OC Titans 11U’s Packman takes well to ‘The Nation,’ Beat The Heat

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 22, 2023

Troy Burnham leads off third base for OC Body Armor Titans.

By Sean Reilly 

Riley Packman played in his first game at Diamond Nation on Friday, and if the results were any indication, it could be the start of a beautiful  relationship.

Packman went 2-for-2 with two runs and one RBI, as his OC Titans team rolled to a 14-0, three-inning victory over Total Skills Baseball in the opening game of the 11U Beat The Heat Tournament in Flemington. 

“I like it here,” Packman said. “It’s really good. I like the whole complex and the batting cages. And when I was up, I was thinking of getting the barrel on the ball and hitting it hard.”

He also liked the results, which put his team in first place in its four-team pool. There are three pools in the tournament, with the winners of each advancing to the playoffs on Sunday. 

The Long Island-based Titans scored four times in the bottom of the first against their Pennsylvania opponent. 

Luke Lordi (2-for-2, sacrifice fly, two runs) started the inning with a walk. Alex Metaxas walked, and a double steal was followed by a sacrifice fly to center field by Brody Setteducato. The next run scored on a single by Jackson Raguzin, before Nico Sioukas hit a hard two-run single past shortstop.

The other 10 runs came in the second inning. 

The frame began with a triple by Lordi, which was followed with an RBI hit from Metaxas, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and two RBI. 

“I was thinking about hitting the ball hard,” Metaxas said of his day at the plate. “This was a great way to start the tournament.”

Max Slepian scores run for OC Titans on ground out by Brady Setteducato.

After an error on a ball hit by Setteducato, Packman hit an RBI single for a 7-0 lead.

Sioukas hit a ball that was misplayed, scoring the eighth and ninth runs. Aiden Petrillo’s two-run single made the score 11-0. Lordi added a sacrifice fly, Metaxas hit an RBI single and Setteducato had a ground out which brought in the final run. 

“If somebody gets a hit, you want to keep the energy flowing, which we were able to do,” Packman said. “There’s a contagious energy. We started the tournament really well.”

The Titans will complete pool play on Saturday, with a nighttime doubleheader against Sportika Baseball 11U Red (1-0) and GC Outlaws 11U (0-1).

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