Ayden DesLauriers of MVP Beast Underclass slides into third on the front end of a pivotal sixth-inning double steal as teammate Alex Apicella takes second on the back end.
By Sean Reilly
The MVP Beast Underclass came to Diamond Nation to open up their season at the Super 16 Invitational, and it returned back to its Long Island base happy with both its performance and overall experience in Flemington.
The MVP Beast Underclass started play at ‘The Nation’ on Saturday with an 8-1 victory over Full Count Baseball. On Sunday morning, it lost a tight 3-1 game to Baseball U of Scranton, Pa., before making a quick turnaround to close out play with a 6-2 win over the NY Gothams 15U.
“We love coming here,” said MVP Beast coach Pete Kritikos. “We’re coming here four times. We’re playing in two 17U tournaments and two 16U tournaments. Between the college coaches and the fields and the umpires, it’s been great.”
Also good was the competition that tested his team with a full summer to follow, especially in the finale against the NY Gothams, as a four-run top of the sixth broke a 2-2 tie.
“It was big,” Kritikos said of the rally against a quality opponent. “It’s a new team, and they’ve got to learn how to pull together and how to have some energy and fight, so it was really good to see.”
MVP Beast Underclass took a 2-0 lead over the Gothams by scoring twice in the second inning. Tyler Giordano led off with a walk, and after a strikeout, a double from Peter Bounougias sent him to third. Tommy Ford singled in the first run before Liam Cochran followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.
MVP Beast starting pitcher Luke Dellentash was effective over his three-inning stint. He issued a walk but picked off the runner in a first frame that also included two strikeouts. In the second inning, the Gothams got two-out singles from Marc Castillo and Damien Delgadillo before a walk to Allen Ramos loaded the bases. But Dellentash bore down to strike out the next batter to maintain the lead. He added two more strikeouts in the third.
The Gothams got a run back in the fourth inning when Ale Propper-Bowring hit a leadoff single that was misplayed into a three-base error.
The Gothams made it a 2-2 game in the fifth. Hector de los Santos led off with a walk, and was sacrificed to second by Luke Arcella. Gus Magill was then safe on an error that allowed the tying run to score.
MVP Beast Underclass sent up the top of its order to start the top of the sixth, and took full advantage.
Ayden DesLauriers led off with a walk, and went to second when Alex Apicella singled on a high chopper to shortstop. With one out, a pivotal double steal put both in scoring position. Ryan Marchina walked to load the bases, and a balk scored DesLauriers with the go-ahead run. Wild pitches scored two more runs before Jeremy Reyes hit an RBI single for the four-run lead.
Apicella was 1-for-2 with a walk for MVP Beast against the Gothams, and played well throughout the weekend.
“I was trying to put the ball in play to get on base,” he said of his sixth-inning at-bat that placed the lead run in scoring position. “This was a good way to get going. I like playing here. We definitely have a lot more in the tank, and I’m excited.”