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The 9U Hustlers traveled to the No Offseason Sports complex in Pittsburgh, PA to compete in the Knuckleball Knockout tournament this past weekend. The Hustlers had to be quick learners in preparation for this tournament playing MLB rules with lead-offs, balks, and the infield fly rule.
Saturday’s early game pitted the Hustlers against the Cannon Mac Blaze who brought with them an impressive record of 32-4 against the toughest teams in Western PA. Chase Jones was extraordinary on the mound for the Hustlers allowing just three runs on five hits and only walking one. Damon Baker was equally imposing in relief allowing just two runs on two hits and one walk. The Cannon Mac pitching was some of the best the young Hustlers have faced all season, but the disciplined Hustlers hitters were able to score seven runs on six hits outlasting the Blaze for a 7-5 victory. Landon Rosenberg and Chase Jones both had multiple hits for the Hustlers picking up a combined 3 RBIs, while Jackson Raymond and Alex Simmons were responsible for the remaining RBIs. The highlight of the game was a tape measure moonshot by Chase Jones that traveled well over 230’ before coming to rest.
In the second game, the Hustlers matched-up with Freeport. The Hustlers came out swinging in the top of the first frame scoring 6 runs and never looked back. Mickey Cammarata led the Hustlers with three hits and three RBIs. Ryan Coulby tallied 5 RBIs for the game with 4 of those coming on one swing with a grand slam in the 1st inning. Luke Wood drove in another 2 runs for the Hustlers. Mickey Cammarata and Landon Rosenberg worked effectively on the mound for the Hustlers. Eventually winning 15-8, the Hustlers took care of business on their way to the top seed going into Sunday.
Sunday’s semi-final game had the Hustlers facing the Guardian Angels from Canonsburg, PA. Again, the Hustlers bats were on fire. Damon Baker, Jackson Raymond, and Landon Rosenberg each hit homeruns while Chase Jones went yard twice for the Hustlers. Seven of ten Hustlers batters had multiple hits for the game. Damon Baker and Jackson Raymond combined to allow just three hits in the game.
The championship game was a rematch between the Hustlers and the Cannon Mac Blaze. Unfortunately, the Hustlers fell flat in the final against Cannon Mac’s ace, Brayden Radue. Radue held the Hustlers to just two hits en route to a shutout victory for the Blaze.
“I am proud of the way the boys played this weekend. We were challenged both by very talented opponents and a different set of rules. Our preparation this season has allowed us to be prepared for almost any test we face.” commented Coach Raymond.
The 14U Frederick Hustlers let one get away. Playing in the Championship game of the Ripken Highlight Reel tournament, the Hustlers held what seemed to be a commanding 4-0 lead heading into the fifth inning. The Hustlers, the #1 seed after pool play on Friday and Saturday, had pitched and pounded their way to the title game. Adam Dellamura took the ball and was sensational. Coming off an arm injury in the early spring, Dellamura was limited to 70 pitches and he pitched scoreless baseball for four innings before hitting his pitch count. The Hustlers went to the pen in the fifth for nine outs and this time, things didn’t work out. Two walks, a hit batter and three hits gave the solid NY Storm squad life and when the inning was over, the four run lead was down to one. The Storm scored three more in the sixth on a single, walk and a double and the Hustlers quickly found themselves behind 6-4. Showing some grit of their own, the Hustlers answered with two runs in the bottom half to tie the game at six. Unfortunately, things were not meant to be as the squad from Long Island New York scored four times in the seventh to capture the Championship. The Hustlers beat the NY Hurricanes 6-4 Friday night behind four strong innings from Nick DeLisi and then dismantled the NJ Readhawks Elite behind a complete game from Tyler Prather 12-1 on Saturday morning. The Hustlers faced the Hurricane team once again Sunday afternoon in the semifinals and this time, the Black and Gold put it all together. Matt Cunningham pitched a complete game two-hitter with three strikeouts.
Offensively, Matt Kulikowski was unconscious at the plate. Kulikowski was 10-13 with three triples and two doubles. “That was fun to watch. Fastball, curveball – it didn’t matter. More importantly, he was hitting the ball to all fields. He’s a strong kid with a big upside,” noted Coach Main. Matt Cunningham also had a great tournament. Cunningham was 8-11 (.727) with three triples and a double. Jack Putnam was 5-9 (.556) with a home run, while Gabe Torres was 3-7 (.429), DeLisi was 4-11 (.364) and Dustin Isanogle was 4-12 (.333).
The Hustlers head to Millersville University for the Elite Baseball Summer Blast this coming weekend.
The 14U Frederick Hustlers completed a Saturday sweep with convincing wins over the Gettysburg Warhawks and Cumberland Post 13 Junior Legion at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Matt Cunningham continued to show why he’s one of the best at his age group with a dominant, 69-pitch performance in an 8-0 win over Cumberland. Cunningham tossed a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts and no walks. He also helped himself at the plate with a 2-2 game that included a single, double, walk and two RBIs. Adam Dellamura and Jack Putnam chipped in with two hits each.
The opener was equally impressive as the Hustlers downed the Gettysburg Warhawks 15-1 in a game shortened by the run-rule. Tyler Prather pitched four innings and surrendered one run on three hits. Prather walked six and struck out six. Dustin Isanogle pitched a clean fifth inning in relief. Colby Patterson, Isanogle, Matt Kulikowski and Gabe Torres all had two hits. Isanogle had four RBIs and Kulikowski had two. Cunningham added a two-run double.
The Hustlers, sporting a 9-3 record, are at Ripken this coming weekend for the Highlight Reel tournament.
Strong pitching and defense carried the 14U Frederick Hustlers to victory Wednesday evening at Governor Thomas Johnson High School. Seven different pitchers tossed an inning and limited the KMS Baseball Academy to one hit with nine strikeouts in a 4-0 victory. Tyler Prather, Matt Cunningham, Matt Kulikowski, Gabe Torres, Dustin Isanogle, Colby Patterson and Ryan Bennett were all effective. Patterson led the home team with two hits while Kulikowski chipped in with a run-scoring laser to right center. Dalton Williams had the only other Hustler hit. The win improves the Hustlers record to 7-3.
The Hustlers play host Saturday to Cumberland Post 13 Junior Legion and the Gettysburg Warhawks in round-robin action. The Hustlers and Warhawks square off at 10:00am, followed by Cumberland and the Warhawks at 12:30pm. The Hustlers then play Cumberland at 3:00pm to close out the day. All games are scheduled to be played at Middletown High School.