Stars Baseball give Memorial Day Blast a taste of Virginia

By DN WRITING STAFF | May 28, 2023

Dom Sartori got Stars Baseball on the board early when he tripled and scored in the top of the first.

By Rich Bevensee

There’s nothing like a road trip, especially if you’re from playing for Stars Baseball Rubin and you’re relishing the chance to make an out-of-state appearance and take on some of the best clubs in the northeast.

“I think the most fun for us is staying at the hotel, being with friends, and I’m excited to play against people from other states because I want to see the competition,” said Stars slugger Eli Schlichter.

Schlichter and his teammates from Vienna, Virginia, made quite an impression at Diamond Nation while showing just how much fun baseball can be. Schlichter doubled and tripled for the Stars, which banged out six extra base hits and earned a 10-1, five-inning victory over Bayside Yankees National of Long Island, N.Y., in 10U pool play of the Memorial Day Blast on Saturday in Flemington.

“We really didn’t know what to expect,” Stars coach John Rubin said. “We play Virginia and Maryland teams a lot but don’t play teams from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and that’s why we like to play competition. And once the kids flip the switch and it’s game time, these guys go after it. If anything, we were a little tired. At the hotel we had a little too much fun and so I think we’re looking at a curfew tonight.”

In addition to collecting six extra base hits and 11 hits in all, the Stars received a solid effort from their three pitchers, righties Wyatt Kaufman and Spencer Franklin and lefty Grant Rubin. Together they allowed just one run on five hits and two walks and they struck out nine.

The Stars even posted the web gem of the game, when the Yankees grounded into a very slick game-ending 4-6-3 double play – Stars second baseman Tommy Bacher to shortstop Aaron Krassin to first baseman Graham McDermott.

Schlichter doubled, tripled, drove in a run and scored twice for the Stars, Kaufman tripled and scored twice, Eli Noker was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI, and Dom Sartori tripled and scored.

Rubin, Kressin, Franklin and Declan Hutchinson each drove in a run for the Stars.

Kai Rinella scored the only run of the game for Bayside Yankees National after he doubled in the fourth inning.

“The team’s been hitting really good this year,” Kaufman said. “We put in a lot of effort and we’re working really hard. It’s been all year, just practicing a ton. It’s not that hard to train all year because we want to have fun and hit.”

The Stars immediately went about their business in the first inning when Kaufman tripled and Rubin drove him in with a single to center.

That 1-0 lead held up until the third inning when the Stars enjoyed a four-run burst. Hutchinson had an RBI single, Noker ripped a two-run double to center, and Kressin added a sacrifice fly.

The Stars made it 8-0 in the fourth when Franklin lofted a sac fly, Kaufman tripled and scored on a wild pitch, and Noker laced an RBI single.

The Yankees spoiled the shutout bid in the bottom of the fourth when Kai Rinella led off the inning with a double down the left field line, and he scored when the next batter, Dom Kinkela (2-for-2) singled to right.

The Stars padded their lead and reached the mercy-rule threshold in the fifth when Schlichter drove in Bacher with a double to left center, and he scored on a wild pitch.

The back end of the Stars’ Saturday doubleheader included a date with Trumbull Travel Baseball. On Sunday the Stars were scheduled to take on Team Maplewood (2:15 p.m.) and the Queensbury Spartans (4:30 p.m.).

Just before playing the Stars, the Yankees absorbed a heartbreaker, losing to the Queensbury Spartans 7-6. The Yanks faced Trumbull Travel Baseball (8 a.m.) and Team Maplewood (10 a.m.) on Sunday.

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