Michael Sarcewicz scores on wild pitch for the Bucks County Generals 10U Black.
By Sean Reilly
One of the toughest tasks on the 10U level is getting efficient relief pitching, especially in a tight game.
The PRD Ghost Squad 10U placed faith in two relievers on Saturday afternoon at Diamond Nation, and both fared well in helping the team to an opening game victory at the 10U Fall Brawl.
Antonio Dugo and Paul Basile both pitched well in relief, and each had an RBI at the plate as well, as their Monmouth County team defeated the Bucks County Generals 10U Black, 6-3, in Flemington.
Dugo took the mound with the Ghost Squad up 4-3 with two out and runner on first in the top of the fourth inning. The Generals had already scored once in the frame. He promptly got the third out on a fly out to right field.
In the fifth inning, he retired the first two batters on a grounder to first and strikeout before yielding singles to Mason Wade and Cooper Ralston. He then gamely struck out the cleanup man to maintain the lead.
“I was just trying to throw strikes,” Dugo said. “Not to throw my hardest, but to throw strikes.”
The Ghost Squad added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Cooper Cox singled to right field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Miles Wilson then singled him to third. Dugo grounded out to the pitcher, with Cox scoring for a 5-3 lead. Basile then hit a single to center to bring in Wilson for a three-run lead.
“He hung a ball over the middle and I crushed it,” Basile said.
Basile relieved Dugo to start the sixth and last inning, and Michael Sarcewicz led off with a double to left field for the Generals. But working with the three-run cushion, Basile zeroed in on the batters and struck out the next three to end the game.
“When he got the hit, I wasn’t worried,” Basile said. “I just wanted to throw strikes.”
The Generals had taken a 2-0 lead in the second inning, with one run scoring on a wild pitch and the other via an RBI single to center by Frank Lester.
The Ghost Squad countered with three runs in the bottom of that inning. Jackson Russell reached on an error to score a run, Cameron Worms was safe on an error to score Russell, and Worms came home on a wild pitch.
The Generals loaded the bases in the third, but couldn’t score after Ghost Squad starter Ryder McCorkle got the third out on a groundout to Russell at third. In the bottom of the inning, Chase Esposito added an RBI triple to center to give the Ghost Squad a 4-2 lead.
The Generals manufactured a run in the fourth. Caden Acker reached on a walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball.
The Ghost Squad played their final two pool play games on Sunday, remaining in contention for a spot in the tournament final later in the day.
The Generals also had two pool games on the slate on Sunday, with a chance of advancing still a possibility.
But for the Ghost Squad, the opening win was most important, especially after not playing to their potential at another tournament last week.
“We’ll take it,” Ghost Squad coach Shawn McCorkle said. “We started off the fall with some new guys that were playing at a higher level. I’m super happy with the way we were throwing strikes. We were in the zone with our arms for the entire game. We didn’t walk many. We minimized the freebies and made the routine plays and had a big hit from Esposito. Our relievers were really good. Last weekend we struggled, today new guys stepped up.”