Quick start sends Connecticut Grind to pool play win

By DN WRITING STAFF | April 9, 2022

The Grind’s Jonathan Diccio is greeted by teammates after his first-inning solo home run.

By Sean Reilly 

The Connecticut Grind 12U team had something in mind when it faced the Locked In Baseball Expos in its second game of pool-play action on Saturday morning in the King of the Diamond tournament at Diamond Nation. 

The Grind lost to Hustle Baseball Academy in its first game of the day. And, after that result, it had no intention of traveling home winless after the opening day of play.

The best way to accomplish that objective was to get off to a quick start in its nightcap. And it was mission accomplished, as a three-run first inning propelled the Grind to an 11-3 victory.

Second batter Artie McCormick got things going with a one-out walk, and after stealing second, he scored on Gavin Chakra’s hit past first base. Chakar stole second and came home on a base hit by Drew Young, and Jonathan Diccio put a capper on the inning by launching a solo home run over the fence in right field. 

McCormick was a catalyst throughout for the Grind. He led off the third inning with a single to center field, stole second and scored, and he walked, stole second and scored in the fourth, as the Grind opened an 8-1 lead. He also delivered a RBI ground out in the fifth. 

“It was good to start off fast and get some runs, McCormick, the Grind’s catcher, said. “We had to wake up, play better and focus.” 

The Grind opened the day with a 5-3 loss to Hustle Baseball Academy of  Fairfield, N.J., which defeated the Saratoga-Wilton Blue Sox, 3-2, in its second game to secure the pool championship. 

The Grind (1-1) will return Sunday and close out pool play against the Blue Sox (1-1). 

Ninth batter Evan Frosolone was another catalyst for the Grind, particularly as it pulled away in the later innings. He finished 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, as well as a walk. 

All in all, it was a decent day for the Grind.

“It’s great playing here and having fun with my friends,” McCormick said. “It’s awesome.” 

Kenneth Sharperson had a sacrifice fly in the first inning and led off the fifth with a single and then came around to score for the Expos, whose first game of the day was a loss to Saratoga-Wilton. The Expos (0-2) will complete pool play against Hustle Baseball Academy on Sunday morning.

Gavin Chakar deals for the Connecticut Grind as Quinn Baron leads off third base for the Locked In Expos 

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