Well traveled Philly Bandits 16U wins Super 17 finale

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 2, 2022

Michael Amato of Time To Sign Prospects leads off first. Amato homered in the game.

By Will Harrigan

Already facing a packed schedule this week, the Philly Bandits 16U squad was hit with a nasty curveball before arriving at Diamond Nation.

Having just competed in a PBR national tournament in Georgia, the team’s flight out of Atlanta was canceled. The Bandits then needed to hop in their cars in the middle of the night to make it up to Diamond Nation for their Super 17 Invitational opener on Tuesday.

After their Diamond Nation experience ended on Friday morning, the squad then had to ride out to New Brunswick to play in a showcase at Rutgers on an invite extended to them by the Scarlet Knights program.

And by the time all was said and done, the Bandits still managed to have a terrific 4-1 week. They capped off their Super 17 run with a 10-4 victory over Time to Sign Prospects 16U at Raritan Valley Community College.

The Bandits blitzed the Prospects in the first inning, putting up all 10 of their runs in the frame to take a comfortable lead and win going away.

Philly Bandits batter William Irons gets ready to swing in Friday’s Super 17 game at RVCC.

“It’s been a long week and it doesn’t end here. We only lost once, and not to make any excuses, but that came right when we just got here after driving through the night” said Bandits coach Jon Cross. “Our guys are exhausted but they’ve still brought their best. It says a lot about them.”

Tripp Capers started things off in the first inning with a statement for the Bandits, as the Germantown Academy (PA) product roped a double down the line.

Two batters later, Jay Slater would get aboard on an infield single and Leor Kedar got on with a walk, setting the table for Joel Bonner with two outs.

Bonner – who plays his ball for Neshaminy (PA) High just north of Philadelphia, belted a bases clearing double into the right-center field gap to quickly make it 3-0.

Greyson Norris would drive home Bonner two batters later, and nine-batter William Irons would hit an opposite field double to extend the edge to 5-0.

Eric Cross and Kedar would single and double in a pair of runs, respectively, to help cap off a monster inning for the winners.

“Getting a fast start relaxes everyone, including Peter Heim who pitched well for us today,” said the elder Cross. “Getting those runs gave Peter the confidence to attack batters and throw strikes knowing how big the lead was.”

Heim did a nice job of limiting damage, as his nine surrendered hits to go with a walk only led to four Time to Sign runs on the day.

The loudest of those Prospects runs came in the third inning, when lefty batter Michael Amato of Weston (CT) High got a hold of a Heim offering and parked it over the right field wall with room to spare.

Nicholas Hodgkins and Tommy Ocasai each singled in a run in the first and second, respectively, to help the Prospects try to claw back.

Aidan Moldof – a rising sophomore from North Broward Prep in Florida who travels quite a distance to play for his travel club – went 2-for-2 with a pair of hard singles in an impressive showing for the Prospects.

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