ASBA Futures Gold catcher Chase Crawford uncorks throw to second base.
By Sean Reilly
For Connor Lamanteer, his Friday night at Diamond Nation was all about feeling good.
It started with being back with his Colossal 17U Select teammates. While they are competing at the 17/18U Summer Finale tournament, the event represents the start of the fall campaign for the South Jersey team after some well-earned rest.
Lamanteer was also the starting pitcher for Colossal in its tournament opener against ASBA Futures Gold 2023, and felt very satisfied with his pre-game warmup in the bullpen.
When the game began, he retired the side in order in a quick top of the first inning.
And maybe best of all, in the bottom of the frame, Colossal struck for six runs, sending it on its way to a 14-0 triumph in Flemington.
“When you get runs and you have good fielders that you can trust, it’s definitely a good day to pitch,” Lamanteer said. “Today was just one of those days where we were on and everybody felt good, so it was just a good day.”
And it all began in the warmup.
“Everything was working in the bullpen,” he said. “I knew I was going to have a good game, and I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do.”
He was also a part of Colossal’s offensive attack, going 2-for-2 with a RBI walk, RBI triple and single in the game which ended via the mercy rule after three innings.
Colossal did most of its first-inning damage by taking pitches. Gavin West walked and came around to score on a wild pitch, Lamanteer drew a bases-loaded walk, Alex Tanaka hit a two-run single, West had a RBI walk in his second at-bat of the inning, and Tanaka scored on a wild pitch.
Colossal scored seven more runs in the second inning. Lucas Middleman scored on a wild pitch and Lamanteer tripled in a run and came home on a wild pitch for a 9-0 score. West singled across another run before Joe Ruffino delivered the big blow, a three-run inside-the-park home run to straightaway center field.
Colossal ended the game in the bottom of third on an RBI single with two out by Ethan Gwara.
“We were being patient at the plate,” Lamanteer said. “When we can be patient, we always hit.”
All in all, it was a great way to launch the next portion of the 2022 season.
“We took a decent-sized break in August,” Lamanteer said. “Now we’re back and we’ll be playing through the fall. It was a good way to get started.”
Notes: ASBA Futures had two hits, back-to-back singles to right field by Charlie Morris and Chase Crawford with two out in the second inning. … Colossal’s next pool game was a matchup against Crossbridge Raiders on Saturday afternoon. The Raiders opened their weekend with a 10-1 win over Knights Baseball on Friday. ASBA Futures and Knights Baseball also met in a pool game on Saturday night.