Lefthander Elliott Hyde pitched a two-hitter to lead the Technique Tigers to a 4-0 victory over Untamed Recruits in a 18U Diamond Nation World Series pool play game on Tuesday in Flemington.
Hyde struck out four and walked five in a workmanlike five-inning shutout as he stranded seven Untamed Recruits runners along the way. Hyde pitched very effectively but admitted he’d have loved to be a bit more tidy.
“My curveball was on but I wasn’t always putting batters away like I should have,” said Hyde, a rising senior at Fairfield Warde High School in Connecticut. “My fastball was good when I attacked. I was trying not to be too mechanical.”
Hyde did a good job, though, placing both his curveball and fastball, be it the four-seamer or two-seamer, on the corners, especially in big spots. He also helped himself by picking off a runner in the first inning.
The Tigers got the only run they would need in the top of the third when Justin Dennett raced home from third base on a wild pitch. Dennett, the Tigers’ No. 10 hitter, led off the inning with a single to left field. That was one of only four hits by the Technique Tigers.
Dennett moved to second when leadoff hitter Diego Jasso drew a walk. Untamed Recruits starter Alex Fazzino then plunked Eric Galarza with a pitch to load the bases. Fazzino, to his credit, nearly escaped the bases-loaded, no-out jam. He struck out the next two batters and induced a flyout to center field, but he uncorked the wild pitch with one out and Joseph Granata at the plate.
The lead ballooned to 4-0 in the fourth with the help of a misplayed fly ball in shallow center field that, if caught, would have limited the damage to a single run. Zion Profit started the rally for the Tigers with a one-out single through the middle. Tyler Basher was hit by a pitch then Josh Bernardo ripped the best shot of the game, a laser over the right fielder’s head for an RBI double and a 2-0 lead. With the Untamed Recruits’ infield drawn in, Dennett hit a bouncer to the second baseman who fired home to cut down Basher trying to score.
Jasso then lifted a sky high fly ball behind second base. The combination of a high sky and bright sun have been rough on fielders this week. The shortstop and center fielder converged, got tangled up and the ball fell as both runners raced home. Give Dennett credit for scoring all the way from first base as he quickly gathered the imminent trouble developing in shallow center.
The 4-0 lead seemed to give Hyde a burst of adrenaline and he quickly retired the Untamed Recruits in order in the fourth. He closed it out in the fifth with a scoreless frame but not without some unique baseball entertainment.
Harrison Brindley reached on an infield error for Untamed Recruits with one out. Frankie Milone then lofted a pop fly behind second, near where his teammates had trouble in the fourth inning. The center fielder Profit nearly made a diving catch as he charged toward the infield. He got his glove on it and the ball popped free and straight up in the air. Shortstop Malcolm Kinder very nearly snared it out of the air for the out.
Meanwhile Brindley was frozen between first and second waiting for Profit and Kinder to solve their dilemma. Kinder couldn’t come up with the ball but did harness it in time to fire to second base for the force out. Hyde struck out the next batter to end the game.
“Elliott did a real nice job,” said Technique Tigers coach Ramon Sanchez. “It was only our fourth game of the summer and Elliott’s second outing. He looked very good. He’s now coming into his body.”
Fazzino, also a lefty, pitched well enough in defeat to keep his team in the game. He permitted four runs, but just two were earned, over four innings. He struck out seven, walked four and hit two batters. Impressively he got strikeouts with his fastball, curveball and changeup.
Profit was 2-for-2 including a one-out double in the second inning. All four of the Tigers’ hits came from three of the last four spots in its 10-man batting order. The only hits Hyde allowed were singles to Untamed Recruits’ Dallas Lorenzetti, in the first inning, and Brendan Karyczak in the second.
Technique Tigers, 1-1 in tournament play, play Prospects Baseball Academy next at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday on Field 3. Untamed Recruits, also 1-1, plays twice on Wednesday.