Kiricopolus fires four-hit shutout for Show New England 13U

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 18, 2023

First baseman Andrew Censullo of Locked In Expos catches a foul pop in 13U Mid-Summer Classic.

By Joe Hofmann

Many 13-year-old pitchers struggle with their control while pitching from 60 feet.

Not Andrew Kiricopolus.

Many 13-year-olds have control issues with their breaking pitches from 60 feet.

Not Andrew Kiricopolus.

Some might even find the going tough with a rain-slicked ball and throwing off of a slippery mound.

Not Andrew Kiricopolus.

Show Baseball’s right hander scattered four hits and went the distance in an 8-0 victory over the Locked In Expos in the 13U Mid-Summer Classic semifinals at Diamond Nation on Sunday night.

Show New England (4-0) would go on to win the 13U championship, surrendering just three runs in its four games.

Kiricopolus fanned three, walked only one, and was never seriously threatened. He gave up two hits in the first inning (one was picked off) and then cruised his way through the final five innings.

“He was awesome,” coach Steve Lomasney said. “He threw strikes and pounded the strike zone. He is a very good strike thrower. And he threw strikes with his breaking ball. Doing that is harder for someone this age, but he’s been able to do it.”

Graduating from a 50-foot mound to 60 is quite a jump for most hurlers this age. But Kiricopolus took to the new distance and ran with it.

And the victory over Locked In was another example.

“I did OK,” Kiricopolus said. “I did well. I was able to keep it in the strike zone. My curve worked pretty well.”

“He pounded the zone,” catcher Grady Forsberg said. “He threw his curve for strikes.”

It all made Forsberg’s night an easy one. He’d call for a pitch, put the glove in a certain spot, and the ball would be there moments later.

Rinse and repeat.

“Easiest job in the world,” he said. “Just put my glove down. He throws the ball and all you gotta’ do is catch it.”

What made Kiricopolus’ outing a cut above the rest was that sometimes the ball and mound were a little slick because of the rains that hit the metropolitan area.

The adverse circumstances didn’t hinder Kiricopolus at all.

“I’ve caught a lot of kids with a wet ball,” Forsberg said. “They don’t have the best grip and usually when the mound is a little slippery, they spike (the ball). Not him (Kiricopolus).”

On two different occasions, Kiricopolus was aided by his team’s infield defense, which turned two double plays.

In the third, Locked In’s Andrew Censullo singled and stole second to lead off before Kiricopolus walked Henry Mun.

Shawn Ingram of New England Show admires his single in 13U Mid-Summer Classic semifinals.

But Kiricopolus got Joe Lombardo to ground into a 6-4-3 DP (Mikey Harris-to-Peter Thompson-to Trevor Gage) to end the threat.

In the fifth, Frank Seretis walked but Thompson picked up a Censullo grounder, stepped on the bag, and threw to Gage at first for a 4-3 double play.

Locked In staged its biggest threat in the fourth but Kiricopolus worked out of it. Rob Frei hit a one-out double to left before Luca Russo walked. But with runners on first and second, Kiricopolus got Cruz Prata to ground into a force at second before he fanned Gavin Pruss, ending the threat.

Show’s hitters, meanwhile, broke through with single runs in the first, second, and third before erupting for five in the six to win by the mercy rule.

Forsberg was hit by a pitch and scored on Miles O’Neil’s single in the first, Parker Johnson popped a single to center and scored on Ty Lomasney’s single to left in the second, and Thompson walked and scored on O’Neil’s RBI single in the third.

In the sixth, Harris tripled to lead off and Gage walked before Johnson’s RBI single. Irving Tavares reached on an infield error and Lomasney stroked a two-run single. Thompson singled and Forsberg delivered an RBI single to end the game.

“We went gap-to-gap and had a lot of good at bats,” coach Lomasney said. “We had been swinging at too many pitches early in the count and we made some adjustments by staying back in the box. That helped us.”

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