Ramirez, Foley, Castrovinci guide Power Ballers in Super 16 WS

By Bob Behre | July 27, 2020

Power Ballers’ Jaden Newton delivers a pitch to S.I. Orioles’ Jack Bossert in Super 16 World Series.

Justin Ramirez homered, Connor Foley had three hits and Frank Castrovinci kicked off the hit parade with a three-run double as Power Ballers stormed their way to a 10-2 victory over the Staten Island Orioles Underclass Gray in a Super 16 World Series pool play game at Diamond Nation on Monday.

Each of those emphatic performances supported an efficient pitching performance by Jaden Newton, even obscuring it a bit. Newton went the distance in the five-inning run-rule affair, permitting two runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits. The righthander struck out seven and walked just one.

“We’ve been hitting it good,” said Power Ballers coach Steve Schrenk. “We’ve shown patience and are playing the game of baseball the way it should be played.”

Power Ballers (1-0) broke the game open with a six-run bottom of the second inning that was keyed by Castrovinci’s bases-clearing double and capped by Ramirez’s picturesque rainbow down the left field line that stayed just inside the foul pole and cleared the fence by about 10 feet.

“I was just trying to hit something up the middle and get our runner in,” said Ramirez, a rising junior shortstop at Easton Area High School in Pa. “I got a fastball middle-out.” Ramirez pulled the offering and it looked like trouble right off the bat. The only question was would it stay inside the foul pole. “At first I thought it was hooking and going foul.”

Ramirez’s blast scored Austin Hoffert from second and put an exclamation point on Power Ballers six-run inning.

The big inning began innocuously with Ethan Reccek’s leadoff walk and a bunt by Newton that was mishandled. Foley (3-for-3, two triples) followed with a single to right field to load the bases before the lefty-hitting Castronvinci sliced his liner down the left field line to clear the bases. Ben Moyzan brought home the fourth run of the inning on a sac fly to right.

The Orioles (0-2) actually struck first, in the top of the second, on Aidan Kielty’s one-out RBI single to center field. Anthony Iraci triggered the rally with a leadoff single and stole second and third. Newton, however, would allow just two hits after that.

Power Ballers’ pitcher Jaden Newton knows what a strike looks like from the mound and the plate, and this isn’t one, it’s a bit outside

Reccek started a two-run Power Ballers rally in the third when he doubled to right-center with one out. Newton immediately brought his first baseman home with a single to center field. Foley, showcasing a consistently lethal bat, followed with a booming triple into the left-center field gap to boost the lead to 8-1.

Ramirez was back front-and-center in a small ball way in the fourth. He was hit by a pitch with one out and promptly stole second and third. And he scored easily when the catcher’s throw to third sailed into left field.

Facing the wrong end of an eight-run-rule situation in the top of the fifth, the Orioles responded with a run to avoid the early exit. Matt Laieta reached on an infield error, moved to second on Kielty’s single through the left side and came around on consecutive fielder’s choice groundouts to the right side by Damien Van Cleaf and Jack Bossert.

But Power Ballers did put an end to matters in the bottom of the inning courtesy of the Foley-Castrovinci firm. Foley launched another triple into the left-center field gap with one out and Castrovinci followed with a deep-enough fly ball to left to allow Foley to tag and score from third and seal the decisive 10-2 margin.

Power Ballers’ Frank Castrovinci drove in four runs, including the game-ending sac fly in this fifth inning at bat.

Foley finished with a single and two triples, scored twice and knocked in a run. Castrovinci had a double, an infield single and the sac fly and drove in four runs.

Power Ballers are back in action at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday against Muggeo Cardinals on Field 1. The Orioles face the NY Storm at 9:40 a.m. on Field 4.

NOTES: Power Ballers coach Steve Schrenk pitched in the major leagues with the Phillies in 1999 and ’00, recording a 3-6 record an a 5.25 ERA. He later worked as a pitching coach for Philadelphia affiliates in the Gulf Coast League, Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws and High-A Clearwater. He was later manager of Canberra Calvary in the Australian Baseball League. He also coached a high school team in Granville, Ohio in 2017 and was hired by the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate in Reading, Pa. in 2018.

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