Hustle Baseball 10U continues to grow with Spring Classic sweep

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 5, 2024

Rebels third baseman Luca Carlini fields grounder he turned into inning-ending 5-5-3 double play. 

By Sean Reilly

Since they didn’t begin playing together until earlier this year, the Hustle Baseball Academy 10U is deep into a constant process of learning how to compete.

That’s not to say the Fairfield-based team is struggling. In fact, it’s far from the case. 

Hustle Baseball 10U had a tournament runner-up finish last month at Diamond Nation, and it is back in Flemington this weekend for the 10U Spring Classic, Powered By Victus. 

Hustle Baseball got off to a fantastic start on Saturday, by opening with a 7-5 win over the Central Jersey Rebels, and following with a 7-4 decision over Colossal Baseball 10U Select. 

As a result, Hustle Baseball is in excellent position to finish first in its four-team pool and earn a spot in the Sunday afternoon final, pending the outcome of its final pool game earlier in the day against the NY Prospects (0-2).

“In general, we’re a good defensive team and good hitting team, we just need to learn a little more baseball-wise, which is what all teams this age are dealing with,” said Hustle coach Lou Fernandez. “At Hustle Baseball Academy, we have teams from 10 through 18, and we just met these guys in January. They work hard and they are a good bunch of kids.” 

A tournament at ‘The Nation’ is the ideal way for a team like Hustle to learn through competitive action against quality opposition. 

Against the Central Jersey Rebels, it scored three times in the top of first, and had the challenge of protecting the lead for the remainder of the game. 

Against Colossal Select, it yielded four runs in the top of the first, but scratched back by scoring three runs in both the third and fourth innings.

Matthew Polanco delivers pitch for Hustle Baseball 10U as Austin Marshall of Central Jersey Rebels watches at first base. 

Hustle Baseball began with gusto in the 8 a.m. matchup against the Rebels.

Logan DiGirolamo led off by reaching on a throwing error. Anthony Camacho-Osorio walked, and Tony Odige walked on a full count to load the bases.

J.J. Marshall was up next, and he delivered a grounds rule double to left-center field for a 2-0 lead. 

“It was good to get a hit that got my team going,” he said. 

After the next batter was retired on a pop up to second base, Matt Polanco supplied an RBI ground out to first base. 

The Rebels scored a run in the second inning when Nick D’Angelo led off with a single to shortstop, advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a double to center by Tyler Pieszchala. 

DiGirolamo led off the third for Hustle Baseball with a double to left-center. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored as Camacho-Osorio grounded out to third. 

The Hustle lead was extended to 6-1 after a two-run fourth. 

Alex Azzato hit a double to center with one out, and moved to third on a wild pitch before Ansh Jariwala walked and stole second. Anthony DeSordi drove in both with a single beyond the second baseman. 

The Rebels rallied with a four-run bottom of the fourth. 

The inning began with a single to center from Sal Reina. Next up was D’Angelo, who was hit by a pitch. Conan Odell then reached on catcher’s interference. 

Pieszchala followed with a two-run double to center, and a bunt out from Connor Kelleher scored another. Sean Mathews hit a run-scoring single to left field. A wild pitch moved him to second base. 

Marshall became Hustle Baseball’s third pitcher, and he induced a pop out to the mound before getting a pitcher-to-first ground out. 

Marshall also pitched well in the fifth. Hank Little led off for the Rebels and was safe on an error. He stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Marshall struck out the next two to maintain the lead. 

“I was just trying to throw strikes,” he said. 

Hustle Baseball added an insurance run in the sixth. Polanco and Chase Pinto drew consecutive walks with one out. After they advanced on a wild pitch, Azzato hit an RBI single to center. 

Hustle Baseball turned to Nico Bertuglia to close out the game in the bottom of the inning, and he responded by striking out the side. 

Azzato, DeSordi and Lucas Gunnels all finished 2-for-3 for Hustle Baseball. 

Pieszchala went 2-for-3 for the Rebels, who bounced back with a 17-6 triumph over NY Prospects.

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