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14U Hustlers Win Prestigious USA Baseball Labor Day Cup

Posted by Wayne Main on Sep 04 2017 at 05:00PM PDT

The 14U Frederick Hustlers started the Fall season off with a major challenge -- the USA Baseball Wood Bat Labor Day Cup at the National Training Complex in Cary, NC. Proving no test is too big for this group, the Hustlers pulled off the shocker winning the Championship and many new admirers with their sparkling play and gritty determination. The Hustlers got a stellar, complete game outing from RHP Nick DeLisi and turned in three deflating double plays in defeating an ultra-talented U.S. Stars team from Canton, OH 9-2 in the title game. “Definitely one of the best games Nick has thrown,” commented Coach Main afterwards. “He had all three pitches working and could seemingly throw them for a strike in any count.” DeLisi only allowed four hits, no walks and struck out seven. Colby Patterson got things going in the top of the first when he led off with a sharp single to left. Singles by Matt Kulikowski and Matt Cunningham scored a run and had the Hustlers feeling good about themselves. The Hustlers would add four more in the second, one in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Matt Cunningham and Colby Patterson each had two hits, while Kulikowski, DeLisi, Eric Ball and Dalton Williams each had one. Dustin Isanogle scored three runs.

The semifinal game was arguably against the best team in the tournament and was a nail-biter from the first pitch. The Hustlers rode a two-hit, seven strikeout, complete game masterpiece from LHP Marshall Mott to beat the Hit-N-Run Baseball Academy 1-0. “Marshall is a gamer. He wants the ball and wants to send you back to the dugout,” said Coach Main. The Hustlers only mustered three hits – two by Mott and one by DeLisi.

The game that got the Hustlers into the final four was another pitcher’s duel and the Hustler’s RHP Matt Kulikowski did not disappoint. The Hustlers faced former Major League Pitcher Mike Gardiner’s Charlotte Stealth squad but it was Kulikowski who was big time. Matt worked six innings of three hit ball with ten strikeouts. “Can’t help but love this kid. He knew we needed this game and he just smiled and said, I’ve got this Coach,” said Main. Ryan Bennett worked the seventh inning with one strikeout for his second save of the tournament. Dustin Isanogle singled and Mott and DeLisi followed with doubles in the first to account for the three Hustler runs.

The Hustlers won game one of the tournament 7-5 against the Warriors from Fayetteville, NC. The Hustlers scratched out nine hits with Mott getting two and Patterson, Isanogle, Kulikowski, Cunningham, Prather, Gabe Torres and Ball each getting one. DeLisi, Stephen Betz, Mott and Ryan Bennett combined for the win on the mound.

The Hustlers only loss in the tournament came in game two when they lost 5-3 to MVP (Greenville, NC). Mott had two hits and Ball had one. Patterson pitched four strong innings and Tyler Prather was equally effective for two in the loss. The Hustlers trademark defense went missing in this game.

For the tournament, Marshall Mott garnered MVP honors with a sizzling .538 average, a dominant outing on the mound, and sparkling defensive play at 1B. Other Hustlers that had good offensive showings were Ball (.375), DeLisi (.308) and Patterson (.300). Isanogle turned in back-to-back defensive gems behind the plate in the semifinal and Championship games.

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