By Sean Reilly
When you watch the NY Dynasty compete at Diamond Nation, you see a team that does just about everything right.
The crew from Staten Island hits, runs, pitches and plays defense on a superior level.
View the group closer, and you’ll notice another crucial ingredient to its success – the Dynasty players love to have fun.
“We expect to win, but we also have a lot of fun,” said Sean Hachemeister, one of the mainstays in the Dynasty lineup who was selected the tournament MVP. “That’s really important.”
The Dynasty had more good times on Sunday at ‘The Nation,” by not getting caught up by any pressure and working very hard to win three games, highlighted by a come-from-behind, 14-6, championship triumph over the Diamond Assassins, to win the 11U Halloween Bash.
The game ended a remarkable 2023 season for the Dynasty, especially at Diamond Nation.
The team, which won once in Flemington as a 9U unit and later in the year on the 10U level in 2022, returned to compete in seven tournaments this year.
The Dynasty played in five 10U tournaments in the spring, first winning the April Fools tourney and then winning their pool at the Williams Harley Davidson Tournament (the playoffs were rained out). The Dynasty also won the Spring Classic and the Mother’s Day and Memorial Day tournaments before breaking over the summer to compete in Little League All-Star competition.
The Dynasty returned to Diamond Nation as an 11U team this fall, and won the Grand Slam tournament earlier in October before coming back this weekend.
The final 2023 results in Flemington: six championships and a 26-2-1 record, capped by a 13-game win streak and 21-0-1 unbeaten streak.
“It’s always fun playing here,” Hachemeister said. “The turf, the snack stands, watching the older people play and the cages are also nice. We don’t take anything for granted, but we expect to win, and we like to have fun.”
That last item, according to coach Anthony Vigliotti, might be the Dynasty’s most important characteristic of all.
“They’re a comedy act,” he said. “That makes the whole thing. If you had a camera in the dugout instead of on the field, it could be a reality show. They have a lot of fun, which helps keep us going.”
Despite all of their success, the Dynasty knew that Sunday was going to be a challenging one, especially with two of its best players not available.
Sean Hachemeister of NY Dynasty was named the 11U Halloween Mash Most Valuable Player.
The day was also going to begin with a pool play matchup against a very notable opponent – Bakes Brewers.
The Brewers are another 10U power that competes at Diamond Nation, and the teams had two earlier meetings back in the spring, both at the April Fools tournament. The Brewers won, 14-2, in a pool game, but the Dynasty prevailed, 6-5, in the final.
The Dynasty won Sunday’s rematch, 5-4.
The Dynasty still needed to win one more pool game on Sunday to advance, against the Colossal 11U Select. The Dynasty trailed by two runs in the early innings before rallying to a 7-6 win.
The Diamond Assassins, based out of South Jersey, represented one last hurdle in the evening championship game.
Sure enough, the Diamond Assassins scored three times in the top of the first inning. Brendan Dilemme singled with one out, and Gavin Mason followed with a home run that soared over the fence and landed just below the scoreboard in right-center field on Field 2.
That wasn’t all. Garrett Gilliland was up next and doubled to right center, and Quinn McCoy followed that with an RBI double to left center.
The Assassins then used two walks to load the bases, but did not score any additional runs.
The Dynasty got two runs back in the bottom of the first. Dean Scarangello led off with a double to left center, and moved to third as Gavin Snell singled to left.
Nick Romano hit an RBI single with one out, and Rob Woodhouse drove in a run while reaching on a fielder’s choice.
The Assassins got both runs back in the top of the second, with Dilemme hitting an RBI single and Mason adding a run-scoring ground out.
The Dynasty scored three times in the bottom of the second for a 5-5 tie. Scarangello, who ended 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs and two RBI, singled in the first run. Snell and Romano added run-scoring hits in the inning, the latter with two out.
The Dynasty went ahead by scoring twice in the third, and then pulled away with a seven-run fourth.
Scarangello and Snell (3-for-3, one walk, two runs, three RBI) each had one-out RBI singles for the 7-5 lead in the third.
The fourth-inning uprising included RBI singles by Mike Barone and Snell and a two-run grounds rule double to left field by Joseph Barone as the lead grew to 14-5.
The other story in the victory was the pitching job by Hachemeister. After the rough first inning, he later had a string of 10 straight retired batters until a runner reached on a strike three wild pitch with two out in the fifth and final inning. Hachemeister also closed out the morning win over Bakes Brewers.
“They were a good team,” he said of the Diamond Assassins. “We had been playing good teams all tournament and knew this one was going to be hard. I just trusted myself and the defense. And the hitting got me fired up.”
And now, he’ll get to look back on a phenomenal year, especially at ‘The Nation.’
“We played great and we didn’t lose a tournament,” he said. “You can’t be any happier. We played good teams, beat good teams and lost to some teams. We expect to win, and to have a good time.”