Precision on a baseball diamond can be achieved through hard work and experience. And talent plays no small part in that equation.
To see all of those qualities come together in an 11 year-old team can be alarming. Fielder’s Choice Baseball showed all of that with a calm and coolness in the field and a thunderous approach at the plate that sent it to the 11U April Blast championship last night at Diamond Nation.
Righthander Camden Felmey peppered the strike zone with fastballs as he threw two-hit ball over four innings to set the stage for a Fielder’s Choice uprising in the bottom of the fourth. The team from northern Virginia exploded for nine runs in the frame to secure an 11-1 victory over Wildcats Baseball Club by the 10-run mercy rule.
“I’m extremely happy how we’ve played and I love our team chemistry at this point,” said Fielder’s Choice coach Bryan Miller. “We’ll keep working hard to get better.”
Felmey did not strike out a batter in the deep Wildcats lineup but walked only two as he gamely commanded the strike zone. Wildcats starter Evan Brobst did a nice job as well in his three innings of work. The lefthander permitted two runs on four hits, struck out one and walked two.
But when the Wildcats (3-2) went to their bullpen in the fourth, the move did not bear the desired fruit.
Mason Lowery, Fielder’s Choice’s No. 6 hitter, triggered the big fourth inning with a ringing leadoff double into the right-center field gap. Fielder’s Choice (4-0) would rap out six hits in the inning as two Wildcats relievers would manage to get just one out.
Colton Dabrowski singled home two runs, Braiden Miller and Hunter Heffner singled in a run apiece and Lowery, who started it all, capped the explosion with a two-run single to center field that forged the 11-1 lead and ended the game.
“Felmey was terrific in the final and Hunter Heffner and Brady Card both did an excellent job on the mound, too, for us this weekend,” said coach Miller.
And the Fielder’s Choice bats provided plenty of support as the team scored 51 runs in its four tournament games.
“Our lineup did a great job,” said Miller. “And I would give our Charlie Hustle award to Liam Seeley and Austin Kearns. Both scored a bunch of runs and played multiple roles for us.
Fielder’s Choice’s shortstop Braiden Miller had a terrific tournament, hitting three home runs and flashing some serious leather at his position. Miller had three great at bats in the championship game. He flew out deep to center field in the first when Wildcats center fielder Hunter Harrison made a great running catch. Miller then singled in the third inning and delivered his RBI single in the fourth.
The Fielder’s Choice infield was mostly airtight. Second baseman Lowery made a nice diving catch on a floater in the middle of the diamond for the final out of the fourth. Catcher Hudson Jappell looked slick fielding a pretty sac bunt by the Wildcats’ Ryan Simpson in the third. Jappell then wheeled and fired to get the out at first base.
The Wildcats got on the board first when Aiden Capobianco drew a game-opening walk in the first, moved to third on a pair of grounders and scored on Jake Gray’s two-out single off the umpire’s leg in the middle of the diamond.
Fielder’s Choice tied the game in the bottom of the first when Charles Diglio drew a leadoff walk, stole second and came around on Heffner’s two-out single. Felmey singled leading off the second and eventually scored on Mark Jeffries grounder to give Fielder’s Choice a 2-1 lead.
Fielder’s Choice is now 6-1-1 through its first two spring tournaments. It outscored its April Blast opponents 51-13. The Pennsylvania-based Wildcats held a 53-45 runs advantage on their opponents.
April Blast recaps
NJ Renegades 15, Legit Baseball 1
NJ Renegades defeated Legit Baseball, 15-1, in the 9U April Blast championship game. The Renegades (4-0) outscored their opponents 52-3. Legit Baseball (2-2) was outscored by its opponents 38-23.
Grit Black 10, ASBA West Chester 10U 2
Grit Black defeated ASBA West Chester, 10-2, in the 10U April Blast championship game. Alex Kavountzis of Grit Black was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Grit Black (4-0) outscored its opponents 40-9. ASBA West Chester (3-1) held a 38-27 runs advantage on its opponents.
NJ Axemen 11, Diamond Jacks Super 12U 2
NJ Axemen defeated the Diamond Jacks Super 12U, 11-2, in the 12U April Blast championship game. Curt Friedrich of the Axemen was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. NJ Axemen (5-0) outscored their opponents 67-15. The Super 12U (4-1) held a 42-18 runs advantage on its opponents.
Diamond Jacks Super 13U 6, RCBC Marucci National 3
The Diamond Jacks Super 13U defeated RCBC Marucci National, 6-3, in the 13U April Blast championship game. Brian Tulli of Super 13U was named the 13U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Super 13U (5-0) outscored its opponents 40-15. RCBC Marucci National (4-1) held a 35-11 runs advantage on it opponents.
MA Show 14U 18, The North Jersey Cardinals 4
MA Show 14U defeated The North Jersey Cardinals, 18-4, in the 14U April Blast championship game. Nate Romano of MA Show was named the 14U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. MA Show (5-0) outscored its opponents 66-15. The Cardinals (4-1) held a 42-22 runs advantage on their opponents.