C.J. Berlingo of the Stamford Bombers looks to do damage.
By Will Harrigan
Playing in a rapid-fire, three-day tournament against stiff competition that will require at least five wins in three days, Stamford Bombers 16U coach Chris Berlingo adapted a different strategy than most at Diamond Nation.
Throughout the course of the day, six pitchers would split the pitching load. Same goes for Tuesday.
In their second game on Monday afternoon, that strategy worked out exceptionally well.
The combination of Nick Amador, Jack Gibson, and Colby Lintell was spectacular on the hill, and put Stamford in position for a decent playoff seed.
Losing its first game to Wladyka American a game earlier, the Bombers took a 4-0 decision over Wladyka National to finish its day – and pool play – with a 1-1 record in Super 16U Top 25 action.
Wladyka National finished 0-2 on the day but appears to have secured a playoff spot.
“There’s a lot of baseball in a short amount of time, and our strategy is to limit pitches as much as possible,” Berlingo says. “The idea is that if one guy doesn’t have it, we have other guys waiting to come in. It worked out well in the second game.”
Indeed it did, as Wlaydka National only finished the contest with three hits, with two of those coming in the final inning.
Meanwhile, the Bombers registered the bulk of their offense in the first inning, when they literally walked their way to three runs.
Tyler Munier, C.J. Berlingo, and Benny DeGruttola each drew free passes with one out to juice the bases.
A grounder off Liam DaSilva’s bat led to a fielding error that scored Munier for the first run, and that was followed by a pair of walks drawn by Avery Cromwell and Charlie Guinta to boost the lead to 3-0.
Cromwell had a hand in adding an insurance run for the winners in the fifth.
He reached base by lacing a one out single – one of only four hits for Stamford – and promptly stole second base. With the ensuing throwdown winding up in the outfield, Cromwell advanced to third.
Bombers pitcher Jack Gibson fires away against Wladyka National.
He would score a batter later when Travis Fuchs singled him home to make it 4-0.
Meanwhile, the first five innings were smooth sailing for the Bombers pitching trio, as only one Wlaydka player reached scoring position.
The sixth and final inning was another matter, as Lintell had to work himself out of the jam.
Following a strikeout to start the inning, Jimmy Corcoran got aboard with an infield single to give Wlaydka life. After a pop up, Sam Dorian was struck by a pitch and Benjamin Leeds singled to suddenly load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate.
But Lintell recovered in the big spot, getting Frankie Orrei to hit a looping liner to short to end the game at 4-0.
“We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. We’re in a position to get a good first round draw and then we’ll need to beat someone very good. Anything can happen,” Berlingo said.