MVP Woram, Mallis power 3Up3Down to 15U White HR Classic title

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 3, 2024

By Sean Reilly

3Up3Down 15U White came from Reading, Pa., to Diamond Nation over the weekend to compete in its first tournament of the 2024 season, and the results couldn’t have been better. 

3Up3Down showed it could pitch, hit and play excellent defense. It was also aggressive on the bases.

After a dominant push through pool play, it displayed all of those things, along with an impressive bit of resilience against a strong opponent, when it beat the TCS Blackhawks, 9-2, for the championship of the 15U Home Run Classic, Powered By Victus, on Sunday afternoon in Flemington. 

Mattthew Woram was selected tournament MVP after pitching all seven innings in the final, allowing seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks in a tidy 79-pitch effort. 

His pitch count was kept low because his team played errorless ball, produced two double plays, and also erased runners on the bases on consecutive plays to close out the top of the fourth inning. 

At that point, 3Up3Down trailed 2-0. But that all changed when a six-run bottom of the fourth allowed it to seize control of the game. 

One of those runs was driven in by catcher Matthew Mallis, part of his 3-for-3 game. 

The win capped a 4-0 weekend for 3Up3Down, with a 33-5 run differential. 

“I liked how everyone on our team contributed,” Woram said. “We fought through some battles. It was a great way to start. The defense was lockdown. It made things a lot easier and was very helpful.” 

As for his own pitching, efficiency was a key. 

“I had to keep throwing strikes and not get behind,” Woram said. “My fastball and curveball definitely worked well.” 

“He was great,” said Mallis. “He’s always good with his pitches, and has good command.” 

The TCS Blackhawks, based in Bridgewater, still led for the first half of the game.

The Blackhawks, who went 4-1 over the weekend with a 44-30 run difference, scored in the third and fourth innings. 

Brandon Leonard led off the third inning with a triple to center field and scored when Chris Knight singled to right with one out. 

Navio Delgado hit a one-out double to left-center in the fourth, and scored when Dominick Summante singled to left field. But after a throw to the plate, Mallis fired to second baseman Matthew Smola, to get the runner trying to advance. 

The next batter was Joseph Wernicki, who hit a sharp double to right field, but was thrown out trying to reach third on an impressive relay from Riley Patterson in the outfield, to Smola, to third baseman Zander Westwood. 

The momentum from those plays carried into the bottom of the inning.

Matthew Woram of 3Up3Down was named the 15U White Bracket Home Run Classic MVP.

Ian Jacob led off and was hit by a pitch before stealing second. Westwood delivered an RBI single to center and took second on a throwing error. Smola tied the game with an RBI single to right, and took second on a throw.

After a strikeout, Parker LaFerriere walked. With Mallis at the plate, a successful double steal also resulted in a throwing error to third, allowing Smola to score the go-ahead run. LaFerriere advanced to third, and scored when Mallis singled to left.

Patterson and Kamren Martin each added an RBI single with two out for a 6-2 lead.

The Blackhawks had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth, but Smola then caught a line drive and stepped on second base for an unassisted double play. 

The final three runs for 3Up3Down came in the bottom of the sixth. Ramos walked, LaFerriere singled to left and they scored when Mallis followed with a triple to left-center. Mallis scored when Tyler Copesakes reached on an error.

3Up3Down turned its other double play to get the first two outs in the seventh. 

Aside from Mallis, Westwood (2-for-3) and Smola (2-for-3) both finished with multiple hits for 3Up3Down.

“This was a great way to finish. It felt good to go out and play well,” Mallis said. “We had those plays to close out the one inning and that gave us the energy we needed to go out and score some runs.”

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