By Bob Behre
Three pool play games. Three no-hitters.
The Diamond Jacks Super 17U Underclass team did something no one can seem to remember happening at Diamond Nation. The team pitched three consecutive no-hitters to conclude pool play at 3-0 on Sunday in the Super 17 Fall Invitational Wood Bat tournament.
Persistent rain earlier in the week threw a monkey wrench into the tournament plans, causing the 17U Fall Invitational playoffs to be postponed until Monday, October 8. The Super 17 Underclass squad, however, won’t be back looking to close the door on a tournament championship because they were already scheduled to compete in the Perfect Game Underclass tournament in Florida.
We’ll detail the Super 17U Fall Invitational eight-team playoff alignment later in this story.
For now, the team of high school juniors from Diamond Nation is basking in the afterglow of their three straight no-hitters in which they outscored their opponents, 16-1.
The tricky thing about throwing a no-hitter during the fall season is that it truly needs to be a staff effort because your pitchers tend to be on a shorter leash than in the summer months. It actually took eight pitchers in all to string together 19 no-hit innings over two days of tournament play for the Super 17 Underclass team.
“You’d figure someone would get a seeing-eye single or something,” said Diamond Jacks Super 17 Underclass coach Steve DiTrolio.”
Righthanders Dan Hanczaryk and Derek Von Horn combined on the first no-hitter, a 4-1 victory over Sportika Gallagher 16U Elite in the first of two games on Friday night. The only run surrendered during the three games occurred on a passed ball in this one. Hanczaryk started and struck out four and walked two over four innings. Von Horn closed out the final three innings of no-hitter No. 1 with three strikeouts and two walks.
Lefthander Ben Iervolino started the second game on Friday and pitched a perfect three innings, striking out seven Evoshield Canes North Atlantic 18U batters. Righthander Adam Boucher, a Duke commit, followed with one no-hit inning in which he struck out two and walked one. Righty Kyle Mahady kept his foot on the gas in closing out the final three innings, a 3-0 victory and no-hitter No. 2 with three strikeouts and three walks. Zach Sylvester drove in two runs and Matt Gluck drove in one run in the tightly played contest.
“It seemed everyone’s secondary stuff was real sharp,” said DiTrolio. “Their velo was really good and they all competed on the mound.”
The novelty of stringing a pair of no-hitters together seemed to motivate the Diamond Jacks further, Drew Conover, Trevor Kobryn and Gavin Stellpflug combined on a five-inning gem during a 9-0 mercy rule victory over Prospects Baseball Academy on Saturday. Conover worked the first three innings, striking out three and walking three. Kobryn struck out the side and walked one in the fourth and the 6-5 righty Stellpflug, a Maryland commit, closed out no-hitter No. 3 with a 1-2-3 fifth as he struck out two batters.
The Diamond Jacks Super 17 Underclass team’s pitching line over its 19 pool play innings included one run on no hits, 27 strikeouts and 12 walks. Six of the eight pitchers who factored in the three no-hitters are pictured above. Missing are Von Horn and Mahady.
Super 17 Fall Invitational Wood Bat Playoff Schedule
Monday, Oct. 8 @ Diamond Nation
Pro Skills 18U (3-0) vs. Team Steel Black (2-1), 11
Baseball U Pa. 18U Black (3-0) vs. NJ Giants, 1 (2-1)
HNR Outlaws/Marlins (3-0) vs. Team Citius, 11 (2-1)
MSI 2019 (2-0-1) vs. RCBC Nationals , 1 (2-1)
Finals - 3 p.m.
Yellow Bracket, Field 1
Black Bracket, Field 3