RCBC Ghost American 12U bats bring the thunder

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 11, 2023

Nick Bianco (with helmet) is greeted by teammates after his solo HR for RCBC Ghost American.

By Rich Bevensee

When asked for a show of hands from the Richmond County Baseball Club Ghost Americans 12U dugout as to who was going over the fence in the next game, Nick Bianco’s hand shot up first.

Bianco had reason to feel confident after going 4-for-6 with two doubles to help the Ghost Americans sweep their pool play doubleheader the day before.

“I was clowning around when I put my hand up but I did feel confident I was going to do something today because I hit successfully yesterday,” Bianco said.

Bianco was feeling it, all right. He crushed a pair of home runs and finished 3-for-3 with nine total bases, four RBI and three runs scored to propel Ghost to an 11-0 pool play victory over the Centercourt Young Guns in the Super 12 Invitational Powered by Victus on Saturday afternoon at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

Ghost (3-0), which also received home runs from Tyler Bassett and Rich Raineri, completed pool play undefeated and outscored the opposition 30-3.

Ghost coach George Quinn expressed reservations before the game about his team’s chances of winning because of missing players, but that was before Ghost received four homers from three players and RBIs from six players.

“We have a few guys who can bang a little, and then we scratch and claw a little to make it work,” Quinn said. “We were missing a few kids but we picked up a few from our other team and we made it work. Makes for a nice day at the office, right? Sometimes it goes your way.”

Ghost flexed its offensive muscle from the outset, as Bassett and Bianco both launched solo homers for a 2-0 first inning lead. Bassett’s was a 228-foot shot which clanged off the scoreboard of Field 6 in left center field.

Ghost trampled the Young Guns in the top of the third by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs on four hits, one error and three hit batsmen to build an 8-0 lead.

In that inning, Raineri cracked a three-run home run to right, Aldo Ramovic added an RBI single, Thomas Moglinicki forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Aldo’s brother, Lou, drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.

“We’ve hit a lot this spring,” Raineri said. “Nick’s been doing well, Tyler’s been hitting well. We usually look line drive, but it feels good to watch the ball go over the fence for all of us. We all celebrate at home plate and it feels good to pump up our teammates.”

While Ghost was supplying the fireworks, Luca Scarangello was more than economical with his pitching. He faced just one batter over the minimum in his four-inning shutout and surrendered two hits and no walks with four strikeouts. He also helped his own cause with a single and a run scored.

From left, Rich Raineri, Tyler Bassett and Nick Bianco blasted home runs in an 11-0 win for RCBC Ghost American 12U.

“When we’re hitting like that I’m not really stressed out at all,” Scarangello said. “We were winning 11-0 and I knew all I had to do was deal. Seeing the ball go out has been pretty common. Our team is great this year. It’s amazing to watch.”

In the top of the fourth, Ghost added to the mercy-rule victory when Bianco cranked a three-run shot to dead center, 240 feet away, for his seventh homer of the season.

“I like to see myself as a line drive hitter, because then if you hit line drives the home runs come with it,” Bianco said. “I think our team is a lot of fun to watch. We hit home runs like that at least twice every tournament.”

Justin Monterosso (double) and Derek Thoms (single) were the only Young Guns to solve Scarangello. Centercourt concluded pool play 1-1-1, with a scoring differential of 23-22.

The Young Guns, based in Old Bridge/Marlboro, N.J., did produce the defensive play of the game when right fielder Vinnie D’Emilio robbed Lou Ramovic of a base hit with a diving head-first stab in shallow right.

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