Landon Adler is hugged by teammate after his game-winning hit for the Lincroft Tides
By Sean Reilly
Togetherness can go a long way, especially when a team is trailing by four runs going into the last half inning of a game.
The Lincroft Tides, a 10U town team out of Monmouth County competing at the Memorial Day Blast at Diamond Nation, were in that situation on Sunday afternoon heading into the bottom of the sixth against the CT Mustangs in Flemington.
Not only that, the leadoff batter was retired on a ground out to third base.
But then the Tides went to work, even after the second out was recorded without any runs still having crossed the plate. But the next four batters reached to tie the score, then Brandon Adler ripped a first-pitch RBI single to score Cameron DeSevo from third to cap a five-run uprising that gave the Tides a 9-8 victory.
“They’ve got a lot of fight in them,” Lincroft coach Jim Brett said. “They’re a group of kids who’ve been together since they were seven. They all go to the same elementary schools, they play in the same Little League. We’re just a small town team. They’re kids who are good athletes. They’re learning the game and developing game by game and getting better each time they go out on the field.”
The CT Mustangs seemed to be in good shape for most of the game, beginning with Logan O’Brien leading off the contest with a clean inside-the-park home run on a ball that hooked down the left field line. The Mustangs also scored three times in the second inning, added three more in the third and tacked on another run in the fourth for an 8-2 lead. The big blows along the way were a two-run single by Austin Nisbet and two-run double from Andrew Saddsky.
The Tides inched closer by getting an RBI double from DeSevo with two out in the fourth, and another RBI hit with two out in the fifth courtesy of Declan Maguire.
The rally in the bottom of the sixth began with Ethan Ralph reaching on catcher’s interference with one out. He stole second, and moved to third on a ground out. Jax Brett, an eight year old who bats second in the Tides lineup, hit an RBI single to center field to score Ralph and cut the deficit to 8-5. Singles by Brett Mittenzwei and Hudson Ellis loaded the bases for DeSevo, whose single to the outfield was misplayed, allowing all three runners to score while he reached third.
With the game now tied, Adler stepped to the plate. An out would have ended the game in a tie and a hit would win it. But there was little drama in the at-bat, since his clean first-pitch single gave the Tides the 9-8 win.
“That was a big hit by Landon,” coach Brett said. “He made a great swing and put the barrel right on the ball.”
“They kept their heads up,” Brett said of his team. “We kept throwing strikes on the mound and making plays on the field and guys kept fighting to get on base and the timely hits came when they needed to.”