Sebesta successfully adjusts as Avengers 12U win Memorial Day opener

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 25, 2024

A.J. Sebesta delivers pitch for Avengers 12U as Antonio Dixon leads off first for Carteret Nighthawks. 

By Sean Reilly

A.J. Sebesta had to go with Plan B on Friday night at Diamond Nation, and it worked out just fine for the pitcher from the Avengers 12U. 

“It was mainly my mentality,” he said. “I have a curveball that I love to throw, but tonight it wasn’t working. So I stuck to my fastball on the outside corners.” 

He allowed three runs on five hits through five innings, and most importantly struck out 10 against four walks as the Avengers, from Emmaus, Pa., held on in the final inning to defeat the Carteret Nighthawks, 11-7, at the Diamond Nation Memorial Day Classic, Powered By Savo Schalk, in Flemington. 

Seven of his strikeouts came with at least one Carteret runner in scoring position.

“It’s extra satisfying when it works out that way,” he said of his alternate approach. 

The Avengers took an 11-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth, and Carteret scored four runs without an out recorded against two Avengers relievers. 

Will Zanders then entered to pitch with runners on second and third, and he struck out the next three batters to end the game. 

The contest featured three low scoring innings before the offense on both sides perked up extensively over the last three frames. 

The Avengers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second.

Sebesta led off with a walk, and after a steal and wild pitch, Brayden Skinner hit an RBI single to right-center field. Skinner advanced on two passed balls, and scored when Paul Prokopovits hit a one-out sacrifice fly to right. 

The lead expanded to 3-0 in fourth, on a one-out home run to right field by Jake Spatz. 

Carteret staged a two-out rally to score twice in the bottom of the frame. After singles from Max Wallach and Antonio Dixon, Jose Parra delivered a two-run single to right field. 

The Avengers scored four times in the fourth, getting a bases-loaded walk from Prokopovits, a sacrifice fly to right from Greyson Fijalkowski, RBI bunt single by Liam Carty and another run on an error. 

The lead stretched to 11-3 in the sixth, as Sebesta and Chase Spadt hit two-run doubles. 

Carteret’s rally attempt in the bottom of the sixth began with a single by Wallach and a walk to Dixon. Parra followed with an RBI double to left field. He scored when Daniel Valdez doubled to left. After Harper Duskin walked to load the bases, Jaiel Plascencia grounded a two-run single past the shortstop, still with nobody out. That’s when Zanders  entered for the Avengers, and he fanned the next three to seal the win. 

The Avengers continue play in the four-day tournament against the Rawlings Prospects on Saturday afternoon. Carteret continues on Saturday against TBT NY Ballers 12U Mann-Up.

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *