By Sean Reilly
The fall season packs a lot of important baseball into a relatively short period on the 13U level.
It marks the first time the players compete on a large-size field, and comes right after a spring and summer, and multiple years before that, spent playing on a smaller diamond.
The members of the Diamond Jacks Super 13U were ready for the adjustment. The team had a highly-successful fall campaign, and it wrapped with an unbeaten weekend by winning the championship of the Diamond Nation 13U Fall Harvest tournament.
That Super 13U capped its undefeated four-game tourney by defeating the Diamond Jacks Gold 13U by a 10-0 score in four innings on Sunday afternoon in Flemington.
The first five hitters in the Super 13U’s 11-man batting lineup accounted for seven of the runs and six of its seven hits.
That group included catcher and second batter Gino Spigarelli, who was selected tournament MVP. He went 1-for-2 with a walk while serving as a crucial middle man between leadoff batter Luca Catanzarite and No. 3 hitter Jason Baker.
“The season took a lot of adjusting, getting to the big field,” Spigarelli said. “Different aspects of different plays came together. The fall was when we picked each other up when we needed it the most, which is really what 13U Fall is all about.”
The Super 13U was the visiting team in the final, since the Gold also went 3-0 in pool play and had fewer runs allowed.
Catanzarite began the game with a double to left field, and Spigarelli walked on a full count. Both scored on a long double by Baker, who then scored on two wild pitches for a quick 3-0 lead. Gavin Ross reached on a one-out walk, and then scored on a triple by Will Bacolo. After Owen Rivenbark drew a walk, Bacolo stole home on a first-and-third double steal play.
A two-run third inning extended the Super 13U lead to 7-0. Owen Ehrenkranz hit a one-out triple and scored on a single from Gavin Ross. Ross then stole second and took third on a throwing error. He came home on a wild pitch with Bacolo at the plate.
The final three runs came in the fourth. T.J. Dally led off with a full-count walk and Parker Klug was safe on an error. After an out, Catanzarite was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Spigarelli hit a two-run single to right field, and took second on the throw to the plate. He then scored on a single by Baker.
“Jason Baker has had such a great year,” Spigarelli said. “That first ball he hit, I thought it was gone. That was the highlight of the day. He’s been great. We all came together, that was the most important part.”
The Super 13U also got a strong outing from Anthony Whelan, who pitched the first three innings. He allowed one hit, with three strikeouts and one walk. Derrick Guzman singled with two outs in the second inning for the Gold.
After the game, the players from both teams gathered together for a few words from their coaches before taking a group photo together.
“This was a great way to end it ,” Spigarelli said. “Going against those guys, we all have fun together, that’s the way you should end a season. We’ll have a three or four month rest, and then we’ll be ready again to attack it next year.”