Ashtabula Phillies open summer season with tournament championship

May 30—Staff Report

The Ashtabula Phillies 18U summer baseball team started the 2024 season in fine style over the weekend.

The Phillies went 3-0, and earned the championship at a tournament in Cleveland Heights.

During an 11-1 five-inning win over the Ohio Pitbulls in the championship game, J.R. Hutchison, of Conneaut, pitched the whole way. He allowed one earned run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Aidan Hernandez (Edgewood), Alex Sperduto (Edgewood) and Bryce Spurlin (Conneaut) had two hits each. Riley Baldwin (Edgewood) hit a homer, and collected five RBIs.

Gage Tome (Lakeside) also contributed a double.

In other games over the weekend, Ashtabula defeated the Millcreek Riptide 18U team 6-4 and Pitbulls 10-5.

"The boys were real excited," Phillies coach Chris Sperduto said. "It's the first time they've won a tournament. Everything went well this weekend."

Sperduto said the Phillies are basically the same group that made up the American Legion Bruisers team.

But Ashtabula is not affiliated with the legion league.

"We basically took the same team as last year, and added four or five kids from the 16U team," Sperduto said.

The Phillies will play in mostly weekend tournament until around the second week of July.

"We'll have a couple of weekday games for our young guys to get some work in," Sperduto said.

Ashtabula will play mainly Lake and Cuyahoga County teams. Other members of the Phillies include: Tanner Cline, Sean Lincoln, Caleb Johnson, Chris Ende, Tony Hall and Anthony Ciesicki, all of Edgewood and Zion Thomas and Matt Wagner, Lakeside.

The Phillies are also fielding 15U and 11U teams, which are coached by Andy Clutter and Tony Pasanen, respectively.

Sperduto said the team chose the Phillies name.