Thoms powers Rumson-Fair Haven to sweep at 11U Father’s Day Classic

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 16, 2024

Christian Banchi singles during four-run first inning for Rumson-Fair Haven.

By Sean Reilly

Nick Thoms had a great day on Saturday at Diamond Nation, and so did just about everyone else wearing a Rumson-Fair Haven Diamond Dawgs  uniform. 

Thoms pitched a four-inning three-hitter and went 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI when his team opened play at the 11U Father’s Day Classic with a 10-0 victory over the East Fishkill Patriots. 

Thoms then went 2-for-2 with a double, home run and three RBI as the Diamond Dawgs completed an opening day sweep by beating EP Elite, 13-4. 

The Diamond Dawgs will play for a first-place pool finish and corresponding championship berth against Rucci Baseball 11U Carolina (2-0) on Sunday afternoon at ‘The Nation.’ 

Thoms was pleased with his pitching effort against East Fishkill. He struck out four and walked none while limiting his pitch count to 42. 

“I liked my pitching a little more today, but my hitting was also fun,” he said. “I was getting ahead with my fastball, and then on 0-2, giving them my slider.” 

In the win over East Fishkill, the Diamond Dawgs scored four runs in both the first and second innings to seize control. 

In the bottom of the first, Matt Kennedy led off with a single to center and stole two bases before Owen Murphy walked on a full count. Both scored when Thoms hit a two-run double to center. 

“I was looking for fastballs,” Thoms said. “And then it was just hitting it.” 

Colin Padnes hit a double to left field to score Thoms, and Christian Banchi singled past third to deliver Padnes. 

In the second inning, James Harvey led off with a walk. He took off for second on a pitch to Kennedy. The second baseman went to cover second, and Kennedy singled into the vacated space to put runners on the corners.

Rumson-Fair Haven catcher Owen Murphy fires ball to second base.

Murphy hit an RBI groundout to second base before Thoms doubled to deep right field to score Kennedy for a 6-0 lead. Padnes and Andrew Eberhard (3-for-3) added RBI singles. 

Kennedy walked with one out in the third and stole two bases before scoring on a wild pitch. 

The game ended via the mercy rule in the fourth. Eberhard dropped a single into left field with one out. He advanced on a passed ball and scored the clinching run on a hit to left-center by Lucas Daszkowski. 

The victory was even more impressive considering Rumson-Fair Haven played from the bottom of the second onward with eight players. 

The Diamond Dawgs dressed nine for the game, and then lost a player to injury. That meant taking automatic outs in the second and fourth innings, and playing with two outfielders in the third and fourth. In one of those frames, the Diamond Dawgs even turned a double play, with first baseman Eberhard snaring a line drive and throwing to second base to get a straying runner.  Murphy, who began the game at catcher, also made a tremendous play at shortstop in the fourth. 

“That was the best play I’ve ever seen,” Thoms said. “I just blocked out that we were playing with eight. We can make plays like that with seven people. I was really proud of them.”

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