FBA Jays launch comeback, take a 9-8 thriller over BBA Eagles

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 2, 2023

FBA Jays pitcher Nick Bott fires away to seal Saturday’s victory over the BBA Eagles.

By Will Harrigan

As a highly successful baseball coach on the high school level at West Morris, FBA Jays coach Tom Reindel has seen his share of high scoring, back and forth baseball games.

His 13U squad – filled with players local to Diamond Nation – delivered a win in that type of game on Saturday, and finished off a successful week at the Firecracker Invitational.

In the end, a three-spot in the fifth inning allowed the Jays to edge BBA 13U Eagles, 9-8, to wrap up pool play in the Independence Weekend Firecracker tournament.

Reindel’s Jays finished off their weekend 3-1, good for second place in Pool A play and enough to run their overall record to 14-4 for the summer. BBA 13U Eagles – a club based out of Northern Virginia – fell to 0-3 on the week.

In the decisive fifth inning, the Jays capitalized on two crucial errors that led to all three runs scored in the frame.

“When you get to 13U, it’s obviously a big adjustment. You move over to the big field and after you are hitting all these home runs on the smaller field at 12U, the game slows down and becomes more nuanced,” said Reindel. “We’ve really been making good progress with it.”

In the bottom of the first, it was the Eagles who drew first blood.

A trio of walks to start the game immediately put the Jays in a bind. First baseman David Hallam made the Jays pay by launching a bases clearing triple to left-center to almost instantly make it 3-0 Eagles.

In the ensuing half inning, the Jays’ bats came alive and promptly responded with a four spot.

With two men on and one out, Phillip Silvia belted a two-run double to cut the lead in half. Gavin Caponegro would follow that with an RBI single, and Caponegro would score himself later in the inning on a wild pitch.

BBA Eagles batter David Hallam steps in the box before singling in a run.

Responding with another punch, the bottom of the Eagles lineup delivered in a big way in the second.

Nile Williams tripled in a run, which was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Evan Ingraham, putting BBA back up, 5-4, after just two innings of play. Williams reached base three times out of the ten-hole in the game.

An RBI single by Luke Schenkel and an ill-timed error by the Eagles on the same play  allowed two runs to score and put the Jays back ahead, 6-5.

Consistent with the theme of this game, an RBI groundout by Gary Barton followed by a run scoring single off Hallam’s bat were part of a three-run fourth that put BBA back in front, 8-6. Hallam wound up with a 2-for-2 day with four runs driven in.

Jays relief pitcher Nick Bott would come in to close out the game in the fifth, and would work around two walks to seal the victory for the local squad.

“The bottom line is, you have to make plays to win, and we made one more,” Reindel said. “It’s good to be able to win while knowing there is still tons of improvement to make as a team.”

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