EMERSON, Ga. - Tri-State Arsenal 14u Red knew they had competition going into
Wednesday’s game against Central Florida Gators 14u in their final pool
game of the WWBA 14u National Championship.
“We knew what we
were up against because I scouted them throughout the tournament,” said
head coach of Tri-State Bob Delvecchio.
The Gators, being
undefeated, had a leg up going into the game, whereas Tri-State was 5-1.
Perfect Game rules state that in the event of a tie, the head-to-head
winner advances to the playoff rounds. This was fortunate for Tri-State
in their 8-6 victory over the Gators.
“We had to win this game
to win the bracket and we knew the Central Florida Gators is a great
program. They were undefeated, but we knew head to head if we come in
strong we could win,” explained Delvecchio.
The victory did not
come easy for Tri-State. The lead shifted positions five times
throughout the game leaving the fans of both teams on the edge of their
Thanks to Delvecchio’s scouting and the pressure of having
to win, Tri-State was ready to play when they came up to bat in the
first inning. A walk and a single by Zachary Miller put men in scoring
position for Tri-State. Tom Sheehan then drilled a triple that scored
two runs to take the first lead of the game. Unfortunately, the Gators
came back even stronger scoring four runs in the bottom of the first
inning, taking over the lead.
Tri-State then responded to the
Gators four runs with a three-run homer over the left field fence by Tim
Dezzi. The Game then remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth
when the Gators were able to tie up the game. This really put the
pressure on for Tri-State. Once again, they responded appropriately.
Singles from Jack Zyska and Sky Duff put them in perfect position for
Miller, who hit a clutch double to the right field fence that scored
“Zach Miller came in with a big hit at the end,” said
Delvecchio. “It was just a hell of a game, our guys really stepped
up….We got [some] big hits.”
Not being the home team, Tri-State
had the pressure of holding the Gators in the bottom of the seventh.
Fortunately, Sheehan came in the close the game and brought the heat. He
only faced four batters in his time on the mound. He walked one, struck
out two, and forced a fly ball out of the last one.
“Tommy Sheehan came in and shut it down,” said Delvecchio.
Devereux, who was just coming off an injury, started on the mound for
Tri-State and lasted four innings. He struck out five, walked two and
gave up only three hits, all of which came in the first inning. He shut
the Gators out the next three innings.
“Our pitcher, Brady
Devereux, came in and he had been injured earlier in the season. He’s
our No. 2 [pitcher] and he came in and did a hell of a job,” explained
Dezzi relieved him and pitched “a perfect two innings.” He struck out two, walked one and gave up only two hits.
owner, Bob Barth, is surely pleased with the performance of his 14u
team this week, and will be glad to hear they will be advancing to the
playoff rounds. Unfortunately, due to health issues, he was unable to
make it out to Georgia this week.
“He couldn’t be here, but we assured him that we will play the best we can every game,” stated Delvecchio.
Tri-State Arsenal is a program that is well known at Perfect Game
events. The Tri-State 15u team came runner-up in the 2014 WWBA 15u
National Championship just a couple of weeks ago. Delvecchio is hoping
to do the same, if not better.
Delvecchio is confident in his
team going into play offs because of this big win, and their success in
their previous pool games.
“Out of six pool games, five were
shut outs. The one we lost, we were up by five and made some errors that
lost it,” he explained.
Anthony Piccolino had two, full-game
shutouts, racking up 14 strikeouts over 13 innings. Sheehan, Jack
Kennedy, and Anthony Dimartino all pitched shutout games as well.
Arsenal is known for being one of the best baseball organizations in
the Mid-Atlantic. They attract some of the best players in the Tri-State
area due to their history of putting guys into big college programs and
even the pros.
“The name does it all,” explained Delvecchio
about how they recruit players. “Mike Trout who plays for the Angels
played for us. We have had some big guys come out and a bunch go to the
“We are in the tri-state area so we have guys from
Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Some kids drive two and a half
hours for practice.”
They have teams aging from eight to 17. They
pride themselves on their extremely talented and experienced coaching
staff who provide intense training for the players.
“We do year
round training, and a lot of it is indoor because we don’t have as good
of weather in New Jersey,” added Delvecchio.
With their solid
pitching and consistency at the plate, Tri-State Arsenal will be a tough
team to beat in the upcoming playoff games.