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Tournaments  | Story  | 9/18/2018

Baseball U wins the Northeast

Patrick Ebert     
Photo: Baseball U

VINELAND, N.J. – In a tightly played contest, Baseball U finally put the championship game at the 2018 WWBA Northeast Qualifier out of reach with a three-run seventh inning. That gave them a 10-6 lead over the Brooklawn Brookers, the victory and a paid invitation to the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. in October.

David Howarth, who has committed to play his college ball at Northeastern, provided the biggest blow in Baseball U’s big seventh inning, hitting a two-run single. He also added an RBI double during the team’s four-run fourth, giving him three RBI and two runs score in a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.

Monmouth commit Walter Harmstead gave Baseball U an early lead, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning, his first of two base hits on the day and his second dinger of the event. The Brooklyn Brookers would battle right back, adding two runs of their own in the bottom of the second and single tallies in the third through sixth innings to keep them in the game until the final frame.

Batting in the cleanup spot between Harmstead and Howarth, Robbie Petracci also enjoyed a 2-for-3 day at the plate while two-hole hitter Vincent Cimini drew three walks, leading to three runs scored. That quartet combined to go 34-for-75 over seven games, which led to a 53-15 run scoring differential.

Included in their 6-0-1 run was four shutouts – two of which came in the playoffs – behind a handful of impressive pitching performances. In the championship game the team leaned on Josh Nathan to stop any chance of the Brooklawn Brookers continuing their slow but steady comeback, striking out four in 1 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the game. Nathan also struck out a pair in a scoreless inning in Baseball U’s quarterfinal win over Farrah Scout on Sunday.

To get to the championship game Baseball U had to use some late-inning magic to come from behind and beat the 9ers Baseball Club in the semifinals, 9-8. Baseball U scored one run in the sixth to pull within one and then the game-tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh. Cimini went 3-for-3 with four runs scored while Petracci was 3-for-5 with five RBI.

And while it didn’t always look pretty, Trey Dombroski provided five innings in the win with Grant Shulman working the final two frames.

The Brooklawn Brookers entered the championship game with a perfect 5-0 record, and had a much more convincing 6-1 win over FTB Tucci Mid-Atlantic in the semifinals. Colin Taylor also went the distance, pounding the strike zone while allowing just one run on seven base hits.

Baseball U has now won the WWBA Northeast Qualifier seven times in the last 12 years as they prepare to head south in mid-October for the WWBA World Championship.