Caden Schmidt drives a ball into left for a two-run double in the fourth for Mid-Atlantic Hurricanes.
By Rich Bevensee
The opening of Fall League competition was an inauspicious one for Mid-Atlantic Hurricanes Red.
But getting trampled by defending champion Whitehouse Post 284 was not the end of the season for the Hurricanes. They learned how to quickly right their ship and now, three weeks later, they have taken their turn in dominating the competition.
Caden Schmidt went 3-for-3 with two RBI while Declan Glass, Jack Hogenauer and Noah Wallace combined for a six-inning, two-hitter as the Hurricanes won their third straight Fall League contest, 11-0, over New Jersey Jays 15U on Tuesday evening at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
“We had to put that (Whitehouse game) behind us,” Schmidt said. “We’ve had a lot of practice since then and got our stuff straight.”
Since their 11-1 beating against Whitehouse Post 284 on Sept. 12, the Hurricanes have outscored three opponents 22-3. Hurricanes coach Greg Young added that he knew the Whitehouse score was not indicative of what his team could accomplish.
“The workouts we’ve had, we made some adjustments and learned a lot,” Young said. “We know the guys who run that team (Whitehouse) and they do a great job coaching. For our younger guys to see how they play is a great example for them. They know they have to get better. They know they have to get stronger.”
The Hurricanes, made up almost entirely of high school sophomores, received their best performance of the fall from a trio of pitchers.
Glass, a lefty from Plumstead Christian, did not permit a single hit or walk over his two innings and he struck out three. Hogenauer, a righty from Central Bucks West, allowed two hits and struck out two. Wallace, a lefty from Neshaminy, yielded a walk and struck out two.
“What I liked is simple, they were throwing strikes,” Young said. “They’re young and still have to get a lot stronger. None of them will light up a radar gun. But for right now, as long as they’re pounding the zone and we’re making plays behind them, we’re good.”
Schmidt said the rise in pitching performance has had an effect on the position players. Sure, pitching accounted for seven of 18 outs, but the defense has stepped up its play in support of the pitching.
Johnny D’Andrea of the NJ Jays leaps back to first after singling in the fourth inning.
Second baseman Preston Martin made a sterling play in the first inning, ranging up the middle and making an off-balance throw to get the out. In the sixth, Martin and shortstop Tyler Muzsi combined to turn a double play.
“Pitching boosts team morale,” said Schmidt, a sophomore at LaSalle College High School in Glenside, Pa. “It gets the bats going, everyone’s energy is up and it makes the game more fun.”
Schmidt, a 6-foot, 190-pound catcher and outfielder, was a danger to the Jays in all three at bats. He accounted for his team’s first base hit in the second inning. His two-run double in the fourth inning gave the Hurricanes a 5-0 lead. In the sixth he singled again, stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch to fuel a four-run rally.
“Caden has a chance to be a special kid,” Young said. “He’s very athletic, runs a lot better than people think and he can swing the bat. He’s on the radar right now. I’m telling you he’s gonna be a really good player.”
Offensively for the Hurricanes, Glass added an RBI groundout in the fourth, Martin had a run-scoring single in the fifth, and in the sixth, Michael Graban singled home a run and Tyler Thomas had a fielder’s choice RBI.
Johnny D’Andrea and Matt Dalfonzo were the only Jays (0-2) to register base hits against the Hurricanes.