A’s Gold scores 26 runs in playoff run to championships

Special to the Sun The A’s Gold U11 travel baseball team: (front row from left) Brandon Patterson, Thomas Horowitz, Mike Snyder (captain), Matt Cooper, and Colin McCunney; (second row from left) Jack Billings, Matt Hegel, Andres Frias, Ryan Monaco, Hillman Truss, Zach Glassband and Coach Jay Horowitz; (third row from left) Manager Kevin Billings and Coach Steve Cooper. Not pictured: Coach Brian Patterson.

Special to the Sun
The A’s Gold U11 travel baseball team: (front row from left) Brandon Patterson, Thomas Horowitz, Mike Snyder (captain), Matt Cooper, and Colin McCunney; (second row from left) Jack Billings, Matt Hegel, Andres Frias, Ryan Monaco, Hillman Truss, Zach Glassband and Coach Jay Horowitz; (third row from left) Manager Kevin Billings and Coach Steve Cooper. Not pictured: Coach Brian Patterson.

The Hamilton A’s Gold travel baseball team, whose roster includes a half dozen Robbinsville players, won two straight back-to-back games while shorthanded to make it to the United States Amateur Baseball League (USABL) Continental West 11U 50/70 Championship, before ending the season with a tough loss to Hamilton Little Lads.

The manager and coaches said they were proud of how far these boys, who were winless in their first season together two years ago, had come. This year they made it all the way to the June 23 championships by  “playing together as a team and believing in themselves and each other,” manager Kevin Billings said.

The 5th Seed A’s Gold started their championship run on Saturday, June 15 by beating the 4th Seed Hamilton A’s Green 12-5.  A’s Gold starting pitcher Matt Hegel (Robbinsville) threw three solid innings scattering only two hits with three strikeouts and four runs. Hillman Truss (Hamilton) pitched the last three innings giving up only three hits and one run on a total 30 pitches.  Early game jitters allowed each team to score three runs in the opening inning before settling in.

Jack Billings (Robbinsville) seemed to set the tone for the weekend by making a spectacular diving catch in center field in the third inning on a screaming line drive up the middle, robbing Mason Walczak of a hit.  A’s Gold second baseman Matt Cooper (Robbinsville) was deadly with the leather, recording six of the final nine outs.  Solid defensive play by pitchers (Hegel and Truss), first baseman Brandon Patterson (Robbinsville) and shortstop Andres Frias (Ewing) shut down Hamilton A’s Green’s offensive surge.  “Iron man” Colin McCunney (Robbinsville) was behind the plate managing A’s Gold pitchers and threw out one runner attempting a stolen base.  McCunney gave up playing in the District 12 Little league “Tournament of Champions” to play with his A’s Gold nine and anchor the pitching staff behind the plate at catcher.  Cooper, McCunney, Patterson, Billings, and Zach Glassband (Robbinsville), all had hits for A’s Gold. Truss and Frias each had two hits while Frias also had four stolen bases and four RBIs.

A’s Gold then faced the 2nd Seed Buck’s County Renegades (1st round bye) the next morning and pulled out a 14-6 victory. A’s Gold jumped on the Renegades in the first inning with three runs while giving up none.  A’s Gold starting pitcher Colin McCunney threw two solid innings scattering two hits and two runs.  Jack Billings covered the first two innings behind the plate before handing back over to McCunney in the bottom of the third. In the top of the third, Matt Hegel (the No. 3 batter) led off the inning and on the first pitch fouled a ball off that ricocheted into his nose and sat him out for the remainder of the game. This left the A’s Gold short one outfielder so Billings and Thomas Horowitz (Robbinsville) were left to patrol the outfield for the remainder of the game. The big left-hander Ryan Monaco entered in the third inning on the hill and struck out the side (No. 1, 2, and 3 batters). Monaco would strike out another three batters before running out of gas in the 6th inning and being picked up by Hillman Truss to complete the game on the mound.

The left-handed third baseman, Zach Glassband, second baseman, Matt Cooper and first baseman Hillman Truss all made great defensive plays.  The Renegades started hitting the ball in the 6th to the short-handed outfield scoring four runs while making Horowitz and Billings get on their horse and make plays.  Truss struck out two and made the final putout. He gave up four hits (to a shorthanded outfield) and two runs to close the game out.  This was Truss’ second appearance on the mound in two consecutive days to shut down the opponent this time in 19 pitches. The offense was led by McCunney and Frias, each with three hits, Cooper, Truss and Monaco with two hits and Horowitz with one hit.  The A’s Gold scored 14 over six innings.

This A’s Gold season was dedicated to their teammate, guiding light and taskmaster Mike Snyder.

 

 

 

 

 


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