By: Nick Gallagher
Fresh off the Last Dance Tournament youth baseball was back in action Thursday night. This time it was NJ Babe Ruth League State Tournament in Hamilton Township at the famous Hamilton/Burlington Babe Ruth complex which was established back in 1951.
Noah Rivera (HNB) 4 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 8 K was the big storyline coming from night one. Rivera looked sharp right out of the gate against Mt. Laurel last night night. Rivera made quick work of the Mt. Laurel bats retiring all 3 hitters in order for the first three innings. Of the nine batters he faced six of the outs came the way of strikeouts. Noah had a perfect game going through 3 innings until Mt.Laurel SS Seth Cohen broke it up in the top of the 4th inning with a single just out of the reach of second basemen Franklin Peters. Rivera did his job mixing up all his pitches and speeds while keeping his command and not giving up any walks to the Mt. Laurel offense. Rivera kept the young Mt. Laurel team off balance and guessing constantly. It looks like HNB may have just found their ace for the duration of the tournament.
The bottom of the 2nd is where things unraveled for Mt. Laurel defensively. It all started with Richie Brown-Luden hit-by-pitch followed by a walk for Niko Garnier. Matteo Mannino laid down a bunt that stayed in the batters box which loaded the bases for Franklin Peters. He bunted as well, which scored the game’s first run. Noah Rivera helped his own cause joining the bunt party to drive home the second run as HNB went up 2-0. Reese Pillik followed with 2 run RBI single that put the HNB up 4-0 with still no outs in the inning. HNB sent 10 men to the plate to led 8-0 at the end of two innings of play.
In the bottom half of the 3rd HNB sent 8 more men and added three more runs to go up 11-0. The runs in this inning came off of a sacrifice fly from Reese Pillik, an RBI from Isaac Acosta, base hit from Andrew Stizza, and Chris Nodeland reaching base on an error. The 4th inning was the final frame of the ballgame as HNB tallied four more runs to finish up the game 15-0 from RBI’s from Reese Pillik (2-4 4 RBI’s), Isaac Acosta (4-4 3 RBI’s), and Austin Bodie.
Hamilton/Northern Burlington will play West-Windsor Plainsboro tonight at 8:15pm and you can catch all the action right here on WBCBSports.com or on Facebook @WBCB Sports.