Syracuse Jr. Chiefs players await teammate Alex Seward at home plate after his second-inning HR.
By Sean Reilly
John Machtemes came to Diamond Nation this weekend hoping to win a School’s Out tournament championship with his Complete Performance Baseball 12U team.
The first crucial step in making that happen is to win the first game.
Machtemes, his team’s No. 3 hitter and starting pitcher, drove in three runs with a ground out and two-run single as Complete Performance held off the Syracuse Junior Chiefs, 9-7, in the opener for both in Flemington.
“Pitching wise, I was trying to make sure that my off-speed and breaking pitches were working, as well as getting my fastball in to get strikes and get ahead,” he said. “At the plate, I was looking to make contact and get on base. Hopefully we can get the championship, and this was a good way to start.”
The game wasn’t decided until the final pitch, when Complete Performance reliever Joe Talamini – who entered with two-out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth – induced a game-ending ground out to third base.
It was a back-and-forth game, which started with the North Jersey-based Complete Performance getting an RBI single from Antonio Paladino and run-scoring ground out to third from Machtemes in the top of the first.
The Chiefs got within 2-1 in the bottom of the inning, as Tre Ahern walked, stole second, moved to third on a ground out. He then scored on a single to shortstop from Mason Trendowski.
The Chiefs went up, 4-2, in the second inning after Alex Seward led off with a home run to right field and Eddie Hayden hit a two-run single with two out.
Complete Performance responded with three runs in the third to go back in front, 5-4. Sean Guy led off with a double just inside the right field line, stole third and scored on a ground out from Michael Osh. After singles from Jake Duncan and Paladino, followed by a wild pitch that advanced both, a single by Machtemes scored both.
Complete Performance added three more runs in the fourth to extend its lead to 8-4. An error brought the first run home, a wild pitch brought in the second and then Guy followed with a run-scoring triple to the wall in right-center.
A dropped infield fly scored a run for Syracuse in the bottom of the inning with the bases loaded and one out, but some base-running confusion after the drop resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Complete Performance got an RBI base hit from Jake Astmann in the top of the sixth to increase its lead to 9-5.
Syracuse started the bottom of the sixth with first-pitch singles from Evan Zaccheo, Anthony Schettine and Ahern that loaded the bases. A fielder’s choice from Trendowski scored the first run and before Seward drew a bases-loaded walk with two out. After a pitching change, Talamini induced the game-ending ground out.
Complete Performance would drop pool play games to Locked In Expos on Saturday and the Dust Devils on Sunday.