Home Run barrage rallies Diamond Baseball Academy to 11U championship

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 13, 2024

By Sean Reilly

Jack Elsier had a distinct plan when he stepped into the batter’s box in the fifth inning of the 11U Mother’s Day Classic championship on Sunday afternoon at Diamond Nation.

After having already hit two very hard singles, his Diamond Baseball Academy Black 11U team was down by a run with runners on first and second. 

“I wanted to hit a home run,” he said. 

Elsier delivered with a ball sent over the fence in left-center field, a shot that put his team ahead for good in what became an 18-7 decision over Zoned RedHawks Elite in Flemington. 

Elsier’s blast gave his team from King of Prussia, Pa., a 9-7 lead. The next batter, Chase Purcell also homered. 

Elsier came up again in the sixth inning, also with two men on. He went deep again, this time to left field, as Diamond Baseball Academy pulled away to win its first tournament championship. 

The team ended the weekend 4-1, with a 51-31 run differential. 

Elsier was 4-for-4 in the final, with three runs and six RBI. 

For the weekend, he was 9-for-12, with five runs, nine RBI and three home runs. He was named tournament MVP. 

He wasn’t alone, however, in swinging a potent bat. 

The team had 18 hits in the final, including five home runs and four doubles. 

Dylan Capizzi was 3-for-3 with a walk, hit two home runs and drove in four. He also scored four times. 

Purcell was 4-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs and two RBI. 

Jack Brodinski was 2-for-3, and Kyle Elliott 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. 

What made the surge so impressive was the way one player’s performance affected another’s.

The best example of that occurred in the go-ahead fifth. The first two batters were retired before leadoff man Dylan Ahn reached on a two-base error. 

The Zoned RedHawks Elite were holding a 7-5 lead at the time, and made a very sensible decision to intentionally walk Capizzi, who hit solo home runs in his first two at-bats. 

That created an opportunity for Mason Frank, who had been 0-for-2. He responded with an RBI single to center to get Diamond Baseball Academy within a run. 

That hit, which put runners on first and second, made for an even bigger opportunity for Elsier, whose first at-bat was a lined single to center, and second at-bat was a single ripped to third base. 

He sent the first pitch over the fence. 

“I got a fastball down the middle,” he said. “It was probably the best feeling of my life.”

“We’re aggressive when we’re up,” Elsier said. “That’s how we do it. We have good at-bats, hit it into gaps, and we hit it hard.”

After taking the 10-7 lead into its sixth and final at bat, Diamond Baseball pulled away with an eight-run inning.

Elliott doubled in the first two runs, Ahn drew a bases-loaded walk and Capizzi followed with a two-run hit for a 15-7 lead. 

Elsier came up again with two on and two out, and hit his second three-run homer, this time on a 1-2 count. 

“We pick each other up,” he said. “This feels great. This is the first tournament we’ve won in the two years we’ve been together. We also came here last year and lost in the semifinals.” 

Zoned RedHawks Elite, which went 3-1 on the weekend, got a first-inning grand slam from Max Bussin. Henry Oldham extended the lead to 5-3 with a home run later in the inning.

Liam Buksar had an RBI groundout in the second inning to give the Somerset County team a 6-4 lead, and Brady Kostrowski contributed an RBI single for a 7-5 advantage in the fourth, before Diamond Baseball Academy mounted its comeback.

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *