Derek Sullivan of Northeast Supreme pitched 4.1 strong innings in the 15U World Series on Thursday.
By Luis Torres
Robert Lisciandrello looked at his team as they huddled in front of the third base dugout and told them this was their last chance to prove to each other that they had the fight and the grit to come from behind.
Northeast Supreme 15U Regional trailed by two heading into the bottom of the sixth inning against FBA Jays 15U. Lisciandrello’s team needed a rally, and they responded as best as they could.
Jack Wooster hit a game-tying RBI single up the middle on a 0-1 count with two outs as Northeast Supreme 15U fought back to come away with a 6-6 tie in six innings against Flemington Baseball Academy Jays 15U in 15U Diamond Nation World Series play on Thursday at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
Northeast Supreme’s rally came after FBA Jays staged its own rally in the top of the fifth inning.
FBA Jays scored four runs in the fifth after trailing 4-2, taking a 6-4 lead.
But Northeast Supreme didn’t quit when it was down to its final three outs. In a game of rallies, it was fitting the contest ended in a tie.
“It was really time to show each other, more so than anybody else, what they’re made of,” described Lisciandrello of the team huddle. “We’ve had to come from behind to keep ourselves in games and this was a good test to prove to ourselves that we can play from behind.”
FBA Jays took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Matteo Tramatula hit an RBI groundout, but Northeast Supreme answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame, and starting pitcher Derek Sullivan got into a groove.
Sullivan ended his day with seven strikeouts in 4⅓ innings of work, leaving the mound as FBA Jays started its rally.
Graham Berry came through with the go-ahead hit, a two-run single to left field, giving FBA Jays a 5-4 lead. The Jays tacked on another run when Jack Schlaudecker scored on a wild pitch.
“The kids fought hard,” FBA Jays 15U coach Danny Dunn said. “It was our sixth game in seven days, and we play three more in a row and we had to stick with the arms we had left. Maybe we could’ve closed that one out, but give them (Northeast Supreme) credit, too. They did a nice job fighting back with two outs.
“Good team. Good well-coached team, so no problem tying the game like that.”
FBA Jays pitcher Chase Garrow pitched admirably in relief of starter Dylan Vernick as Garrow kept Northeast Supreme hitters off balance and used his defense behind him.
It looked as if FBA Jays were about to come away with the win heading into the final inning, but Northeast Supreme responded to Lisciandrello’s challenge.
“No matter what instance, if we’re down by a lot, they always keep playing,” Lisciandrello said. “They never bury themselves in a hole, which is really, as a coach, all you can ask for.”