Jeremiah Holder steals third base for Team Citius, one of his four stolen bases in the game.
By Sean Reilly
Lucas Silva was faced with a quick gut check on Tuesday morning at Diamond Nation.
The lefty starting pitcher from Team Citius didn’t have a good warmup, and then had to take the mound in temperatures approaching 100 degrees in Flemington.
The opposing leadoff batter for Northeast Pride 25 Scout reached on an error. The next one walked. The third was hit by a pitch to quickly load the bases with no outs.
“At the beginning, I didn’t have a lot of time to warm up, so my four-seam wasn’t really there,” said Silva, who recently completed his sophomore season at John Jay East Fishkill High School in New York. “I had to focus, get it back together, throw strike after strike and let my defense help me.”
Silva found his footing, and the result was a five-inning no-hitter as his team gained 10-1 victory in 16U Blue Chip Prospects action. He ended with eight strikeouts, three walks and the one hit batter.
The key was keeping his composure in the opening inning. The cleanup batter struck out. Jaxson Mayo grounded out to first base to score Brady Farrell from third. With runners still on second and third and a full count on the next batter, he got another strikeout to retire the side and shift momentum to Team Citius.
Team Citius, made up primarily of players from New York City and the northern suburbs, then scored five runs in the bottom of the inning to seize control.
Charlie Batista started things with a leadoff double and stole third base. He scored on a wild pitch. Ryan Morel singled, Ayden Roman walked and David Perez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jeyden Sepulveda then drilled a three-run double to left center for a 4-1 lead, still with nobody out. Sepulveda would then score on a sacrifice fly to shallow center field by Matt Dickens.
Team Citius, which lost a 5-4 decision to the PA Shockers 2024 in its opener on Monday, kept attacking in the second inning.
Joe Valvano led off with a single and stole second. After a strikeout, Batista walked. Another strikeout was followed by a single by Roman to load the bases for Perez, who hit a two-run single and went all the way to third when an outfield error allowed another run to score. Perez scored on a wild pitch for a 9-1 lead.
The top of the order was especially lethal for Team Citius. The first four batters had 11 total at-bats in the game, and reached base eight times while scoring seven runs.
“The lineup did a great job putting balls in play,” Silva said. “The top of the order especially.”
Silva, who gained command of his four-seamer and also his curveball, allowed only two base runners over the last four innings. One came on a one-out walk in the third inning. But he ended that frame with a double play, as he struck out the No. 1 hitter in the order and catcher Roman picked off the runner at first, with Sepulveda applying the tag.
The final Team Citius run scored in the third inning. Jeremiah Holder walked with one out, and stole second and third, giving him four for the game. He then scored on another sacrifice fly to center by Dickens.
Batista ended 2-for-2 with a walk, along with two runs scored, for Team Citius. It will next play NY Prospects Riches (0-2) on Wednesday.
Northeast Pride 25 Scout is now 1-1, and will meet Hit And Run Outlaws 16U (0-2) on Wednesday.