Righthander Jimmy Kemp limited the Diamond Jacks Super 17U squad to six hits over six innings and Wladyka Baseball 2020 put up a pair of three-run innings on the way to a 6-1 victory and the 17/18U Halloween Mash championship on Sunday at Diamond Nation.
Kemp, a senior at Hudson Catholic, used a tantalizing mix of fastball, curveball to keep the Diamond Jacks at bay. He allowed just one run while striking out four and walking three. Kemp and reliever Lou Fabbo would strand nine Super 17U runners in the game to help cap Wladyka’s fall season in style.
Kurt Talke singled with two outs in the top of the sixth off Kemp and Christian Pansini followed with a double to left-center field that chased Talke to third base. The sudden Super 17U rally imperiled a 3-1 Wladyka lead and triggered a mound visit by coach Jim Wladyka.
“I asked him if he wanted to finish the inning,” said Wladyka.
Kemp countered, “Coach said, ‘Your name is Jim. Let’s go.’” Kemp struck out the next batter on a 2-2 fastball to end the threat. Wladyka Baseball then tacked on three big runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away.
Kemp was named the 17/18U Halloween Mash Most Valuable Player.
A very clean game between two talented teams turned a bit sloppy in the last of the sixth when the Diamond Jacks committed three errors, leading to three unearned Wladyka runs and a 6-1 lead. An infield error and a pair of walks to Trevor Santos and Luke Chenault loaded the bases for Wladyka with one out. An infield throwing error then brought home Nic Adamo and Santos and Chenault scored on a wild pitch.
Wladyka (4-0) struck for three runs in the first inning off Supe 17U starter Ben Iervolino. The runs scored on a double by Adamo, Santos’ triple and Fabbo’s double. Iervolino, a senior at Hunterdon Central, struggled early with his command, walking leadoff hitter Andrew McDermott.
But Iervolino, who had two strikeouts in the first inning, settled in nicely after that, shutting Wladyka out over the next three innings. The lefty Iervolino started spotting his slider nicely and would permit three runs on six hits, struck out eight and walked two.
The Diamond Jacks (4-1) scored their only run in the third and it was triggered by Sebastian Mueller’s two-out single to right field. Greg Bozzo followed by shooting a sinking liner to left field that went for a double and scored Mueller all the way from first base.
Trailing 6-1 in the top of the seventh, the Diamond Jacks did get something going off righty reliever Fabbo. Matt Gluck and Alex Stone drew one-out walks to bring the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters to the plate for Super 17U. But Fabbo got both batters looking at a called strike three to end the game.
“I’ve had these guys since they were 14 years-old,” said Wladyka. “It’s amazing how things transpire. To see their growth from eighth grade to now, as high school seniors, is awesome. It’s their last game in our uniform, so going out with a win makes it special.
“All of them are still here playing hard in late October. They’re just a bunch of baseball nuts. They step up and play. They make coaching that much more enjoyable.”
Wladyka Baseball 2020 outscored its Halloween Mash opponents 29-4. The Diamond Jacks Super 17U 2020 held a 30-16 runs advantage on their opponents.
Halloween Mash recaps
Hamilton A’s 8, Deck Dogs 0
The Hamilton A’s defeated the Deck Dogs, 8-0, in the 10U Halloween Mash championship game. J.R. Brovato of the A’s was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Hamilton (3-0) outscored its opponents 34-1. Deck Dogs held a 28-22 runs advantage on their opponents.
Tri-State Arsenal 10, Diamond Jacks Super 11U 5
Tri-State Arsenal defeated the Diamond Jacks Super 11U team, 10-5, in the 11U Halloween Mash championship game. Steven Longo of Tri-State Arsenal was named the 11U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Tri-State Arsenal (3-1) outscored their opponents 40-16. The Super 11U (3-1) held a 47-23 runs advantage on its opponents.
Diamond Jacks Super 12U 2, Poughkeepsie Lightning 0
The Diamond Jacks Super 12U edged the Poughkeepsie Lightning, 2-0, in the 12U Halloween Mash championship game. Soren Gregor of Super 12U was named the 12U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Diamond Jacks (4-0-1) outscored their opponents 38-11. The Poughkeepsie Lightning (3-1) held a 31-24 runs advantage on their opponents.
Diamond Jacks Super 15U 11, Bucks County Generals 0
The Diamond Jacks Super 15U defeated the Buck County Generals, 11-0, in the 15U Halloween Mash championship game. Nick Lorenzo and Jake Dally of Super 15U shared the 15U tournament’s Most Valuable Player award. The Diamond Jacks outscored their opponents 38-6. The Generals (4-1) held a 34-15 runs advantage on their opponents.