9U Hustlers Finish Second at Ripken Mother's Day Tournament
The 9U Hustlers traveled to the Ripken Experience in Aberdeen to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.
Saturday’s early game pitted the Hustlers against the Delaware Valley Senators (Philadelphia, PA). The first six innings proved to be a pitcher’s duel between the Senators and Hustlers aces. The Hustlers only allowed one hit through the first six behind the pitching of Damon Baker and Jackson Raymond. With the game knotted at 2 runs a piece, the top of the seventh started with a runner on 2nd base and the Hustlers turn at the plate. The Hustlers moved Darian Gaskins, who had been placed on second to start the inning, to third on a hard-hit ball by Ryan Coulby. Jackson Raymond then brought Gaskins into score and moved Coulby to third with a well-placed bunt single. Alex Simmons scorched a ball down the third base line scoring Coulby and advancing Raymond to 3rd. Grady Beaver hit a 1-0 pitch into centerfield scoring both Raymond and Simmons. It only took Beaver three pitches into Luke Wood’s at bat to score with some excellent baserunning. After drawing a walk, Wood was also able to steal his way around the bases bringing the score to 8-2. The Hustlers were able to close out the home half of the 7th by only allowing 4 batters to the plate on their way to an 8-3 victory.
In the late game on Saturday, the Hustlers squared off against the South Jersey Warriors (Swedesboro, NJ). Again, the Hustlers pitchers were in top form. Chase Jones and Mickey Cammarata combined to allow just 3 hits over 4-1/2 innings while allowing no runs. The Hustlers defense was also solid converting on 11 out of 13 groundballs into outs. The Hustlers needed only four trips to the plate to score 12 runs turning away the Warriors by the run rule. Ryan Coulby and Alex Simmons both had multiple hits to lead the way. Damon Baker and Ryan Coulby both homered for the Hustlers.
Sunday found the Hustlers earning the #2 seed and a quarterfinal matchup with the Medford Renegades (Medford, NJ). After allowing an unearned run in the first, the Hustlers offense took over. By the end of the 4th, the Hustlers held a commanding 11-6 lead on their way to a 14-9 victory. Jackson Raymond and Damon Baker handled the pitching duties holding the Renegades in check combining to strike out 10, walking none, and only allowing 6 earned runs. Damon Baker and Alex Simmons led the Hustlers with two hits each. Ryan Coulby and Jackson Raymond both homered for the Hustlers.
The Hustlers continued their hot play in their semifinal pairing against #3 seeded Eagle Baseball Club (Camp Hill, PA) putting crooked numbers up in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings en route to a 13-7 victory and a trip to the championship game. Chase Jones and Mickey Cammarata worked efficiently on the mound for the Hustlers while the defense was steady only committing one error. Chase Jones and Darian Gaskins collected three hits each while Grady Beaver had a pair of hits as well.
In the final, the Hustlers faced off against a formidable Baserats Baseball (Staten Island, NY) team. Mickey Cammarata, Damon Baker, Chase Jones, and Colton Facine shared pitching duties for the Hustlers. Damon Baker collected the Hustlers only hit against the Baserats ace, John Gano, who went the distance for the Baserats. While the Hustlers came up short in the end, they fought until the final out and showed tremendous growth as a team. “Nothing excites me more than to see our team executing things in games that we work on in practice. We have a great group of coachable players and that, more than anything else, encourages me about this team’s potential.” Noted Coach Raymond following a long Mother’s Day in Aberdeen.