Secaucus, NJ - The Wayne Hills PAL (WH-PAL) team’s offensive struggles continued in their game against the Gladiators on Wednesday. While the WH-PAL team put up six runs, they had no hits on the day. All of their runs were scored off of bases loaded walks as the Gladiators’ pitchers walked 14 Wayne Hills PAL batters on the day.
The Gladiators, which is a team made up of mostly Passaic County Technical Institute players along with players from DePaul Catholic, got off to a hot start offensively with six runs in the top of the first inning. The WH-PAL scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning, again on all walks. After both offenses slowed down in the second inning, the boys from Wayne added another three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the score at six. From then on out, the Gladiators dominated in all phases of the game.
“They beat us handily,” WH-PAL assistant coach Ken Kaplan said. “There were certain points in the game where we had chances to get back in it and make a game of it, and you got to capitalize on it, and we didn’t.”
Over the next three innings, the Gladiators scored nine runs, including a six-run sixth to put them up by 10. In that span, WH-PAL only managed to get two players on base. Since the team could not cut the deficit to under 10, the game was called by the run rule.
As the team enters its final game tomorrow, Kaplan wants to see the boys keep working hard and staying positive.
“You got to keep plugging away,” he said. “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t.”
While the tournament has not gone as the team would have liked, there is still some gratitude that they are able to play at all during the coronavirus pandemic. Kaplan believes that many thanks are in order for the man who put the team together: head coach Steve Rubino.
“I have to give Steve a lot of credit,” he said. “He put this together at the last minute. Because of COVID, a lot of these kids wouldn’t have had a summer season. Steve put it together and got them together to play some more baseball. It’s fantastic all around.”
The Wayne Hills PAL will look to pick up their only win of the Last Dance Tournament tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Kane Field against the loser of the Hackensack-River Dell game.