Kennedy powers Millville past Washington Twp.
Buddy Kennedy isn't nervous anymore. He's a sophomore now. "Last year I was nervous all the time," Kennedy said. "Now I just bear down and play ball and try to help the team."
Buddy Kennedy isn't nervous anymore.
He's a sophomore now.
"Last year I was nervous all the time," Kennedy said. "Now I just bear down and play ball and try to help the team."
Kennedy, a burly third baseman and the grandson of former major-leaguer Don Money, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Millville baseball team in a Grand Slam Classic first-round game Saturday against host Washington Township.
Kennedy was 3 for 3 with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, six RBIs, and 10 total bases as Millville beat Washington Township, 7-4.
Kennedy also stole a base and made a strong defensive play.
"He has a lot of tools," Millville coach Roy Hallenbeck said. "We brought him up last year because he was good enough as a freshman to play third base and sit in the middle of our lineup.
"But he's getting better and better."
Junior righthander Nate Eigenmann earned the win with 52/3 strong innings of work for Millville (1-1), which advanced to face Williamstown in the semifinals Monday.
Junior designated hitter Nick Grosso delivered an RBI double and senior leftfielder Nick Cianci drove in two runs with a single and sacrifice fly for Washington Township (0-3).
"We've got a lot of young kids and they are feeling their way," Washington Township coach Bill Alvaro Jr. said. "We're just not consistent enough right now."
Kennedy still is a young player, but he said he feels like a veteran after a full season at the varsity level as a freshman.
"I didn't do my best last year," Kennedy said. "I know I could have done better, but I was nervous playing in front of my friends. I feel a lot more comfortable this year."
Kennedy gave Millville a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run home run. He doubled in the third, walked in the fifth, then drilled a grand slam over the left-field fence to increase the Thunderbolts' lead to 7-2 in the sixth.
"That felt amazing," Kennedy said.
The game was played in brisk weather, with a strong wind blowing out at Washington Township's field. But neither of Kennedy's homers needed much help to clear the fence.
"I don't think the wind made a difference with either one," Alvaro said.
Kennedy's grandfather played 16 seasons in the majors, including his first five for the Phillies from 1968 to '72. Don Money is now a special instructor for the Milwaukee Brewers.
"He's coming home [to the Vineland area]," after six weeks in Arizona with the Brewers, Kennedy said.
Kennedy said his grandfather tries to attend as many of his games as possible.
"I love when he comes to see me play," Kennedy said.
Millville 200 014 0 - 7 7 1
Washington Twp. 100 102 0 - 4 4 0
WP: Nate Eigenmann. LP: Mastron. 2B: WT-Grosso; M-Sammy Oquendo, Buddy Kennedy. HR: M-Buddy Kennedy 2.