Oberto puts game, Northern Westchester Outlaws on higher plane

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 5, 2023

The Outlaws’ Quillan Oberto rips a double in his team’s victory over SBA Scout.

By Luis Torres

Quillan Oberto realized he had to make some changes to his swing last summer.

Oberto had to adjust his mechanics to spray the ball around the entire field, especially as he was playing up in his age group.

He went through his share of struggles, but his adjustments were on display on Friday, and they served him and his team well.

Oberto went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, stole two bases and drew a walk, helping Northern Westchester Outlaws Rivera 17/18U to a 9-2 win over SBA Scout in 17/18U August Showdown play at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

“I think I’ve just focused on using all fields,” Oberto said. “I kind of used to be just more of a pull guy, but focusing on taking balls the other way, just hitting it where it’s pitched and just really simplifying everything.”

That simple approach to each at-bat paid off in big ways for Oberto, a left-handed hitter.

He opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, slapping a single up the middle with the bases loaded and no outs, scoring Jake Ledonne from third base. Oberto said he saw a pitch on the outside corner and tried to either hit through the left side of the infield or up the middle.

“I was really just looking for my pitch early in the count. See something straight,” Oberto said of his RBI knock. “And I knew with bases loaded, just get something in play and get the run across. I saw it well, saw it coming, and poked it up the middle.”

He later came around to score as part of a five-run frame by the Northern Westchester Outlaws, which took the pressure off of starting pitcher Kevin Heffernan.

Heffernan spun 4⅔ innings, working through some trouble in a couple of frames. He allowed seven hits, recorded four strikeouts and allowed two runs.

Kevin Heffernan fires away for the Northern Westchester Outlaws on Friday at Diamond Nation.

He turned it over to the lineup, which responded after he allowed his two runs and eventually took a 9-2 lead by running and putting pressure on the SBA Scout pitching staff.

“We came out strong, and sped up the game on the other team,” Northern Westchester Outlaws coach Brandon Rivera said. “Our guys, I always tell them to play fast, play hard and be explosive. We were able to speed up the game on them early and manufacture runs with runners in scoring position. Overall, I’m proud of them.”

Rivera was especially proud of Oberto, saying he’s come a long way in the past year. He smacked an opposite-field double in his second at-bat, putting what he’s worked on in motion.

Oberto has had his peaks and valleys trying to find his swing. He hit a peak on Friday, and is hoping to continue that momentum for the rest of the weekend.

“I really wanted to make sure I could produce offensively, in addition defensively,” Oberto said. “Just worked a lot in the offseason on my mechanics, and then transitioning over to live stuff. I’m feeling a lot better.”

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