Zach Robinson of Spartans Baseball steps into a pitch in Super 17 World Series.
By Will Harrigan
For much of Tuesday morning’s Super 17 World Series game at Diamond Nation, Spartans Baseball and Total Skill Futures played a fast-moving, yet somewhat listless game, at times.
The Spartans – a team composed almost entirely of Ocean County based varsity high school ball players – won their opener yesterday and were a bit flat to start.
But once they turned on the jets in the fifth inning, it was off to the races.
Striking for five runs in the inning to put things away, the Spartans were able to muscle their way to their second win in as many tries in the event, notching a 7-1 victory at Diamond Nation. Total Skill Futures – a club based in Doylestown, PA – fell to 0-2 after hanging around for most of the game.
“We had a really big win yesterday and I don’t quite think the kids had it today, at least early on,” said Spartans coach Mike Masino. “I think what changed for us is we started working better at bats and getting guys on base. That momentum kind of carried us into a big inning there.”
As big rallies usually do, free passes ignited the offense for the winners.
Dominic Masino and Brayden Lowden, teammates at Central Regional in Bayville, each got aboard by drawing a base on balls. Masino would take second on a wild pitch and take third on a grounder. Masino scored on the front end of a double steal, and fellow Central teammate Chase Pierce would chase that by driving in Lowden to put the Spartans up 4-1.
Two batters later, Mason Lisewski tripled in a run to run the lead up to 5-1 after a pickoff attempt gone wrong scored Lowden earlier.
St. Rose product Jack Tiernan then got in on the hit parade, tripling in a run a batter later to wrap up the scoring.
Tiernan tossed 4 1/3 innings of two-hit ball, while only giving up one run despite walking five and hitting two batters.
“Jack didn’t have his best stuff by any means, but he battled to still do what he did,” said Masino. “He kept us in the game until our offense was able to break through.”
Back in the first, Lowden got things going for the Spartans by hitting a pop double that landed safely into a Bermuda Triangle in right-center.
A batter later, South Plainfield’s Zach Robinson singled in Lowden to quickly make it 1-0. Nate Clayton of Point Pleasant Beach would single in a run two batters later to double the advantage.
The Futures got aboard in the second, and it started with Nick Baeta and ended with him single-handedly doing the trick for his team. Baeta was struck by a Tiernan offering, took second on a comebacker to Tiernan, and crossed home plate after advancing on two wild pitches.
A pair of walks issued by Tiernan would lead to two more men being put in scoring position, but the right-hander snaked his way out of it by inducing a looked-at strike three and flyout to center to escape with only one run surrendered.