Full Count Baseball’s Isaiah Robinson takes an aggressive secondary lead off third base.
By Steve Merrill
Full Count Baseball defeated the East Coast Dodgers with a wild 9-6 victory on Wednesday afternoon in the 14U Diamond Nation World Series.
The Dodgers got out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the top of the first as the top four hitters in the East Coast’s lineup came across to score before an out was recorded.
Full count starter James Kehoe was able to get a ground ball from Ethan Wisler for a 4-4-3 double play to limit the damage. Full Count would quickly cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first.
“I think the offense clicked after going down four runs early,” said Full Count head coach Anthony Colletti, who also serves as the Union Catholic High School varsity skipper. “That’s a recipe for us to score runs. These kids are so great at being resilient. They always find a way to get back into it.”
Leadoff man Greg Viloria singled and advanced to third ona pair of wild pitches, Josiah Sharpe walked, and Chris Wilson grounded out to bring in Full Count’s first run of the afternoon. Isaiah Robinson singled in the second run that made it a 4-2 game.
Kehoe was able to respond with a shut down 1-2-3 inning in the second. Full Count was right back in the dugout and followed up by posting a four-spot in the home half of the second to take a 6-4 lead. Wilson socked a triple to clear the bases for his second, third, and fourth runs batted in in two innings.
In the third inning, Full Count’s offense erupted again. The first five batters of the inning reached base, causing havoc for Dodgers starter Stephen Crater, who got yanked midway through the frame. Reliever Ethan Wisler came in and couldn’t limit damage. After a double play, Viloria came up with a runner on third base.
Viloria hammered a pitch to the fence and raced around the bases for an easy inside-the-park two-run home run. The runs wound up being taken off the board after the Dodgers appealed that Viloria missed first base and was called out. Colletti came out of the dugout to get an explanation from the base umpire.
“I didn’t really argue it because I was far away,” Colletti said. “It could’ve changed the game for us but it didn’t, which is great. It’s tough because a kid like that deserves it. He did a good job going the other way. To have that taken away was tough.”
Kehoe wound up lasting 4-plus innings for Full Count, giving up four hits and allowing six runs (two were inherited runners that reliever Mikey Tripodi failed to strand), while walking six and striking out one. Colletti noted his starter wasn’t comfortable on the hill today, but still managed to keep his team in the game and give them a chance to win.
“He (Kehoe) struggled to repeat the same motion over and over,” Colletti said. “But he settled in after giving up the four runs. When you have a defense that makes a ton of plays it’s kind of like ‘throw the ball over the plate and let them hit it.’ If they get a hit, that happens. That’s baseball but it’s about how we control what happens next.”
Tripodi pitched an effortless sixth inning to close out the game and shut down the Dodgers for the afternoon as the time limit hit.
“Mike comes in all the time and throws strikes,” Colletti said. “He’s my guy to go to. He’s a bulldog and I love him out there.”
Grant Bartell reached base twice for the Dodgers while Stephen Crater went 3-for-3 with two singles and a two-run triple.