Logan Rapel of the Morris County Cubs has that look in his eyes pitchers fear.
By Sean Reilly
Frank Giordano and his fellow coaches from the Richmond Titans had a bit of a concern before facing the Morris County Cubs in the final pool play game for both in the 11U Mother’s Day Classic at Diamond Nation.
Because of the differing length of prior games, the Cubs had almost a half hour of rest time for what would be each team’s second game of the day.
The Titans, however, had to play almost immediately after winning their opening game in Flemington.
The quick turnaround turned out to be no problem for the Staten Island-based team, which scored six times in the bottom of the first inning in what became a 7-1 victory over the Cubs.
The Titans, whose opening game was a 12-1 decision over the Diamond Jacks 11U Gold, wound up capturing the tournament championship later on Sunday (see story here on Tuesday afternoon).
“They’re a good bunch,” the coach said. “We played well in the first game, but they get flat sometimes.”
The Titans feature solid pitching and defense, and showed both in a tone-setting top of the first inning. Center fielder Sal Iacono tracked down a fly ball, third baseman Christian Falzone fired across the diamond to throw out a runner and starting pitcher Tommy Mirosola struck out a batter.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, Luca Scarangello led off with a double to left center and stole third with Iacono at the plate. Iacono walked, and Scarangello scored on an errant pickoff play.
The next batter was Falzone, and he delivered a two-run home run over the fence in right field.
“I had a 3-1 count and I was looking at one spot,” he said. “Once I saw that pitch, I just turned on it.”
The Titans wound up sending 12 to the plate in the inning, which also included a RBI single from Mirosola, a bases-loaded hit by pitch to Brendan Swanson and a bases-loaded walk to Scarangello.
The Cubs scored their only run in the fourth inning. Ethan Shire singled with one out, stole second and scored when Nico Olives followed with a double.
The Titans answered in the bottom of the inning, as Scarangello reached on a strike three wild pitch, stole two bases and then scored on Iacono’s ground rule double.
Mirosola shared the pitching duties with Jack Rugg. The Titans scattered five hits, struck out five and walked two batters while playing errorless ball.
“We’re pretty interchangeable and can move around in all different ways,” Giordano said. “They can all pitch, they can all move around. We’re very lucky. Defense is never our problem. We can always play defense. The hits are hard to come by sometimes, but the defense and pitching is always easy for us.”