The Hazlet Babe Ruth League’s 13-year-old all-star team completed a successful summer with a 19-6 record, while winning their third District 11 title in a row. Many of the players have been together since they were 8 years old, coach Vinny DiCostanzi noted. The team really began making its mark as 11-year-olds when they won both the District 11 and the Babe Ruth state crowns. A year ago, Hazlet again won District 11 as 12-year-olds. As for DiCostanzi, he’s enjoyed coaching this group for the past few years, and is excited about watching them develop as ballplayers over the next few years. “It’s been a lot of fun watching these boys learn the game and develop their skills together,” DiCostanzi said. “They make coaching look easy.” This season, Hazlet again took the district title, and also won the Central Jersey Babe Ruth League championship, finishing in first place for the regular season then going on to win the playoffs. The team also qualified for the state championship, but were eliminated in two games. Hazlet relied on strong pitching and defense, and seemed to get enough hitting to get by, DiCostanzi said. Marc Zecchino and Frank DiRoma were the team’s top pitchers, while first baseman Chris Clayton and Zecchino were Hazlet’s best hitters. Other members of the team included pitcher/catcher Brian Malloy, first baseman/outfielder Glenn Davis, center fielder J.C. Connell, infielders Kevin Boehler and Tom Petry, and outfielders Alex Wanless, Victor Scanzini and Bob VanFechtman. Wanless also saw time behind the plate. Clayton, Connell, and Scanzini also pitched. Frank DiRoma Sr., Pat Zecchino and John Petry served as assistant coaches. — Warren Rappleyea
The Hula boys batted first and batted out the full 20 overs posting a target of 142.A top order batting collapse left them reeling at 6/45 from some superb bowling from John Igo (3/27) and Vagi Frank (3/20).But an unbeaten 45 runs from Lope Va’a steadied the ship for Hula.Va’a was assisted by a handy 24 runs from Wari Kapa.The boys from Rent-A-Tent found themselves in dire straights at 5/66 after their top order batsmen failed to impress.Jake Kapa was the standout batter scoring 20 runs.In the end, Rent-A-Tent were all bowled out for a 100 after 16.2 overs.Wari Kapa did the damage for Hula taking 3/33.In other matches, Taurama was too strong beating Alukuni by six wickets.Finals for the T20 competition will get underway in September.