Jersey Storm wreaks havoc at Super 12 Invitational

By Bob Behre | September 27, 2021

The Jersey Storm team that erupted for 12 runs on nine hits in the Super 12 Invitational championship game was the same Jersey Storm team we saw all tournament long.

It simply mashed.

Colin Raymond hit two home runs, including a three-run walk-off shot to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning to secure a 12-2 mercy rule decision over the Diamond Jacks Super 12U squad last night at Diamond Nation.

Jersey Storm capped its 5-0 tournament run with a six-run fourth inning that saw four different hitters drive in runs. It would conclude the event having outscored its five opponents 64-12. The Diamond Jacks (4-1) held a 48-21 runs advantage on their opponents.

“These kids just work extra hard,” said Jersey Storm coach Nigel Archibald. “They never give up.”

Jersey Storm led 6-2 entering the bottom of the fourth and used the bottom of its very deep lineup to trigger the winning rally. Jak Gale, the No. 10 hitter, drove in the first run of the inning on a single to left field. Aedan Riley brought the second run of the inning home with a fielder’s choice bouncer before Michael Alberto, the Storm’s leadoff batter, singled to center to score Gale and boost the lead to 9-2.

K.J. Pimenthal drew a walk to bring Raymond to the plate representing the winning run.

“We had a big lead, so I was going for the fences,” said Raymond, the Storm’s catcher. “We had nothing to lose.” The lefty hitting Raymond latched onto a fastball and pulled it easily over the fence in right for a three-run home run and the decisive runs. “I was sitting fastball all the way.”

Raymond, who was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player, followed Pimenthal’s two-run blast in the third inning with a solo shot the opposite way to left field. That three-run third inning put Jersey Storm in front, 6-1.  Pimenthal finished 1-for-2, scored a run and drove home two runs.

Luca Cantazarite launched a meteor to left-center field leading off the fourth inning to trim the Diamond Jacks Super 12’s deficit to 6-2. Jason Baker, the Super 12U’s starting pitcher, had led off the second inning by driving an opposite field rainbow to right field that cleared the scoreboard.

But that would account for the Diamond Jacks only runs as Jersey Storm righthander Chris Jerla permitted two runs on six hits over four innings, striking out seven and walking none. His strike efficiency went a long way in preventing the potent Super 12U lineup from mounting a sustained rally.

Colin Raymond ripped two HRs on his way to earning the Super 12 Invitational MVP award.

“Chris closed the semifinal for us and threw 10 pitches,” said Archibald. “So we knew he was good for only 50 or 60 pitches. He did a great job holding them to two runs and staying efficient.”

Jersey Storm edged RCBC Marucci Americans, 8-7, in the semifinals to advance to the championship game. The Diamond Jacks defeated the Central Jersey Young Guns, 9-0, in the other semis.

The Diamond Jacks 1-0 lead in the second inning was short-lived as Jersey Storm responded with a three-spot in the bottom of the inning.

Eddie Piniero drew a leadoff walk. Devin Pollack’s high pop to the left side fell harmlessly to the turf for a single. Jerla bunted the two runners into scoring position before Justin Acosta singled to right to score both runners and give Jersey Storm its first lead at 2-1. Carlos Echeverry (2-for-2, RBI, run) followed with a laser double to the right-center field gap that chased home Acosta for a 3-1 lead.

Jersey Storm was coming off a championship in a Perfect Game event in Clarksboro, N.J.

“The core of this team hasn’t changed,” said Archibald. “They’ve been together three years and have great chemistry.”

NOTES: Raymond (2-for-3, 4 RBI) had a pronounced bat flip in his at bat in the first inning. But, though he squared up a fastball, it was a can of corn for Diamond Jacks center fielder Dylan Brito. “I thought I had it,” said Raymond. But Raymond made sure in his next two at bats not to leave anything in the park, no bat flip required. “I knew for sure. 100 percent,” said Raymond of his three-run walk-off blast in the fourth inning.

Bryson Auten, Sam deLaurier, Remington Mortman and Parker Klug each had a single for the Diamond Jacks.

Super 12 and Super 17 Fall Invitational recaps

Super 12 Fall lnvitational

Jersey Storm defeated the Diamond Jacks Super 12U squad, 12-2, in the Super 12 Fall Invitational championship game. Colin Raymond of Jersey Storm was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Jersey Storm (5-0) outscored its opponent 64-12. The Diamond Jacks (4-1) held a 48-21 runs advantage on their opponents.

Super 17 Fall Invitational

Eight outstanding ballclubs advanced from the The Super 17 Fall Invitational to the Columbus Day Showdown on Monday, Oct. 11. Those eight teams join the top eight qualifiers from the 17-18U Wood Bat Championships on Sept. 8-10 at Diamond Nation. The 16 teams will square off for the Columbus Day Showdown title. The advancing teams are the CB Raiders, which went 3-0 and outscored their opponents 29-0, Wladyka American 2022 (3-0, 24-3), US Elite NJ (3-0, 22-3), Northeast Pride National (3-0, 20-3), Hit And Run Outlaws (3-0, 20-4), 16U Elite Sportika Baseball (3-0, 24-5), Pro Skills 18U Select (24-5), Tri-State Arsenal NY (3-0, 20-5).

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