Northeast Select 2023 first baseman Allen Hernandez pursues foul ball.
By Sean Reilly
For Mike Dunn and his Long Island Titans-Cashman teammates, all that stood between a perfect week at Diamond Nation and some well-deserved July 4th weekend rest was one last game on Friday afternoon at the Super 17 Invitational.
The opponent was Northeast Supreme 2023 Black, which was also looking to finish its five games unbeaten, albeit with one tie.
In the end, the Titans were more than happy to tackle the holiday weekend bridge traffic back to New York after posting an 8-2 victory in Flemington. The Titans ended 5-0 on the week, outscoring their opponents 40-15.
Dunn, the team’s catcher, went 3-for-3 with three RBI. He also caught the entire game in the 90 degree heat, and was behind the plate for at least portions of every other game during the week.
“It was very hot today,” he said. “The turf was hot and my feet are hot. We expected to put up five wins in five games. We knew we’re a good team. This was a nice way to end it.”
Northeast Supreme, with a roster comprised mostly of players from North Jersey, ended its week 3-1-1. It allowed only five runs in its first four contests until surrendering the eight in the finale.
The game was tied, 1-1, until the Titans scored twice in the top of the third. With one out, Patrick Krempasky walked and stole second. Joseph Frazzetta singled him home. Alex Rubin then hit a double which scored Frazzetta.
Northeast Supreme loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but was limited to one run, courtesy of a two-out single from Justin Ford.
The Titans blew the game open in the fifth and final inning, due to the expiration of the 1:50 game clock.
The rally began with one out. Krempasky walked and stole second, and scored on another RBI base hit to right field by Frazzetta. Rubin then drew a base on balls, and Taj Farmer was safe on a fielder’s choice play which loaded the bases.
Northeast Supreme then changed pitchers, but Logan Prisco followed with a run-scoring single to right field on a full count for a 5-2 lead. Tristan Gatchalian was retired on a ground out to third which scored another run, and Dunn capped the inning with a two-run single to center field.
It was an especially satisfying ending for Dunn, since he felt like he wasn’t hitting his best leading into the game.
“I wasn’t hitting great the last few games, and today turned it around,” he said. “Now we have a couple days off and go down to Georgia on Wednesday.”
While he’s looking forward to that trip, he definitely enjoys playing games at Diamond Nation.
“I like the turf here,” he said. “There are a lot of coaches around, it’s a good environment. The competition is also always great here. You always come here expecting to be in good games. It’s better than playing in a scrimmage. You always come here expecting to have good teams play. This was a great way to end it. Now we’ll have a nice ride home and rest up.”