Declan McDermott went 2-for-2 with 3 RBI and a stolen base for the Blackhawks.
By Luis Torres
The only thing Max Sheth thought about when his coach called on him to enter the game with two runners on in the second inning was to work fast and throw strikes.
It was a critical part of the game, even though it was still early on in the contest.
Sheth trotted in from the bullpen, facing runners on first and second and no outs, challenged to keep NY Blackhawks 14U Scout’s two-run lead intact.
Things could’ve gone awry for the NY Blackhawks had Sheth not been able to command the strike zone. However, not only did he command the zone, he made opposing hitters look overmatched. He needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side and escape the jam.
Behind 2⅔ innings of relief from Sheth and an aggressive lineup that stole 10 bases, NY Blackhawks 14U Scout defeated Total Skills Baseball 14U, 8-0, in four and a half innings on Wednesday in 14U Diamond Nation World Series play in Flemington.
NY Blackhawks 14U Scout’s pitching staff combined for nine strikeouts, with Sheth punching out six hitters.
“Just next pitch and just throw strikes,” Sheth said of his mentality. “I know they weren’t swinging the bats a lot, so I was just throwing strikes and trying to get the ball over the plate the best that I could.”
Sheth got into a rhythm from the moment he entered the game. He worked fast, wasting no time getting set and delivering the ball. He allowed just one hit and walked two hitters.
His breaking ball was filthy, buckling the knees of hitters and using it as his main strikeout pitch, not afraid to throw it on the inside part of the plate to right-handed hitters.
He handed the ball over to Jack Noe, who recorded the final four outs, three of them coming on strikeouts.
Max Sheth was terrific out of the bullpen for the NY Blackhawks.
“Right now, with tournaments like this, it’s every arm available, and we’ve been pitching by committee, and every guy knows that there’s a chance they are going to get used,” NY Blackhawks coach Cameron Ott said. “They go out to the pen, and they get themselves ready. They come in and know what’s expected. It really hasn’t changed, and they know how to step up to the occasion. They just kind of step up and get the job done.”
“We’re a bunch of dogs. A bunch of studs,” added Sheth, who also scored two runs and had an RBI as the leadoff hitter.
NY Blackhawks opened the scoring in the first inning by plating two runs, courtesy of a Declan McDermott two-run single. McDermott finished the game 2-for-2 with three RBIs and also stole a base.
Swiping bags was a theme for NY Blackhawks, who were aggressive on the basepaths, putting pressure on Total Skills Baseball’s pitching staff.
NY Blackhawks stole four bases in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third and three more as part of a four-run fourth inning.
Matthew Martin went 2-for-2 with an RBI and stolen base.
“Nothing’s changed lineup-wise,” Ott said. “It’s been the exact one-through-11, even going into the later rounds of any kind of tournament. We hit 11 because we trust every guy. They succeed where they’re at, in terms of the batting order, and nobody ever complains.”