Thursday, July 5, 2012

BABE RUTH 15s: Hamilton tops rival Nottingham

HAMILTON — If Nottingham plans on winning its fifth straight District One 15-year old tournament title, it’s going to have to do it out of the losers’ bracket.
Hamilton’s Cole McManimon saw to that last night when he retired 11 in a row in the middle innings to help power host Hamilton to a 4-1 win over Nottingham to complete the first night’s action in the District One series at Switlik Park.
The township archrivals, who had played in last summer’s District One 14-year old tournament final when Hamilton came from the losers’ bracket to win two straight with McManimon pitching the clinching win, staged another thriller. Hamilton made sure it got out to a fast start as 15s by leading 4-0 after three innings.
It took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, giving McManimon an early cushion as a Nottingham error and a sacrifice fly by Nick Leona plated the runs following infield singles by Austin Constantini and Kevin Smiegocki.
“I was really pumped for this game because I wanted to pitch against them again,” said McManimon, who will be a sophomore at Princeton Day School. This spring he won two games for the PDS varsity. “I don’t think I pitched as well in that gamne as I did tonight. I just went out and threw strikes. It helps to have a good defense behind you. I was hitting my spots,” said McManimon, who didn’t allow a hit until Chris Kline lined a single to center with one out in the fifth and eventually scored the only Nottingham run on a fielders choice by Eric Struble.
Nottingham will start what it hopes will be a long run in the losers bracket tomorrow against Hopewell at 1 p.m. Hamilton will face the winner of tonight’s Lawrence/Western Monmouth game in a second round contest Sunday.
Nottingham is already assured of a spot in the Southern N.J. state tourney later this month since it is hosting that tournament at DeMeo Field in Veterans Park.
McManimon was simply superb in pitching his second-straight tournament win over Hamilton’s rivals from Hamilton Square.
“This was fun to pitch against them again. My first baseman (Nick Payesko) did a nice job on those pop ups in foul ground, and my catcher (Kevin Smiegocki) did a nice job behind the plate,” added McManimon, who at one point after hitting Anthony Peroni with a pitch with two out in the first retired the next 11 batters he faced.
He set down three in a row on strikes, and in that streak got some key defensive plays at shortstop from Constantini.
He lost the shutout in unusual fashion when Kline got his one-out single to break up the no-hit bid. He stole second, and scored when Struble dropped a ball into short center that looked to be a single. Kline raced home on the play, but Colin Wolf had held up going to second to make sure the ball was caught on the fly. When it wasn’t he was forced out at second, turning Struble’s potential single into a fielders choice groundout.
Manager Mike Moceri’s Hamiton boys upped their lead to 4-0 with two in the third when Matt Dempsey opened with a single and Constantini got the second of his three hits. Both advanced on a wild pitch before Dempsey came home on a sac fly to right by Smiegocki and Constantini soon came across on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Steven Loney.


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