Hamilton NB Pitcher Nick Nemes delivers to the plate against Pacific Northwest Saturday in the Babe Ruth World Series. Photo by Jim Rossi
By Rich Fisher
Aug. 12:After having not lost a game through the entire Babe Ruth tournament, the big question was how would the Hamilton-Northern Burlington 14-year-olds react after finally finishing on the wrong side of the score.
The answer was resounding.
The Switlik Swatters exploded for an 8-0 win over Pacific Northwest Saturday in Game 3 of pool play. The victory puts Hamilton-NB at 2-1 in the National Division and, while it has not clinched a berth in bracket play yet, it could do so before it plays its final game against the Southwest Region at 10 a.m. Monday. And if it hasn’t clinched it by then, it will do so with a win in that game.
The Uuummmms were coming off a 7-5 loss to the Virginia state champion on Friday night, but quickly put that behind them by scoring five runs in the first inning in what was a 1 p.m. start.
“It was absolutely necessary,” coach Jim “Uuummmm” Petersohn said of jumping to a quick lead. “This game could have gone either way, and they came out aggressive. The best thing that could happen for us was to not have to wait to play 24 hours after the loss. We didn’t have to sit around and think about it. They bounced back tremendously.”
“They were a good team last night,” said offensive and defensive star Tyler Solymosi. “We’re definitely better but they were just hitting the crap out of ball.”
Solymosi agreed with his manager that, “Yeah it helped we didn’t have a lot of time to think about what happened. When we took infield outfield today we looked horrible. Coach Mo (Mike “The New Father” Moceri) pulled us off and said, ‘You guys better start showing what you can do.’”
And H-NB did just that.
Nick Nemes set the tone, throwing five innings of four-hit ball with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“Nick Nemes was on fire,” Petersohn said. “He’s unbelievable. He’s a big-game pitcher and he came with big game stuff.”
“For the first few innings we trying to not show the curve,” Nemes said. “We were going with lots of fastballs; hitting spots. The first kid, we got the low outside corner so I took advantage of that throughout the game, and then mixed in the curve and change.”
Nemes admitted to feeling a little pressure taking the ball after his team was coming off its loss. He hardly showed it, throwing a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts.
His teammates then made it easy for him by plating three runs in the bottom of the inning. Gavin Martin singled, David Zamora was hit by a pitch and Mike Giambelluca singled to load the bases. Solymosi then delivered a base-clearing double to make it 3-0.
“I had a full count and just took one to left field,” Solymosi said. “It was a fastball pretty much down the middle. I was looking fastball on the full count.”
“Tyler was the standout offensively and defensively,” Petersohn said. “He made some outstanding plays at second base and he hit well.”
Armed with a three-run cushion, Nemes was feeling a lot spunkier in the second.
“You always feel some pressure but after that first inning it all went away,” he said. “That’s when our confidence went up and we knew we had it. Right when Ty hit that, it boosted my confidence a bunch. He was definitely due for that hit.”
Nemes helped his cause with an RBI double to score Zac Brown in the second, and consecutive doubles by Connor Luckie and Danilo Perdomo made it 5-0. Nemes then settled in and threw strikes.
“Nick did really good today,” Solymosi said. “They couldn’t even touch him we had great plays on defense.”
The Uuummmms put it away in the fifth when Perdomo hit his second double and David Zamora slammed a line drive over the left field fence to make it 7-0.
Carson Wehner took over on the mound in the sixth, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out one in two innings.
“Our pitching staff is coming into play now,” Petersohn said. “You could see it by the team we played today. Their kid wasn’t throwing as hard as the other pitchers we saw, and our guys all throw as hard as the next guy.
“I think they thought if they threw junk at us they could beat us if they scored some runs. They scouted last night and I guess they figured we were only a fastball hitting team, but that wasn’t the case.”
Not to mention, they didn’t score any runs.
H-NB now enjoys a day off before returning Monday. Whether it has clinched a spot in bracket play by then or not it will still want a win to improve its seeding.
“We’re feeling pretty good about where we are,” Solymosi said.
“We’re having fun,” Nemes added. “Just the fact we’re here and we’re one of the best teams in the country is good. And Glen Allen is great.”
And all is well with the H-NB world once again.