Rejuvenated FS Prime beats NJ Titans in 16U Labor Day opener

By DN WRITING STAFF | September 3, 2023

Jack Smithson follows through on two-run first-inning single that gave FS Prime a 4-0 lead.

By Sean Reilly 

Kam Street needed a break. So did his FS Prime teammates. 

After a high school season that began in March followed by a summer tournament campaign that commenced in June, Street and company got to rest during the second half of August. 

Street, who is about to begin his sophomore year at Ocean City High School, arrived at Diamond Nation on Friday afternoon rejuvenated and ready to perform against the NJ Titans in the opening game of the 16U Labor Day Blast. 

It showed in his performance, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate and also threw five innings for the victory as FS Prime gained a 10-5 decision in Flemington. 

Street singled as part of a four-run top of the first inning in which the first four batters all reached base and scored. 

“We took a two-week break,” he said. “It was good to have one. We went straight through, from high school to travel ball.” 

FS Prime, based in Egg Harbor, totaled 14 hits in the six-inning game. The aforementioned first four batters – Anthony Nodado, Colton Donahue, Chip Clooney and Street – were a combined 9-for-12 with four walks and seven runs scored. 

Nodado (2-for-3) started the game with a single to center. He stole second before Donahue walked on a full count. A double steal moved them into scoring position, and Clooney followed with a pivotal two-run single to center to cap a back-and-forth full-count at-bat. 

Clooney ended the day 2-for-3 with a walk, and also pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth inning. 

“It felt good after two weeks of resting,” Clooney said. “Now we’re back at it.”

Street followed Clooney’s base hit with a hit-and-run single to right field. He then stole second with Clooney on third. 

The next two batters struck out, but FS Prime padded its lead when Jack Smithson lined a two run single over the head of a leaping second baseman and into right field. 

It wasn’t all easy, however, since the NJ Titans, based out of South Plainfield, got all four runs back in the bottom of the inning. 

Jack Tietjen had an RBI single to the right side of the infield with one out, Tyler Woermer walked on a full count with the bases loaded and Angel Cruz hit a two-run single to right field that tied the score.

Colton Donahue dives into third base with an RBI triple for FS Prime. 

In the top of the second, Mason Kurelko was hit by a pitch with one out, and after a fly out to center, Donahue tripled to the left field corner to give FS Prime a 5-4 lead.

The NJ Titans once again tied it in the bottom of the inning. Nick Irizarry walked with one out, stole second and then scored when Daniel Kapsch reached on error.

Street settled down on the mound after that point, and his team remained active at the plate.

FS Prime stranded runners on second and third in the third inning, but took the lead with a two-run fourth.

Kurelko started that rally by drawing a one-out walk, followed by a steal of second. Nodado was up next, and he hit an RBI single to center. He took second on a throw to the plate. Although he was picked off by the pitcher while attempting to steal third, Donahue drew a walk and stole second. Clooney then delivered a single to center for his third RBI. 

Smithson (2-for-3) singled with one out in the fifth, and followed with a steal of second. He scored when a two-out single by Ethan Dubois was compounded by a throwing error. 

The final two runs came in the sixth inning, which began with a walk to Nodado and a grounds rule double to left-center from Donahue, who ended 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs. Clooney walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Jack Reilly hit a two-run single. 

Street wound up allowing four hits, with nine strikeouts and five walks. Most importantly, after allowing seven runners to reach base over the first two innings, he allowed only three to get aboard over his final three innings. 

“I had to settle down,” he said. “I was struggling to find the zone early, but found it over my last three innings.”

FS Prime continued pool play on Saturday against TBT Ballers NY Underclass before playing two more games on Sunday.

The NJ Titans played PPH Mafia Blue on Saturday before winding up pool play with a Sunday doubleheader.

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