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May, 2023

Lyndhurst Starts the Weekend with a Nail Biter

Lyndhurst Starts the Weekend with a Nail Biter

The 10U Golden Bears started the back end of the travel season off on the road in Franklin Lakes.  The Bears enter at 1-2 having won in Wyckoff two weeks prior.  The Bears swung the bat very well in Wyckoff and that continued in Franklin Lakes.    It started with a one out double by Leo Scaglione.  Luke Linsalato took the first pitch he saw to left field for an RBI single.  Linsalato found himself in scoring position after some shrewd base running, getting himself to second on the throw home.  The Bears ended the inning with a 1-0 lead.  

Jack Fantacone took the mound for the third time of the travel season, and his second start.  Fantacone started off strong, striking out Franklin Lakes lead off hitter.  After a couple of pop fly singles by Franklin lakes had pressure on the Bears.  Thats when Fantacone induced a pop fly double play to John Gibbons at first who had the 3 unassisted double play all to himself.  

Eric Cardino led things off for the Bears with a hard hit grounder that ate the second baseman up for the Eagles.  Cardino stole second, opening up 1st for Hunter Aiello, who was issued a free pass.  Jack Fantacone stepped to the plate hoping to help his own cause, and he did in a big way.  Fantacone hit a rocket ground ball over the bag at 3rd base all the way into deep left field.  Cardino and Aiello both scored before Fantacone found himself standing on the very same base he just rocketed a ball over.  Jordan Leon benefited from a bobbled ball at first base that scored Fantacone to make it 4-0 leaving Leon in scoring position on the same error.  Leon advanced to 3rd on Scaglione’s second hit of the day before the side was retired.  

Fantacone started the bottom of the second the same way he started the first, with a strike out and the next two batters reaching base.  Fantacone fielded his position getting the ground ball over to John gibbons for out number 2.  With runners at 2nd and 3rd, the Bears were far from out of trouble.  A single and a double had the eagles within 1 at 4-3 before Fantacone got the last batter of the inning swinging.  

John Gibbons lead the Bears off with a single and a steal to get into scoring position.  Jack Cardino joined him on the base path after a 5 pitch walk.  Gibbons and Jack stole second and third on the first pitch to Jacks younger brother.  Eric Cardino didn’t take long to cash in those runners in scoring position with his RBI single into center field making it 6-3.  Hunter Aiello and Jack Fantacone both saw 4 pitches each before the bases were loaded.  After a pitching change Anthony Fuller worked an RBI walk.  Jordan Leon broke the walk train with his RBI single into left, and the inning ended on runs when Jayden Mercado found left on a line scoring Fantacone, and Fuller making it 10-3.

Fantacone took the mound for the third and final inning of his day.  Travel kids are limited to 9 outs a game.  It started with a walk and two steals before an errant throw by the catcher had the Eagles one run closer.  Despite the damage, Fantacone got a ground out over to Gibbons for out number 1.  A double and a single had the score at 10-5 before Fantacone induced a strike 3 out number 2.  Fantacone let one more kid reach base before he got another kid whiffing for strike 3.  Fantacone finished the day having gone 3 innings, scattering 6 hits, and allowing 5 runs, all earned to cross the plate.  In addition to the 6 hits he offered 4 free passes and fanned 5.  

The Bears started slow in the 4th before Gibbons reached on an error.  Jack Cardino singled to center and Eric followed suit scoring Gibbons.  After Jack stole 3rd putting runners at the corners, Hunter Aiello walked to load the bases.  Jack Cardino swiped home to make it 12-5 before the inning ended.  

Anthony Fuller came on in relief and after 2 singles, struck out the next batter he faced.  Fuller allowed a productive out when the batter grounded the ball right back to him, making it 12-7.  The inning ended when Eric Cardino made an incredible play to secure the ball at short and fire it to first base.  

Jordan Leon reached on an error with 1 out, but was unable to come around to score.

The bottom of the 5th started with a turf aided inside the park home run, that got past the Bears right fielder.  Fuller struck out the next batter he faced, and got a pop out to first for out number 2.  Fuller battled the next three batters, but found himself with the bases loaded.  The next Eagles batter hit a rocket between Gibbons and the first base bag, but Gibbons was able to knock the ball down, secure the ball in his glove and beat the runner to the base for out number 3 with the Bears holding on to a 4 run lead.  

The Bears were able to get some security runs to cross the plate, which would prove to be important.  Leo Scaglione was the spark plug with his ground ball single passed the short stop to start the inning off.  Luke Linsalato singled on a fly ball to left that Scaglione was able to get to 3rd on.  The Eagles thought they could get Scaglione at 3rd and Luke was standing at 2nd thanks to that throw.  John Gibbons looked at one pitch before he found left field on the fly to score Scaglione.  Gibbons stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Jack Cardino.  Jack grounded out to 2nd for out number 1 but Luke and Gibby advanced a base.  Gibbons was able to steal on an over throw of the pitcher while Eric Cardino was at the plate making it 15-8.  While two outs were recorded with any more damage, it should be noted that Eric Cardino had one of the best at bats you will see a 10U player have, even if it didn’t go his, or the Bears way.  Eric worked himself into a full count, and then fouled off 3 straight pitches before ultimately going back to the dugout.  Some times the most impressive battles on a baseball field don’t look great on the stat sheet.

Anthony Fuller went out there hoping to finish things out, and was able to get a fly out to Luke Linsalato in left for the first out of the inning.  Hunter Aiello came in with runners at the corners and 1 out.  Aiello got the batter to ground to Mercado at 3rd who fired it to Leo Scaglione at second for out number 2.  A run did score though making it 15-11 with a runner at first with 2 outs.  Aiello faced 4 more batters but was unable to end the inning, and the score read 15-14.  Leo Scaglione was the next Bear to take the mound, Scaglione took 5 pitches before he made the final Eagle of the game swing to send the Bears to the ice cream truck, and then home, happy.  

Jack Fantacone finished the game with the win, as the Bears never did relinquish the lead.  It was Jack’s first win of the travel season, and his career.  Leo Scaglione recorded his first save of the season.  Aiello, made his first pitching appearance of the year.  At the plate the Bears were paced by Eric Cardino who had 3 RBIs, Fantacone, Leon, and Mercado forced 2 runs each across the plate.  

This win put the Bears back at .500 on the year at 2-2 looking forward to some home cooking on Sunday against Teel’s Ravens.

The Bears 10U Team Find Themselves North of .500 for the First Time of the Travel Season

The Bears took on Teel’s Ravens on a hot Sunday evening on Gallagher Field.  The Bears send their hard throwing lefty, Luca Iannatelli to the mound.  It was only Iannatelli’s 3rd appearance and 2nd start of the season.  Luca started things off with a walk, but he quickly settled down.  It took 6 pitches for Luca to have 2 outs and a runner at 2nd thanks to two strike outs.  Another steal and a walk had runners at the corners.  A double to deep right plated 2 before Luca got out number 3 on his third K of the game.

It took 4 batters before the Bears cut the lead in half.  Mercado started it all with a walk, and was standing on 3rd thanks to Leo Scaglione’s double to left.  John Gibbons took a 2-0 one out pitch to 3rd base that scored Mercado, before Gibbons was able to reach safely for an infield single.  Luca Iannatelli hit a hard ground ball up the middle to make it 2 all.  John Gibbons stole 3rd and Luca stole 2nd before Jack Cardino loaded the bases on a walk.  Eric Cardino got an RBI the easy way to score Gibbons and secure a lead the Bears would not surrender.  Rocco Gencarelli showed Luca the way home on his walk.  Jack Fantacone roped a double into center field to plate 2 more and end the inning on runs making it 6-2.

The second inning was much easier for Luca, as he fielded a grounder himself and pushed it to Gibbons for a 1-3 out number 1.  Luca’s fourth strike out of the game was out number two of the inning.  Luca walked a runner to first, before the inning ended when Luca caught the batter looking.   

Hunter Aiello was hit on the forearm on and 0-2 pitch to reach first the hard way.  Aiello advanced to 2nd when the Ravens tried to double him up on a line drive.  Mercado Singled to put runners at the corners.  Aiello made it 7-2 when he stole home.  Mercado stole second at the same time, but was stranded there.  

Luca was just as sharp in the third, starting things off making the Raven swing.  Iannatelli did allow a single, before Rocco Gencarelli got out number two on a 3 unassisted.  Luca fanned the last batter he faced.  Luca finished the game having gone 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, and 2 runs, both earned.  He walked 3 but struck out 7.  

John Gibbons singled into left to start the inning for the Bears.  Gibbons stole his way to 3rd as Luca walked his way to first.  Luca stole second to put two runners in scoring position.  Jack Cardino plated Gibbons on his single to right.  Eric Cardino walked the bases loaded.  With one out, Jack Fantacone walked in a run to make it 9-2.  Hunter Aiello followed suit getting his first RBI of the season making it 10-2 Bears.  Jayden Mercado came up with 2 outs and walked in a run.  Scaglione hit a hard ball at the 3rd baseman that wasn’t able to field it cleanly.  Scoring a run on the error.  Luke Linsalato ended the inning on runs, for the second time in the game when he walked in Aiello making it 13-2.

Jayden Mercado took the mound for the Bears, knowing that if he didn’t allow 2 runs to cross the plate, the game would be over.  The Ravens fanned at strike 3 for out number 1.  The next batter singled to right and the third batter of the inning reached on an error by the Bears 3rd baseman.  With runners at 1st and 2nd, Mercado got his second strike out of the game for out number 2.  An error by the Bears 2nd baseman had the bases loaded.  Mercado slammed the door on the Ravens, with the help of Rocco Gencarelli.  Mercado induced a ground ball right back to him, and forwarded it to Gencarelli for out number 3, calling it a game.  

The Bears pitchers did a lot of the heavy lifting, getting 9 of the 12 outs via strike out.  They allowed only 3 hits, and 3 walks.  Conversely the Bears only struck out 3 times themselves, but drew 10 walks.  Jack Fantacone led the team in RBIs with 3.

The Bears sit at 3-2, tied for fourth place with the Waldwick Warriors.  Lyndhurst have 2 games remaining on their schedule against Ridgewood (3-1) and Mahwah (4-1).  If the Bears can win both, it should be enough to get into the playoffs.  If the Bears earn their way in, it would be the second straight spring the 10U travel team made the playoffs.  
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