Garland’s hustle sparks RCBC 10U to King of The Diamond championship

By DN WRITING STAFF | April 16, 2024

By Sean Reilly

Mason Garland brought a superior effort to Diamond Nation over the weekend, and so did his RCBC Ghost 10U Nationals teammates. 

The result was a first-ever MVP award for Garland, and the 10U King of The Diamond championship trophy for RCBC. 

Garland went 3-for-3 with two runs and one RBI when his Staten Island team defeated Hustle Baseball, 13-5, in the final on Sunday afternoon in Flemington.

His performance capped a weekend in which he was 6-for-9 at the plate, with four doubles and one triple. He also pitched a complete game in a 7-2 triumph over the always-tough Bucks County Generals 10U Black in the semifinals earlier on Sunday.

“I was just trying to hustle whenever I was out on the field,” Garland said. “It was a good weekend.”

RCBC went 4-0 with a 50-10 run differential to conquer the seven-team field.

In the championship game, the key was the first inning. In the top of the frame, RCBC pitcher Kane Sherlock retired the first two batters on pitcher-to-first groundouts before striking out the third. 

In the bottom of the inning, RCBC sent all 10 of its batters to the plate while scoring six runs.

A.J. Eugenio led off with a single and advanced to third on a two-base error. The next batter struck out. Garland was up next, and a wild pitch scored Eugenio before Garland singled to center field. 

Sherlock followed with an RBI triple to center. Rocco Midolo walked. After a pop out to second base, a run scored on a wild pitch before Joey Rainero hit an RBI double to left field. Craig Tronolon singled to left field, and advanced to second on a throw back into the infield. 

With runners on second and third, Andrew Papantor knocked in both with a double to center for the 6-0 lead.

Sherlock pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the second, with a liner to shortstop sandwiched between two strikeouts. 

Ben Goldberg hit a one-out single in the bottom of the inning, advanced on a passed ball and scored on Garland’s double to center to give RCBC a 7-0 lead. 

Hustle Baseball, which was 3-2 on the weekend, scored twice in the third. Alex Azzato tripled to center with one out and scored as Anthony DeSordi reached on an error. After a base hit from Jack Cavanaugh, a single to center field by Chase Pinto scored DeSordi. 

Midolo led off the bottom of the inning for RCBC with a double to center. He moved over to third when Charlie Fernandez grounded out to third, and scored when Rainero singled to center for an 8-2 lead.

Mason Garland of RCBC Ghost 10u Nationals was named 10U King of the Diamond MVP.

Hustle Baseball cut its deficit to 8-4 in the fourth, after Nico Bertuglia and Tony Odige both hit RBI doubles with two out. 

RCBC expanded its lead by scoring four times despite the first two batters being retired in the bottom of the fourth. 

Garland began the rally with a single to the outfield that was compounded by a two-base error. Sherlock followed by reaching on an RBI single to third base. Midolo, who ended 2-for-2 with a walk, singled to left field. 

With runners on first and second, Fernandez hit a grounds rule double to left-center. Rainero then finished off his 3-for-3, four RBI game with a two-run double to left-center.

Hustle Baseball scored a run in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Anthony Camacho-Osorio.

RCBC needed one run to end the game via the mercy rule in the bottom of the inning, and it didn’t take long for it to happen.

Mikey Barone led off as a pinch hitter. He hit a ball to right field that went for a double. The ball was misplayed, and he kept running, continuing past third and all the way home to close out the win and the championship. 

The tournament was RCBC’s second visit of the spring to ‘The Nation.’ They were runner-up at the Battle At The Turf last month. 

Garland likes to play in Flemington, but going home with a championship medal and MVP award made this trip extra-special. 

“It’s always fun to play here,” he said. “This one feels very good.”

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