Stamford Thunder 17u jumped out to an early lead in its season opener against the East End (Long Island) Aviators at the Blue Chip Prospects Baseball Tournament , and then cruised to a 12-4 victory with 14 total hits behind the bats of Noah Skaug (3 hits), David Collazo (3 hits, RBI double), and Armando Gonzalez (3 run RBI triple). Shane Hackett also added two hits. Starting pitcher Matt Tiplady pitched well and received strong defensive support, allowing just 2 runs on 4 walks, 2 hits, and 2 strikeouts over 4 innings of work. Reliever James Gerard also pitched well, allowing two runs (one earned) on 2 hits, 3 walks and one strikeout.
Game 2 of the Blue Chip Prospects Tournament was a much closer affair, as the Thunder tied Team Steel (Long Island) 2-2 in a tight game that was called due to time limit. Starter Julian Tonghini allowed 1 unearned run, tallying 7 strikeouts on just 1 hit and 2 walks over 4 innings of work. Reliever Michael Maloney allowed 1 run on four hits over the final three innings. Things got exciting late when Stamford, down 1-0 after 5, tied the game in the top of the 6th on Noah Skaug’s one-out RBI double and then took the lead in the top of the 7th on a leadoff double by Tiplady, a bunt for a hit by Hackett, and an RBI single by Calvin McKeever. Team Steel scored the tying run in the bottom of the 7th on a two-out RBI double, but solid defensive play by Stamford in the remainder of that frame preserved the 2-2 tie.
Stamford Thunder once again played to a 2-2 tie Sunday morning against the Long Island Titans. The Thunder spotted starter Matt Jester (4 innings, 1 hit, 5 BBs, 2 ER, 4 Ks) an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, manufacturing both runs on a combination of execution, hustle, and aggressiveness. Following a leadoff single from Hackett, who eventually came around to score on a passed ball, McKeever’s infield single drove in Evan Campbell for Stamford’s second run. The Titans battled back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs themselves on a pair of free bases and an RBI double surrendered by Jester. Evan Campbell relieved Jester with 3 innings of work (3 hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks, 0 runs), and escaped a jam in the bottom of the 7th that again preserved a 2-2 tie. Ross Green added a base hit and an excellent defensive game at shortstop for Stamford.
Stamford Thunder stayed out of the loss column with a 1-0-2 record, thanks to strong pitching and defense, and timely hitting. Looking ahead, the Thunder journey to Providence, Rhode Island and Brown University for the Future Starz Showcase Tournament on Sept 22-24.