Jayson Labrador provided the clutch relief performance and A.J. Saccento delivered the go-ahead run with a single in the sixth inning as the Diamond Jacks Super 14U edged East Coast Select, 8-6, in the 14U Mother’s Day Classic championship game.
Labrador shut out East Coast Select over the final 3.1 innings on one hit, striking out five and walking two. He entered with a runner aboard and two out in the third after East Coast Select had rallied for five runs to take a 6-3 lead.
“Jayson pitched very well,” said Diamond Jacks Super 14U coach Walter Cleary. “He got us out of further trouble and third inning and just settled things down in the whole game.”
Labrador then was the recipient of a Diamond Jacks rally in the bottom of the third that produced three runs and tied the game at 6-6. The Diamond Jacks got a couple runners on base and John Donahue ripped a two-run triple to shave the deficit to 6-5. Donahue later scored from third with the tying run.
It was Saccento’s turn to play hero in the sixth inning. Donahue reached on an error and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Saccento then stepped in and singled to center field to score Donahue for a 7-6 lead. Zach Fronio drew a walk, pushing Saccento to second before J.R. Rosado singled to center to chase home Saccento with an important insurance run.
Labrador and Saccento were named the 14U Mother’s Day Classic co-MVPs.
“As a group we’ve been swinging it well,” said Cleary. “Labrador hit his first homer of the spring on Sunday. We got off to a bit of a slow start to the season but have since been hitting extremely well. After missing spring last year, we are still catching up.”
Fronio got the Diamond Jacks off to a good start with an impressive pitching performance in Friday night’s tournament opener, a 4-3 victory over the Bucks County General 14U Black. It would be the Generals’ only loss in the Mother’s Day Classic. Fronio limited the Generals to three runs over the first six innings. He struck out seven and walked two. Labrador came in to close it out with a scoreless seven as he picked up two more strikeouts.
“We are starting to come together with our all-around game,” said Cleary. “Our defense was a little shaky early in the spring. We were a little rusty. But we’ve been improving right along.”
The Super 14U (5-0) outscored its tournament opponents 38-14 while East Coast Select (3-1-1) held a 37-22 runs advantage on its opponents.
Mother’s Day Classic recaps
Morris County Cubs 17, MA Show 10U (Steward) 15
Morris County Cubs defeated MA Show 10U (Steward), 17-15, in the 10U Mother’s Day Classic championship game. Joe DeJager of the Cubs was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Cubs (4-0) outscored their opponents 40-32. MA Show (3-1) held a 50-23 runs advantage on its opponents.
Morris County Cubs 9, FB Braves Elite 4
Morris County Cubs defeated FB Braves Elite, 9-4, in the 11U Mother’s Day Classic championship game. Jared Haupt of the Cubs was named the 11U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Cubs (5-0) outscored their opponents 68-11. The FB Braves (3-1) held a 35-12 runs advantage on their opponents.
Powerballers 21, Long Island Expos 3
The Powerballers defeated the Long Island Expos, 21-3, in the 12U Mother’s Day Classic championship game. Clemente Cintron of the Powerballers was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Powerballers (5-0) outscored their opponents 66-11. The Long Island Expos (5-1) held a 67-54 runs advantage on their opponents.