By Will Harrigan
The Long Island Body Armor Titans 13U squad came into this weekend’s Youth World Series at Diamond Nation knowing a showdown with the Diamond Jacks could be in the wings.
With the way they swung the bats all weekend long, it is obvious that thought fueled their high-octane offense.
That crescendo of firepower showed itself when it counted most, as the Titans slugged their way to a 10-4 victory over the Diamond Jacks Super 13U on Sunday afternoon in the 13U Red Division championship game.
Throughout the tournament, the Titans outscored their opponents by a gaudy 64-11 margin in an undefeated run of six games. Titans first baseman Ryan Yormack garnered MVP honors for his club.
“It took a total team effort to make this happen and win six games in four days,” said Titans coach Anthony Papa. “We needed our offense to produce for us in order to have a chance, and guys up and down the lineup came through for us.”
Time was not to be wasted by the winners from the Island in flexing their muscles.
Jaiden Zoller got a rally started in the top of the first inning by singling to center field. Following a walk by Bobby Wescott two batters later, both would steal a base to put two men in scoring position.
Yormack would drive in the game’s first run, lifting a fly ball to center to score Zoller on a sacrifice fly. Wescott would score on a wild pitch in the ensuing at bat to double the lead.
Following Luke Coats getting aboard due to a DJacks fielding mishap, Charlie Shapiro would make the locals pay by lacing a double in the left center field gap to extend the edge to 3-0.
Meanwhile, the DJacks would load the bases themselves in the bottom half of the inning, but only score one run.
Nikolas Holot’s leadoff walk would start things off for the Super 13U, and Nick Do reached on an error. Jackson Staples then walked to load the bases with no one out.
Following a short fly ball that was unable to plate a run, Justin “Hoosta” Labrador would ground into a force at third to score Holot, but that would be all the DJacks would muster in the rally.
“The first inning is the most important one, and that’s a great example. We were fortunate to put up three, but I think holding them to one gave us the momentum back,” Papa said.
A calamitous defensive inning directly cost the DJacks a pair of runs in the third. Three fielding errors in four at bats allowed the Titans to run the lead up to 5-1 without recording a single RBI in the frame.
Yormack – who had a huge weekend to earn his MVP laurel – would single in a run in the fourth and was promptly driven in a batter later when Wescott doubled him home. Coats would drive in Wescott two batters later via a sacrifice fly to center.
“Ryan had a huge weekend for us. It’s hard to pick an MVP but he has been on fire all summer, let alone this weekend,” Papa said.
The DJacks – facing the mercy rule with one strike to spare – took advantage of a dropped pop up that would have ended it in the fifth. On that play off Do’s bat, Nehemiah Diaz and Holot – who reached on an error and walked, respectively – each came around to score.
An RBI single off the bat of Staples scored Do a batter later, but the DJacks went down 1-2-3 in the sixth to end it.