PA Shockers 23’s pitcher Joey Mendez fires away during a 13-0 win over Northeast Pride ’23.
By Luis Torres
Cole Serfass followed his coach’s advice during the bottom of the second inning of PA Shockers 23’s game against Northeast Pride ‘23 Scout.
Serfass started his second at-bat of the contest down in the count but battled back in the at-bat, working the count to full.
So Serfass decided to shorten his swing before the next pitch from Northeast Pride pitcher Braeden Cook. Serfass saw a hanging curveball and swung, hitting a laser over the left-field fence for a three-run home run.
The home run was the highlight of an eight-run second inning as PA Shockers 23’s defeated a short-handed Northeast Pride ‘23 Scout, 13-0, in three and a half innings on Wednesday during the second week of the Super 17 Invitational Wood Bat at Diamond Nation.
PA Shockers 23’s moved to 3-0 during the week with the win and have outscored their opponents 35-1 across the three games.
“I kept my head down and shortened up my swing like my coach taught me, and I didn’t really see where it went. I just caught a barrel,” said Serfass, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound catcher/outfielder from Palmerton High School in Pennsylvania. “I knew it was gone when I rounded first base and everybody in the dugout started cheering. It was a good feeling. It’s a good team win.”
His team had plenty to cheer for during the offensive outburst across the three innings.
Serfass’ home run broke the game open, but PA Shockers 23’s led 8-0 before his blast. Coach Mike Connors’ team opened the scoring by plating two in the bottom of the first and followed it up by scoring eight in the second and three more in the third inning.
Serfass ended the day 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, Joe Calabretti went 1-for-1 with three RBIs and Reece D’Amico went 1-for-1 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
“We kind of try scoring a run each inning. That’s kind of our philosophy,” Connors said. “We will run into big innings. We have a very talented offensive team one through nine. (On Tuesday) our eight-hole hitter left the yard and Cole is obviously a high-level player and he left the yard today. We have a very good team and we plan on getting better.”
The pitching staff had just one blemish on its resume as three pitchers combined to toss four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.
Starter Jaden Morgan needed only 21 pitches to throw two scoreless innings. Joey Mendez followed it up by throwing a scoreless inning and Patty Mill got the final three outs to blank Northeast Pride ‘23.
“Strikes is the name of the game. That will play at any level,” Connors said. “We have guys that can run it up there, but it starts with strike one.”
The only run the pitching staff has allowed so far through three games this week was in a 11-1 win over Maine Lightning Prime. It’s been hard to contain the lineup, though.
NJ Rising Rebels 17U has the next crack at trying to stymie PA Shockers 23’s offense on Thursday, and it won’t be an easy task.
“We have a talented enough lineup, but they also are aware that we need to be able to play small ball and win games multiple ways,” Connors said. “We can base run our way to victory, we can play small ball, but we will also hit when we need to.”