Northern Burlington senior Zack Gakeler took things into his own hands in helping the Greyhounds advance to the second round of the 41st annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic baseball tournament.
Gakeler pitched a two-hitter and opened the scoring with a two-run double in the third inning as Northern Burlington beat Haddonfield, 10-0, in an opening-round game Saturday at Overbrook.
The game lasted six innings because of the 10-run rule. Adam Rapp's RBI single in the sixth provided the 10th run.
Gakeler, a lefthander headed to the University of Pittsburgh, struck out 10, using an array of pitches - four, to be exact. He was sharp with his slider, curve, change-up, and fastball.
"He had them all working today," Northern Burlington coach Rick Doppler said.
Northern Burlington (17-3) will meet Pennsville, a 10-6 winner over Cinnaminson on Saturday, in a quarterfinal at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday at Washington Township.
"We lost here in the first round last year, and we didn't want the same thing to happen," Gakeler said. "This was a good win for us."
It was a game between Atlantic Coast Conference pitching recruits, and for the first three innings it lived up to its billing.
Haddonfield righthander Mark Ostbye, a Virginia recruit, opened with two shutout innings before Northern Burlington scored two unearned runs in the third on Gakeler's two-out, two-run double to center field.
The Greyhounds blew the game open with seven runs in the fifth. Shortstop Tyler O'Dell, who was 3 for 3 with a walk, two runs scored, and three RBIs, and Gakeler (2 for 3 with three RBIs) led the potent Northern Burlington attack.
Haddonfield (14-4) committed five errors.
"It is the worst we played all year defensively," said Haddonfield coach Bob Bickel, who also had plenty of praise for Gakeler.
"He was outstanding," Bickel said. "We have seen good pitchers this year, but in terms of command of more than one pitch, he's been the best."
Haddonfield 000 000 - 0 2 5
N. Burlington 002 071 - 10 11 0
WP: Zack Gakeler, LP: Mark Ostbye. 2B: NB-Tyler O'Dell, Gakeler, Adam Rapp.