Taconic Rangers South holds off Baseball U Anthracite at 13U Summer Bash

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 13, 2023

Chase Slotcavage is safe with a single for Baseball U Anthracite.

By Sean Reilly 

James Meyer started Saturday morning’s game for Taconic Rangers South in center field, and saw his team open up a seemingly comfortable lead against Baseball U Anthracite.

But a lot can happen in a baseball game, and so it was that Meyer spent the last two innings on the pitcher’s mound, where he successfully closed out a 5-4 victory for his team in the opening contest for both teams at the Diamond Nation 13U Summer Bash Tournament.

“It felt pretty good,” he said. “The heart was pumping. I was throwing my fastball, and added a few changeups. I wasn’t too confident of the curveball, so I was thinking to just throw strikes and make them hit the ball.” 

Making the win even more special was how the teams faced off last month in the semifinals of a tournament in Pennsylvania, and Baseball U Anthracite won. But more important than the revenge aspect was the feeling for Taconic Rangers South that its opponent was the team it would need to defeat in order to advance out of its pool and into the playoffs on Sunday evening.

“That was the team to beat,” Taconic Rangers South coach Will Jackson said. “It was awesome to get the win.”

The Rangers scored twice in the bottom of the first inning and added single runs in the second, third and fourth in building a 5-0 lead.

Jason Papini got things started with a one-out double in the opening inning. Christian Maratos then reached on a run-scoring error. The batted ball came on one of the six full counts that were worked by Taconic batters over the first four innings.

Will Cruz slides across to score on Jayden Bower’s groundout for Taconic Rangers South.

Maratos, who was also the starting pitcher, was replaced by courtesy runner Jayden Bower, who also scored on error, courtesy of a ball hit by Nico Masillo.

Will Cruz led off the second inning by walking on a 3-1 pitch, and he stole second base. Joe Frusciante was up next and walked, also on a 3-1 count. Ryan Gann was retired on a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners to second and third. Bower then grounded out to third, with Cruz scoring for a 3-0 lead.

Neil Gelfand drew a one out walk on a full count in the third, and advanced to second on a balk. Masillo followed with a single to left field. The ball skipped past the outfielder for an error that scored a run and advanced the batter to third.

Cruz led off the fourth inning with a stand-up triple to right-center, and scored the fifth run when next-batter Frusciante grounded out to shortstop.

Baseball U Anthracite then mounted its comeback bid in the top of the fifth.

Landon Trout was safe on an infield hit that was accompanied by a throwing error which sent him to second. He went to third on a wild pitch before James Pecora walked. Trout scored on a wild pitch, and Peyton Schley walked. An RBI single to center by Andy Blehm scored the second run. Kole Rollenhagen singled in another run with a hit to center, and a wild pitch scored Blehm to make it a 5-4 game.

With the tying run on third, a strikeout and ground out to second ended the inning.

Meyer then entered to pitch in the sixth.

Baseball U Anthracite got a one-out walk from Riley Sebastian in the sixth, but he was forced out at second before the third out came on a foul pop out to Gelfand at first base.

In the seventh inning, the first two Baseball U Anthracite batters were retired before Pecora walked on a full count. Schley was then hit by a pitch, but a ground out to Gelfand at first ended the game.

Taconic Rangers South will close out pool play with two games on Sunday, opposite Guilderland Bulldogs (0-1) at 10 a.m., and NY Dynasty (1-0) at 2:15 p.m.

Baseball U Anthracite will also continue on Sunday, against NY Dynasty at 10 a.m. and Guilderland at 2:15 p.m.

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *