Kaden Rutherford tossed a two-hitter and homered for the Tripletown Aces 12U on Sunday.
By Will Harrigan
It is not commonplace, but there are times when a two-way baseball player can take over a game.
For the Tripletown Aces-Snyder 12U squad, Kaden Rutherford proved himself to be that guy in a big way.
Pitching a complete game two-hitter, belting a towering home run, and grounding in a run to boot, the southpaw Rutherford’s rampage propelled the Aces to an 8-0 victory over Tribe Baseball in pool play action of the Memorial Day Blast at Diamond Nation.
Capping off a 2-0 Sunday, the Aces are now 2-1 overall in the tournament and can advance to the playoffs should they win their pool play finale on Monday.
“Kaden is one of our key pieces, and I think that kind of showed today. He was great with his command of the zone pitching,” said Tripletown Aces coach Clint Snyder. “When he hit the home run, he just missed one by a few inches hitting it foul. I thought it was fair and sometimes that can get in his head, but he regained focus and hit another.”
Rutherford’s shot over the trees in dead center was the second leg of a back-to-back home run sequence for the winners.
Part of a seven-run fifth inning – with all damage remarkably done with two outs – Mikey Murphy blasted a three-run opposite field shot to put the Aces up 7-0.
Jonah Gonzalez and Bennett de Los Santos had singled and walked, respectively, to set the table for the Aces. Gonzalez’s base hit plated two runs to make it 5-0.
Earlier in the inning, eleven-batter Jacib Lazelle came through with a clutch RBI single that sliced to right field, scoring a run and doubling the Aces lead to 2-0.
The game proved to be a pitcher’s duel in the first three innings, with Rutherford and the Jersey Shore-based Tribe starter Aiden McGarry trading zeroes.
The Tribe threatened in the top of the fourth, as Jack Adamo parlayed an infield single into getting on third base by swiping a bag and advancing on a wayward Aces throw with one out. But Rutherford would counter by inducing a pop up and a grounder to third to get out of the jam unscathed.
In the bottom half of the inning, Murphy would draw a leadoff walk and quickly stole second. With Rutherford at the plate, a wild pitch moved Murphy to third, allowing Rutherford to ground out to first base and score the game’s first run.
Miles Martin had the only other hit for Tribe Baseball.
The Aces – based out of York, PA – have a decisive game vs. Prime Time Aces at 12:15. Now 0-2, the Tribe will finish up their tournament by playing two on Memorial Day.
“I’m very pleased with the day we had. I told our kids that the playoffs basically start today,” said Snyder. “It’s Sunday, normally the championship day, so we’re used to this on Day 3. Hopefully we can keep this going tomorrow.”