Kawa’s 5 RBI leads Generals to victory at King of the Diamond

By DN WRITING STAFF | April 14, 2024

Kellan Fetch slides safely into third base for the Bucks County Generals 9U. 

By Sean Reilly

Filip Kawa led off a game for the Bucks County Generals 9U on Saturday morning at Diamond Nation by hitting the ball hard, but having it caught in center field. 

Kawa could have shown frustration, but he also knew better. 

“I thought, there are going to be other at-bats, and you never know what will happen next,” he explained.

His next chance came in the second inning, and the bases were loaded. This time, he hit a grounds rule double to right field. 

Kawa came up again in the fourth inning, once again with the bases loaded. A bases-clearing triple to right field followed. 

His 2-for-3, five RBI performance led Bucks County to a 12-2, five-inning pool play victory over the Bethlehem (N.Y.) Eagles at the 9U King of the Diamond tournament in Flemington. 

Both teams were seeking to rebound from losses immediately prior to the 10 a.m. matchup on Field 4B at ‘The Nation.’ 

Bethlehem struck first by scoring twice in the bottom of the first.

The first two batters struck out, but Riley Stewart’s single to third base was followed by an RBI triple to right-center by Burke Rhinemiller. He scored when Oakley Obernesser hit a first-pitch triple to right field. 

After that, it was all Bucks County. 

The Generals scored six times in the top of second. The rally began with one-out singles by Jeff Rider and Grant Goldman, before Matteo Cundari drove in both with a triple to right field. Max Kincus then singled to third to bring in Cundari with the go-ahead run. 

Andrew Davidson was up next, and he beat out a slow grounder down the third base line. After a pitching change, the next batter was retired on a pop out to the new hurler. 

Cameron White was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Kawa, and his grounds rule double scored Kincus and Davidson for a 5-2 score. 

Kawa’s approach in those situations is pretty simple. 

“I was just doing my thing,” he said. “I hit the ball and got an extra base hit.

“I was saying to myself, there are bases loaded, and I have to put the ball in play. So I moved up in the box, and just hit the ball.”

Cameron White scores on a wild pitch for the Bucks County Generals.

White scored the last run of the frame on a wild pitch. 

The Generals added another run in the third inning. D.J. Doyle walked with one out, Grayson Meyers followed with a double to center field, and Rider was retired on a ground out to shortstop that scored Doyle for a 7-2 advantage.

Bucks County scored its final five runs in the fourth, and all of it happened with two out. 

Davidson launched the uprising with a single to center. Mason Kincus singled to shortstop, and a wild pitch moved the runners over to second and third. White then walked to send up Kawa, once again with the bases loaded.

He once again capitalized, this time with his three-run triple. 

“It felt nice,” he said. 

He then scored on a hit by Kellan Fetch, who came around to score the 12th run on a wild pitch.

Kawa’s performance – and his positive attitude – are no surprise to Bucks County coach Bill Burke. 

“These are knowledgeable kids,” he said. “They get it. Filip is upbeat. When the kids are down, he’s the first one to tell them not to worry about it. He’s a great teammate to have around.” 

The four-team tournament will conclude with playoffs on Sunday afternoon. 

The fourth-seeded Bethlehem Eagles face the top-seeded Morris County Cubs (2-0) while the second-seeded Generals encounter the third-seeded FB Braves (1-1) in the semifinals at 12:15 p.m.  The championship is set for 4:30 p.m.

“This was a nice way to end the day,” Kawa said. “Now I’m hoping to come back tomorrow and win the championship.”

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