, Jake Vargas added an RBI single for a 7-0 lead, and Oakley hit a two-run single before Chase Eichner singled across the tenth run.

Logan Kirwin, Body Armor Titans third baseman, pursues a foul pop up.

The Titans loaded the bases but could not score in the third inning, but did add five more runs in the fourth for a 15-1 lead.

After Vargas (2-for-2) began the inning with an infield single, followed by Joseph Laspisa being hit by a pitch, Oakley hit his second two-run single. 

The inning also included an RBI groundout by John Paglia and an RBI single which dropped in shallow center field by Comande. 

The Valley Dogs scored their lone run in the third inning, as Matthew Walter (2-for-3) singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by Braden Peterson. 

The Titans continue pool play with two games on Saturday, against the Locked In Baseball Expos (1-0) in the morning and Diamond Jacks 12U Gold (0-1) in the afternoon. 

The Valley Dogs play the same two opponents on Saturday. 

The first-place finishers in the two four-team pools will play for the tournament championship on Sunday.

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