Cincinnati commit Chase Harlan of Bucks County Generals gets ready to rip.
By Will Harrigan
Liam Hawley is the type of kid an event like the Super 17s Invitational is designed for.
While he plays on an exceptionally talented travel club in the Bucks County Generals 2024, the LaSalle HS product batted ninth in the lineup on Tuesday morning.
You’d never know it if you went by Hawley’s performance at the dish.
Going 2-for-2 with a double, triple, walk, and two runs scored, Hawley helped propel the Generals to a 10-2 victory over Team Steel Prospects 2023 at Diamond Nation. With a dozen or so college coaches on hand, Hawley impressed each time he was at the plate.
“I was just seeing the ball really well and I was able to turn on it and make good contact,” said Hawley. “It’s nice to play in front of so many coaches, but my focus is just helping our team win right now.”
After falling behind early, the Generals offense exploded with a six-spot to blow the game open in the second.
As many of them do, the rally started with a leadoff walk, this particular one issued to Council Rock North (Pa.) outfielder John Mulder. Two batters later, a single by Casey Nealon would put two men on to get more trouble brewing.
After Hawley walked to load the bases, Ryan Jacobson singled in Mulder. But disaster would strike the Prospects when their left fielder misplayed the ball, letting it roll all the way to the wall and allowing two more runs to score.
Cincinnati commit Chase Harlan would single in another run later in the inning, and Kevin Schmidt would deliver the last run of the frame by grounding out to third to plate Reece Moody, who had walked.
Hawley was directly responsible for the Generals’ next two runs, doubling in Owen Pinkerton in the third and tripling him home in the fifth. Pinkerton had gotten on walking and singling to right, respectively.
“A lot of guys were able to hit and get on base, not just me. We’re really good when we show out and hit as a team,” Hawley said.
Later in the fifth, Hawley would score on a delayed steal of home on a designed first-and-third play. The last run of the game would be scored when leadoff man Jordan Schaffer drove home Jacobson on a sacrifice fly hit deep to center field.
Steel Prospects – featuring ball players from Long Island, primarily from Sayville and Ward Melville of national lacrosse fame – got off to a quick start in the first.
Leadoff hitter Dominic Falino drew a walk to open the inning and an infield single off Matthew Mayer’s bat two batters later put two on.
That setup a hard hit double in the right-center field gap by rising Sayville senior Tommy Dutot, driving in Mayer and Ryan Leniec – who reached on a fielder’s choice – to give Steel Prospects an early 2-0 lead.
Generals starter Josh Palutis of Wissahickon (Pa.) High School would settle in after that, only allowing two hits and one hit batsman in the four subsequent innings.