Pereira pitches in to boost PPH Mafia Blue to Super 16 win

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 9, 2024

PPH Mafia first baseman Michael Chiarella extends to handle throw for an out. 

By Sean Reilly

The upcoming summer season figures to be an important one for Christian Pereira, and for many players like him. 

Pereira just completed his sophomore season at Cranford High, where as a young player on a deep team, his varsity experience was very limited. 

The 16U summer campaign is a different story, and it began with the starting pitching assignment when his PPH Mafia Blue 16U faced the Out Of The Park Cyclones 16U Prospects at the Diamond Nation Super 16 Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Flemington. 

Pereira was the winning pitcher after allowing one run on two hits over four innings, when PPH Mafia Blue gained a 5-1 victory over the Cyclones. 

“This was my first start since high school,” he said. “I didn’t get many innings as a sophomore. I was getting the fastball over and the curveball in the right spot. I didn’t throw too many change ups.” 

PPH scored in the top of the first when leadoff man Thomas Swietek walked, moved to third on two wild pitches and scored when Collin Perna hit an infield single along the third base line. 

PPH then added its other four runs in the second inning. 

Michael Chiarella led off and was hit by a pitch. Teddy Eyler singled to center field and Nick Wysokowski reached on an error to load the bases.

Alex Bolton slides into third base after a wild pitch by OOTP Cyclones Prospects. 

Cyclones pitcher Robert Centamore struck out the next two batters, and delivered a full-count pitch to Julian Satterthwaite, who hit a ground ball that was misplayed and then not backed up in the outfield, allowing three runs to score. Satterthwaite wound up on third, and he scored when Joshua Kessler singled to deep shortstop. 

OOTP scored in the bottom of the third, on a RBI single to center by Centamore with two out. 

Pereira pitched through the fourth inning. He struck out two and walked three. William Vasquez pitched the remaining three frames. He allowed no hits, with three strikeouts and three walks. 

Centamore pitched five innings for OOTP. Aside from allowing no earned runs, his line also included two hits allowed, with 11 strikeouts and two walks. 

Pereira is anxious for the remainder of the summer. 

“I want to get a lot of innings, and work, in,” he said. “This was a good way to start.”

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