The Zoned RedHawks Soar on Opening Day

The Zoned Redhawks kicked off the 2014 spring season in a big way this past weekend with four wins throughout the program. The 13U team, as well as both 14U teams, were all in action on Sunday in the opening games of the USABL season. The Redhawks kept the momentum going from the fall season that saw both the 13U and 14U teams winning their respective divisions this past October.

The 14U Redhawks Black got things going with a 7-4 victory in extra innings over the Hillsborough Gold 14U at Willow Road fields in Hillsborough. The bats were cold through the first 4 innings, but pitcher Kevin Reyes kept the Redhawks close until the offense warmed up in the 5th. The Redhawks were able to pull away with some timely hitting and aggressive base running, using a couple extra base hits to put the Gold away for good. The pitching staff kept the Gold bats quiet for most of the game, backed up by some solid defensive play in both the infield and outfield.

Next up was the 14U Redhawks Red taking on the N.J. Shamrocks at Tenner Field in Union, N.J. The Shamrocks kept it close, but the Redhawks were able to hold on in a close one, winning by a score of 4-2. The Redhawks jumped out in front early, with a first inning single by Alex Degen that drove home James Crowley. The bats cooled off again until the 4th inning when they put two more runs on the board. Michael Weber got the win for the Redhawks, pitching 5 innings giving up only 1-hit and and no runs. Degen, who started the game off with an RBI, pitched the 6th and the 7th innings and allowed only one run to close out the victory for the Redhawks.

In the late games on Sunday, the 13U Redhawks traveled to Greenbrook Middle School in Greenbrook N.J. to take on the Out Of The Park Blue 14U in a doubleheader. In the first game of the twin bill, the Redhawks pulled out a 5-4 nail-biter in a back and forth game. Starting pitcher George Kallimanis lead off the top of the 7th with a double and then moved to third on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Dean Severini. The Redhawks took the lead for good on a line drive through the left side by Nick Diaz that scored Kallimanis. Defensively, the Redhawks kept it close on the strength of great defensive plays by both Tommy Denlinger and Kyle Wierzbicki. Kallimanis pitched four innings, limiting Out Of The Park to two runs, and Greg Verano closed out the last three to hold on for the win.

The second game of the double header was again a close one, as the Redhawks pulled out a 5-2 win on the strength of a 3-run 6th inning. The rally began with a double down the left field line from starting pitcher Justice Ramirez. That was followed by a Jack Erbeck walk and a Dillon Donahue single that scored Ramirez and gave the Redhawks the lead for good. Two more walks and a couple of errors resulted in the final score of 5-2. Ramirez kept Out Of The Park off balance through the first four innings, allowing only two runs. Dean Severini pitched two more scoreless innings in relief, followed by Jack Erbeck getting the save with a scoreless 7th inning.

Overall, it was a great opening weekend for the entire Redhawks program. The pitching staffs did a particularly good job of keeping all three teams in their games, allowing the offenses to get creative and manufacture runs to win close games. Continuing this fast start will be key as the 13U and 14U teams attempt to defend their USABL championships from the fall. With consistent pitching and timely hitting to hang their hat on, these Redhawks will no doubt continue to soar throughout the entire spring season.

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