Jackson Staples of the Diamond Jacks Super 13U leads off of second base.
By Will Harrigan
Diamond Jacks Super 13U coach Matt Markiewicz preaches taking care of business in an efficient and timely fashion, especially when his squad has the upper hand in talent.
Considering his boys were in and out of Diamond Nation in just over three hours on Saturday morning – with two decisive wins in tow – it’s clear the message resonated with his players.
Taking advantage of errors, the DJacks rolled to a 16-2 mercy rule victory over 3Up3Down Baseball in Pool A action at the Father’s Day Classic. Earlier in the morning, the DJacks notched a comfortable 10-2 victory over the Morris County Cubs.
“Putting opponents away early is what we teach. If we are making the other pitcher throw 35, 40 pitches in an inning, that’s ideal,” Markiewicz said. “We’ve been on a roll the last few weeks and everything is gelling. It’s a fun time right now.”
After finding themselves in an early hole against 3Up3Down, the DJacks offense wasted no time making the deficit up and then some.
The first eight Diamond Jacks batters all scored, despite only one ball being hit outside of the infield.
Three errors at shortstop proved harmful to the 3UP squad based out of Reading, PA, as the extra outs parlayed with numerous walks and wild pitches allowed the DJacks to balloon their lead.
The first RBI’s of the game came with the DJacks already ahead 5-0, as a two-RBI single to right field by Tyler Corales scored Hoosta Labrador and Sandro Salamone. Two batters later, Liam Goyette would drive in Corales on a ground ball to third, giving the winners a commanding 8-2 lead after an inning.
After Labrador – who retired eight of his last nine batters after a rough start – tossed a 1-2-3 second inning, the DJacks went right back to work.
It was a six-spot put up by the locals in that frame, and the big blast came off the bat of Salomone.
Jeremiah Diaz reached on an error, Jonathan Staples was struck by a pitch, and Labrador walked to set a full table for Salomone.
He’d cash in by roping a three-RBI double into the right-center field gap, putting the DJacks up 14-2 after two full innings.
Wyatt Morrissey of the DJacks would single to start the third, which was followed by a Do walk to set the table. A pickoff attempt that wound up in right field scored Morrissey, and an RBI single by Diaz ended things two batters later.
3Up3Down got off to a hot start, putting up a crooked number in the first.
Brian Marmolejos and Gabe Seidel singled and doubled, respectively, to set the table with two men in scoring position.
Clean-up hitter Cooper Burr would then rope a double into the right center field gap off Labrador, scoring a pair to give 3Up3Down a short-lived 2-0 lead.
Of note for the DJacks was the return of catcher Michael Basile, who had missed the last two months with a broken collarbone. Basile reached base twice on errors and threw out two 3Up3Down runners in a good first effort back in the fold.
“It’s like he didn’t miss an at bat for us,” Markiewicz said of Basile. “We’re excited to have him back and between him and Salamone at catcher, we have depth. We’ll get even better now.”