Tyler Schwimer rounds third base for the Morris County Cubs 16U in Fall League game.
By Sean Reilly
The High School Fall League at Diamond Nation is tailor made for a player like A.J. Terry.
Terry just began his sophomore year at Randolph High School. He plays his travel ball for the Morris County Cubs 16U, who are competing in the High School Fall League at “The Nation.”
He was given a chance to be a regular last spring as a freshman on the Randolph varsity. His batting average reflected his youth compared to the competition, but the experience gained was invaluable.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said of his ninth-grade playing time for Randolph. “Especially from a recruiting standpoint. It allowed me to talk to colleges more, because they would come and look at me as a varsity athlete.”
The next step in the development process was playing for the Cubs 15U team over the summer, where his production increased while facing competition that was closer to his own age.
“I think it helped my hitting, because at the high school level, everything is at a faster pace,” he said. “Bringing it down, I felt way ahead of everything and could dominate better.”
Now, he’s getting even more reps competing for the Cubs 16U during the fall season, and pitching for the team as well.
The progress in his game was evident on Wednesday night, when he sparked the Cubs to a 9-0 victory over the In The Zone Knights in Flemington.
Terry was the starting pitcher, and allowed one hit and struck out five over two innings. As the No. 3 hitter in the batting order, he hit a two-out solo home run in the first inning, tripled and scored in the third, and was hit by a pitch and scored in the fourth.
“My swing felt really good,” he said. “I was on.”
Most wearing the Cubs navy blue were also on during the game. Aside from Terry, four other players had multiple hits in the five-inning contest. That group included Morris Knolls sophomore Carter Seely, who was 2-for-3 with one RBI out of the cleanup spot. He also pitched the final three innings, yielding one hit with five strikeouts.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first. The first two batters flew out before Terry cleared the fence in left field.
In the second inning, Ryan Johannessen led off with a single, moved to second on a balk, crossed to third on a ground out and then scored on a two-out single to right field by Ben Nugent.
The Cubs sent nine to the plate while scoring four times in the third. Terry led off with a triple to left center, and scored on Seely’s single to right field.
Johannessen (2-for-2 with a walk) hit a ball which dropped in front of the center fielder for an RBI single and 4-0 lead with one out. Matteo Eagleson added a two-run single to center with two out.
Terry, already committed to University of North Carolina, led off the fourth inning and was hit by a pitch. Seely’s double to left center advanced him to third, and both scored on a single to center from Dylan Jordan. Tyler Schwimer’s one-out ground out to shortstop scored Jordan with the final run.
Nugent and Jordan joined Terry, Seely and Johannessen with two hits apiece for the Cubs.
“I want to continue to hit well, win any tournaments we play in and dominate the league,” Terry said. “I’m looking to hit better (for Randolph) than I did last year. I want to hit for more power and put more doubles on the board.”