Thomas Rorick is about to launch a triple for Phenom Baseball in the Super 16 Invitational.
By Rich Bevensee
Long Island natives Dom Weidtman and Anthony Altobelli are used to performing at a high level after excelling in high school baseball this spring, and they have no desire to slow down or lower expectations for summer ball.
On Sunday, Weidtman, the author of four complete games at Smithtown East, pitched six shutout innings. Altobelli, one of Kings Park High’s biggest bats, led the hit parade with a pair of RBI singles.
Theirs were the biggest contributions as Long Island-based Phenom Baseball NY blanked Complete Performance Baseball Academy NY, 5-0, in Diamond Nation’s Super 16 Invitational in Flemington.
The shutout victory allowed Phenom Baseball to complete a perfect weekend. They defeated ASBA Futures, 7-5, on Saturday, and beat Northeast Pride 24 Scout, 6-2, earlier on Sunday.
“They’re all good kids, and personality wise they fit in together really well,” Phenoms coach Matt Benedetto said. “They’re all grinders and play hard every second they’re on the field. They show up every single pitch and that’s all we can ask for.”
Phenom was one of only seven teams in the 60-team tournament to win all three of its pool games. They were joined by Baseball U PA Scranton, Morris County Cubs Navy, Long Island Body Armor Titans, Bell Ringers 2024 Black, Baseball Warehouse and Diamond Jacks Super 15s.
Weidtman, a 5-11, 190-pound junior, used 73 pitches to record seven strikeouts in six innings while scattering four hits and two walks. Justin Nustad, a sophomore and teammate of Altobelli’s at Kings Park, struck out the side in the seventh in relief.
Weidtman held Complete Performance hitless in five at bats with runners in scoring position. Twice he allowed a runner to reach third with one out, and both times he responded with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
“This is right where I left off — in high school I had four complete games,” said Weidtman, who chiefly employed a four-seam fastball and slider while mixing in a changeup and curve. “I’m more like a contact guy – I throw the ball out there and let them put it in play. I really just want to maintain what I’ve been doing: Win games, have my boys behind me and have a good summer.”
“Dom’s a varsity pitcher and he had a very successful year, so seeing him out there and knowing he pitches to contact and throws a lot of strikes, it’s all good,” Benedetto said.
Altobelli, hitting in the No. 3 hole for Phenom Baseball, finished 2-for-3 and would have had a three-hit game were it not for a sensational, backhanded stab of a laser up the middle by Complete Performance reliever Anthony Pizzutti.
“I started off the high school season pretty well and toward the second half of the season I slowed down a little bit, so I think I’ve picked it up this weekend,” said Altobelli, a 5-9, 160-pound sophomore second baseman at Kings Park who played shortstop for Phenom. “It felt good getting back out here with the team.”
“Anthony’s got naturally quick hands and if they throw the ball inside to him, he gets to it,” Benedetto said. “He’s changed his approach a little bit, trying to hit the ball the other way, and with that he’s had a lot more success getting the barrel to the ball.”
Phenom Baseball struck for a pair of runs in the first inning when Altobelli drove in James Horodyski with a single to left and later scored on a wild pitch.
Altobelli was in the middle of the next rally in the third inning. Phenom picked up three more runs as Thomas Rorick ripped a two-run triple to right and Altobelli drove in Rorick with another single to left. Right fielder Holden Juliano, who would figure prominently on defense, joined Altobelli as the only Phenom players with two base hits.
Pizzutti wasn’t the only player with a web gem Sunday. Phenom, which enjoyed an errorless game, saw Juliano race to track down a shot off the bat of Anthony Rizzo as it curled toward the right field corner.
Justin Osborne and Dante DeGrazio collected two hits each for Complete Performance, based in Oakland, N.J.
Carson Guzman pitched 2⅓ innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Pizzutti, employing an effective fastball which roamed in the mid-70s, shut out Phenom over the final 3⅔ innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out four.
Complete Performance finished the weekend 0-3. It lost to Northeast Pride 24 Scout, 17-0, on Saturday, then bowed to Phenom and then to ASBA Futures Red, 7-4, on Sunday.