Dyson’s 6 RBIs power NASA-West 12s to district-opening victory
Darren Dyson and Sebastian Vivero belted home runs to highlight a 10-hit attack as the NASA-West Major All-stars made their District 14 tournament debut Saturday night with a 16-5 victory over West Isle at Rudy Trabanino Field.
District champions last summer in the 11s tournament, there is an air of excitement surrounding this team and their tournament opener did nothing to subdue that excitement.
Dyson finished with possibly a career-best six RBIs as the team’s clean-up hitter connected for a 3-run homer in the first, tacked on a two-RBI double in the fourth, before driving in his sixth RBI during a seven-run fifth frame.
All of that offense made for a pretty easy night for starting and winning pitcher Jonathan Neel, who worked the first four frames, surrendering just two hits.
“He did real well. His curveball looked good, his fastball had some good heat on it and he kept it in the zone,” NASA-West manager Tim Sims said.
Neel was pretty good last summer. Now he appears to be even more polished on the hill.
“I think he developed his curveball a lot and he’s definitely picked up some velocity on his fastball. He’s a gamer,” Sims said.
Neel endured some rough seas in the first inning when he surrendered an RBI triple to Jonah Williams and a solo homer to Corbin Jones, trimming NASA-West’s lead to 3-2.
But Neel shrugged it off, retiring eight straight batters, before walking two batters in the fourth. But even in that inning, he still struck out three.
“He’s one of the most mentally strong kids in this league. Doesn’t get too upset about anything,” Sims said.
With a huge lead to work with, Jake Buyajian mopped up in the fifth, surrendering a two-RBI double.
As for the offense, there were few strikeouts as the team put the ball in play, putting West-Isle back on their heels much of the night.
A single to center by Logan Britz and Matthew Fernandez getting pegged by a pitch brought up Dyson, who promptly deposited a pitch deep over Trabanino’s Green Monster wall in straight away center field.
With the lead 5-2 entering the fourth, walks to Noah Myers and Britz led to back-to-back doubles by Liam Sweeney and Dyson, accounting for three RBIs and a blossoming lead of 8-2.
In the explosive fifth, Christian Rivera contributed a two-RBI double, before Vivero greeted West-Isle’s third pitcher with his roundtripper. Evan French also pushed home a run.
Joseph Pena was West-Isle’s starting and losing pitcher.
In District 14, victories can only be savored for a brief time and that will be the case for NASA-West. The team is now scheduled for a Sunday night game at Bayside Little League in Seabrook