Jaydin Pabst of Antonelli Baseball steals second after legging out an infield hit.
By Joe Hofmann
Mike Frost gave new meaning to the term hit and run at Diamond Nation Tuesday morning.
The Antonelli Baseball Black center fielder lined a shot past third base and would soon be standing on third base – sooner than most 14U players would have, that’s for sure.
Frost, a winter track athlete, put his track speed on full display and that triple wound up catapulting his team to a 10-0 Mercy Rule victory in four innings over MVP New England.
“I love running around the bases,” Frost said with a grin. “That was awesome.”
Last weekend, Frost lived up to his name at a tournament held in Peabody, Mass. He didn’t get a chance to use his blinding speed because … well, when you don’t get any hits, it’s tough to run the bases.
Frost was … well, ice cold at the plate.
That’s where coach Jack Antonelli came in.
“He was crowding the plate and he was getting jammed a lot,” Antonelli said. “He backed off the plate and that certainly helped.”
So instead of hitting the ball on the hands in the third, Frost hit the sweet spot and rocketed the ball past third to lead off. Nine batters would come to the plate and Antonelli would score four runs to go up 5-0.
After Frost’s triple, he scored on a wild pitch – his speed on display once again – before Jaydin Pabst and Kalen Huddle walked and each stole a base.
Cleanup hitter Jaydin Minaya hit a comebacker to reliever Connor Broderick, who threw to third in an effort to get Pabst scurrying back to the base. But Pabst beat the throw back, loading the bases, before Olivio Thibeault, winning pitcher Kam Greatorex, and Glen Mello delivered RBI singles.
Antonelli scored four more times in the fourth – oddly enough, with the
same four hitters scoring in the fourth as in the third.
Josh Blanchard walks off after pitching a scoreless inning for MVP New England.
With one out, Frost singled to center and Pabst and Kalen Huddle were both hit by a pitch to load the bases.
MInaya greeted reliever Caden Candelario by drawing a walk to force in a run, before Thibeault hit a two-run single and Mello smoked a run-scoring double. Ethan Greatorex ended the game with an RBI single.
The outbreak of runs was refreshing, considering that Antonelli struggled to put anything together when it was at the plate last weekend.
“Today we hit like we hoped we could,” Antonelli said. “The second time around the batting order, we were able to hit a little better.”
All of the offense was more than enough for Greatorex, who allowed three straight hits to lead off the game but, oddly enough, came away unscathed.
That’s because the strong arm of Huddle behind the plate threw out Broderick and John Chadwell, both of whom singled but were erased on steal attempts. New England’s No. 3 hitter Gabe Green followed with a base hit but then Greatorex fanned cleanup man Cayden Kaufmann to end the threat.
Greatorex fanned the side 1-2-3 in the second and was never in serious trouble after, fanning five and walking two over four shutout innings.
“I was able to throw strikes,” Greatorex said. “When they hit the ball, my defense didn’t give them any extra outs.