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May, 2022

9U Clinches 1 Seed in Gold Playoffs

9U Clinches 1 Seed in Gold Playoffs

The 9U Bears team continued its winning ways finishing the regular season going 6-0, having played one less game due to a scheduling issue.  However at 6-0 with 18 points in the standings, thats all it would take for Lyndhurst to lock up the 1 seed on Tuesday night.  The team standing in their way, Franklin Lakes.

Luca Iannitelli started things off for the Bears, as he so often has done.  Things started a little rocky for the crafty left hander before he settled in thanks to some great fielding.  Luca walked the first two batters he faced.  A steal of third later had runners at the corner for the batter in the 3 hole who hit a dribbler into no man’s land between second and first.  John Gibbons fielded it cleanly but lost the foot race to the base for an infield single and a 1-0 deficit.  Iannitelli loaded them up when he hit the next batter.  From there, Luca settled in, striking out the next batter he faced for the first out.  After that, he induced a high pop up to the first baseman who caught the ball, and raced back to first for the inning ending double play. 

It took 2 pitches for Lyndhurst to tie it up as Leo Scaglione drilled a ball deep to left center field.  The ball hit the turf right and ran to the fence as Scaglione ran around the horn for his first inside the park home run of the travel season.  Jayden Mercado singled to left center, but was standing on second when the left fielder booted the ball.  Mercado was standing on 3rd base thanks to a steal when when John Gibbons came up with 1 out.  Gibbons found the outfield himself as he doubled in Mercado to take the early lead.  That would be the last time Franklin Lakes had the lead on the night.  Luca Iannitelli hit a dribbler to the 3rd baseman who couldn’t field it cleanly, Gibbons played chicken with the fielder getting him to throw an errant ball to 2nd base allowing him to come around and score.  That same error had Luca on 2nd base.  Rocco Gencarelli was hit by a pitch after Luca stole 3rd.  Gencarelli stole 2nd and Fuller loaded them up with a walk.  Gio Turano walked in a run as did Jack Cardino.  With 2 outs, Scaglione, the man who started things off, was responsible for a 2nd run crossing the plate when the 3rd baseman had his second error of the inning.  That ended the inning on runs with Lyndhurst leading 6-1.

Iannitelli was much sharper in the second striking out the first batter he faced.  He did walk the second batter, but struck out the next two.

Jayden Mercado got to first on an error to the hot corner, and stole 2nd base.  Gibbons hit a single into left field but thanks to another couple of errors, Mercado scored, and Gibbons was crossing the plate.  With no one on and one out, Iannitelli doubled to center field.  Gencarelli dropped one in between the right fielder and second baseman for an RBI single and stole his way to 3rd base as Anthony Fuller worked a walk.  Jack Cardino loaded the bases with his 5 pitch walk before the side was retired. 

Luca worked his way in and out of trouble in the top of the 3rd, but was able to finish out his night.  It started with a double and hit batsmen and an RBI single and double to make it 9-3.  The bases were loaded by a second hit batsmen of the inning.  The next batter hit a ground ball to Hunter Aiello at second base who sacrificed the run to get the out to Rocco Gencarelli at first base.  A strike out gave Iannitelli 2 outs before he loaded them back up with a walk.  Iannitelli’s 2nd strike out of the inning and 6th of the night stopped the rally in its tracks. 

Leo Scaglione started things off with a hit by pitch, he was able to steal second and advance to 3rd on the ground out to the shortstop.  Luke Linsalato got an RBI on his single that scored Leo, and was standing on 2nd thanks to a subsequent throwing error.  John Gibbons followed Linsalato’s lead with an RBI single that had him on 2nd thanks to a throwing error.  There were runners at the corners after Iannitelli reached on a throwing error by the shortstop who drew the first baseman off the bag.  Rocco had a productive out advancing the runners when he grounded out to the pitcher.  The inning ended there with a 12-4 advantage.

John Gibbons came on in relief hoping for a short outing.  He walked the first batter he faced, but got a line drive first out hit to Mercado at 3rd base.  Another walk had runners on first and second, when Gibbons got Mercado some more work.  This time in the form of a ground ball 5U fielder’s choice.  Another walk from Gibbons loaded the bases.  An errant throw on the next ball in play allowed a run to cross the plate before Gibbons got the next batter to swinging. 

Lyndhurst started the inning, knowing they were 4 runs away from a walk off mercy rule victory.  Turano grounded the ball sharply to the pitcher who threw wide and over the first baseman’s left shoulder to get Gio on base and to 2nd.  Turano stole 3rd, as Jack Cardino walked.  Cardino stole seconding leaving room at first for Hunter Aiello.  Aiello loaded them up with his walk.  Scaglione and Linsalato each walked in a run, and John Gibbons, who put the ball in play all night, and really all season, singled into left, and thanks to a booted ball and throwing error, was able to clear the bases of everyone including himself.   Gibbons finished the day 4 for 4 with 4 RBIs, the errors cost him some.  In fact, gibbons went all the way around the bases twice, once with the bases loaded and only got 2 singles in the scorer’s book.  The last one ended the inning on the 6 run rule and the game on the 10 run rule.  Giving the Bears the 18-6 win and moving them to 6-0 on the  season. 

The leaders for the Bears in the regular season are:

Leo Scaglione .833 batting average, .938 on base percentage, 2.604 OPS, 1.667 slugging percentage, 1 HR (Tied), 12 Runs scored, 8 BB, 11 stolen bases (Tied)

John Gibbons 9 Hits, 1 HR (Tied), 16 RBIs

Hunter Aiello 4 HBP

Jayden Mercado 11 Stolen bases (tied)

Luca Iannitelli 10 IP, 4 games pitched and started, 4 Wins, 22 Ks (tied)

Jayden Mercado 3 Saves, 3.50 ERA,

Gio Turano 22 Ks (tied)

John Gibbons 5 Walks

Gio Turano 1.304 WHIP

The Bears have a team batting average of .373 and have scored 76 runs.  On the mound, they have a team ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 2.286 and have allowed 31 runs to cross the plate. 

As the standings sit at time of writing, it seems the playoffs will start the way the regular season started for the Bears, against Midland Park.  This time the Bears will host, but they hope the results are the same as the first time they faced off.

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