Sandlot Baseball Academy Davis sweeps at 9U Mother’s Day Classic

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 12, 2024

Harrison Bica scores on a wild pitch for the Rhode Island Rays.

By Sean Reilly

There’s a certain truth about 9U baseball, and Chris Davis, the coach of Sandlot Baseball Academy 9U Davis, knows it well. 

“It’s all about letting them grow,” he said. “But in nine year old baseball, you never know what you’re going to get out of them.”

However, when it comes to his team, chances are that the result is going to be a solid performance. 

The Scranton, Pa.-based Sandlot Baseball Academy has traveled to Diamond Nation this weekend to compete at the 9U Mother’s Day Classic. 

Sandlot also arrived in Flemington unbeaten in seven games this spring, by combining all of the necessary elements – pitching, hitting and defense. 

The string continued on Saturday, when Sandlot opened with a 17-3 win over the Rhode Island Rays, and followed with another 17-3 decision, this one over the Morris County Cubs, immediately after. 

The results earned Sandlot the top-seed in Sunday’s  four-team playoff, which will begin against fourth-seeded 3U3D 9U (0-2) at 8 a.m. 

The game against the Rays was settled in three innings, capped by an inside-the-park home run from Mason Buczynski to end the game with two out in the bottom of the third. 

After his 1-for-2, four RBI effort against the Rays, Buczynski was 2-for-3 with three RBI in the five-inning game against the Cubs.

Among the other top hitters were Bradley McDonald, who was 2-for-2 in the opener and 2-for-3 in the nightcap and Rocco Forgione, who also went 2-for-2 against the Rays and 2-for-3 against the Cubs. 

“They play all aspects of the game,” Davis said. “It’s a good group of kids. This is all about letting them grow and keep on getting better, and having a good time.”

ackson Kane makes a dash toward third base for Sandlot Baseball Academy 9U Davis. 

In the first game, the Rays took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Harrison Bica led off with a walk and advanced to third after two ground outs, before scoring on a wild pitch. 

Sandlot scored seven in the bottom of the inning. Julian Peters led off with a standup triple to left field, and walks to Bradley McDonald and Enzo Nicastro loaded the bases..

Mike Meyers hit a two-run double to left field, and Darrion Norton supplied an RBI ground out to shortstop. 

Will Mackrell reached on an error that scored two runs, Forgione hit an RBI single to left field and the seventh run scored on an error after Jackson Kane hit a ball into the outfield. 

The Rays scored twice in the second, getting an RBI double to left-center from Jaxson Diclo and a run-scoring ground out to second base from Griffin Raiche. 

Sandlot added four more runs in the bottom of the second for an 11-3 lead. 

After Peters led off with a full-count walk, an outfield hit from McDonald, combined with an error, scored a run. McDonald scored on a wild pitch. The next run scored on an error before Forgione hit an RBI infield single. 

McDonald had an RBI single to center and an error on a ball hit by Nicastro accounted for the first two runs in the third, before Buczynski ended the game on his grand slam on a ball hit to right field. 

The Rays bounced back with a 13-12 triumph over 3U3D. The win earned them the third seed in the playoffs and a semifinal matchup against the second-seeded Cubs (1-1).

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