Tusten is the 3-time defending Teener League champion. However, the Chiefs will have their hands full this summer in pursuit of a fourth straight title.
A year ago, Tusten was running roughshod over its competition en route to yet another Wayne County Teener League title.
This summer, however, the Chiefs find themselves in a battle that will likely last until the very last game of the season.
“We haven’t lost very many games the past five years,” Coach Joe Curreri told TWI Sports. “But, this is a whole different situation. It’s a new season and there are some very good teams in the league this year.”
One of those teams, Re-Max, has already proven its worth. Just last week, the Renegades dealt Tusten its first loss of the campaign by a score of 17-7.
“Let’s hope that was a little bit of a wake-up call,”?said Coach Curreri. “If we want to compete with the Renegades, we need to work hard and cut down on the mental mistakes.”
Weather permitting, the Chiefs will get a chance to avenge that loss. Tusten and Re-Max are slated to meet again this evening at 6:00 p.m. in Beach Lake.
When asked about this year’s edition of the team, Coach Curreri is quick in pointing to Sully Rutledge as one of his leaders.
A 14-year-old in his second year of Teener League action, Rutledge is quietly evolving into a front line pitcher.
“Sully throws pretty hard and he’s really starting to come into his own,” Coach Curreri said. “I?think it’s safe to say that by this time next year, he’ll be a solid #1 type pitcher.”
Rutledge starred in his most recent outing, a come-back win over Waymart.
Sully entered the game with his team trailing 6-0 in the third inning. He worked four scoreless frames of relief and earned a decision as Tusten rallied to post a wild 7-6 victory.
Offensively, Jared Meola and Gavin Owen are leading the charge.
“We really don’t have any superstars this year,”?Coach Curreri said. “But, those two kids are doing a very nice job.”
Meola plays first base, centerfield and bats clean-up. To date, he’s hit a pair of homers and leads the team in RBIs.
Owen is Tusten’s veteran catcher. A battle-tested 15-year-old, Gavin bats in the six hole and has a penchant for delivering big hits in pressure situations.