Harchar’s laser triggers Northeast Pride Scout victory

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 21, 2023

New York Grays’ Christian Negron tries to nail a runner at second base against Northeast Pride.

By Joe Hofmann

The opposing pitcher was struggling, the count had reached 3-and-0, and Northeast Pride Scout coach Ryan Callahan gave the sign from third base.


Evan Harchar then gave his sign.


Harchar wanted to give the next pitch a rip but couldn’t.

Two pitches later, circumstances changed and he did – and Harchar sent a rocket up the gap in left center for a two-run triple that opened up the game and propelled Northeast Pride to a 13-1 four-inning victory over the N.Y. Grays in the 14U Summer Finale at Diamond Nation on Saturday night.

Northeast Pride sent 13 men to the plate in the top of the first inning and took a 9-0 lead before the Grays even batted.

They drew five walks, including three in a row at one point, only a short time before Harchar came to the plate.

No wonder the take sign was on.

Still, that doesn’t mean Harchar didn’t prefer swinging the bat. He would rather crush the ball than take Ball Four – who wouldn’t? – but coach’s orders come first.

But one strike later, things changed. A strike from the Grays pitcher on the 3-0 pitch changed everything.

The hit sign was now on, the pitch came in, and Harchar sent it into orbit.

“Good thing I changed my mind,” Callahan said with a smile.

“He gave the red light,” Harchar said, “then he gave the green light.”

Harchar did the rest, driving in teammates Evan Erickson and Kaden Zimorowicz (who’d just delivered a two-run single).

“I was looking for something I could drive into the gaps,” Harchar said. “I turned it on early and I knew I was going for three pretty much when I got out of the batter’s box.”

Earlier this summer, Harchar struggled at the plate. But he didn’t waver.

He worked himself out of it with hard work, as well as Callahan and the coaching staff helping him adjust his swing.

The staff even used modern technology to get the kid back on track.

It worked.

“He got into the cage, we sent him videos,” Callahan said. “He began to keep his hands back and began to see the whole field.”

Ozzy Vogel-Moore of Northeast Pride Scout 14U takes a cut during his team’s victory.

That is exactly what he did when he tripled.

“It was amazing,” Harchar said.

It was the only two runs his team would need. Pride starter Dom Rynard pitched two 1-2-3 innings (3 strikeouts) before giving way to lefty reliever Cal Albright (1 unearned run, 1 hit, 1 strikeout).

Northeast Pride Scout wound up going 4-0 on the weekend and winning the 14U Red Bracket championship on Sunday night.

And it all started with the victory over N.Y. Grays.

“There was a lot to like,” Callahan said of the win. “Our pitchers threw strikes. We had a no-hitter going into the fourth. Our hitters were patient yet they were aggressive at the same time.”

Albright led off the game by reaching on an infield error and Rynard walked. One out later, Pride began its onslaught.

Ozzy Vogel-Moore walked and Jacoby Harnen singled in the first run of the game. One out after that, Chris McCauley, Michael Jamba and Erickson all drew walks, chasing starter and losing pitcher Jaydan Nunez.

Zimorowicz greeted reliever Mando Disha with a two-run single, setting up Harchar’s triple and No. 12 hitter Jordan Serra’s RBI single.

“If we play this brand of baseball,” Callahan said, “we are tough to beat.”

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