Mashpee 12-Year-Olds Live Out Dreams At Annual Cooperstown Tournament
By: Rich Maclone
Months of fundraising events and practices paid off with an unforgettable week in Cooperstown, New York, for the Mashpee 12-year old All-Star team a few weeks back. The Mashpee boys traveled to the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame to play at the Cooperstown Dream Park and made the time investment in preparation for their trip more than worthwhile with a superb showing in upstate New York. Mashpee overcame a slow start in the tournament to finish as the fourth place team at the tournament. That slow start saw the team drop their first three, falling by scores of 5-4, 7-3, and then 7-0.
In the fourth game, though, things turned around as the team pulled off a strong team effort and got homers from Joe Mackie and Devaun Ford to get the ball rolling in the right direction. After pool play, Mashpee found itself near the bottom of the standings, ranked seventh after a 1-4 showing. The start of tournament play ended up going very well, though, as Mashpee exploded offensively to win by the Mercy Rule, with Mackie smashing a game-ending grand slam as an exclamation mark on the game. In the quarterfinals the team pulled off its most exciting victory, beating the New Jersey Frozen Ropes Bombers. Jersey was undefeated entering the game, boasting a 5-0 record, and had been dominant, having won each game by the Mercy Rule.
“Going into this game we knew we had to bring our ‘A’ game’,” Coach David Williams said.
Mashpee certainly did that, with Zach Landry leading the way by hurling a fantastic outing from the hill. Landry twirled six strong innings, allowing just a pair of runs, and kept Jersey off-balance throughout the game by mixing his pitches effectively. Landry was also picked up nicely by the fielders behind him as second baseman Jake Johnston came up with some nice glove work and Alex Storey made a game-saving play at first base when a throw went wild into the basepath. Storey leapt into the basepath and made a swinging tag to record the out and save a couple of runs from scoring on the play.
After Storey’s big play, Ford got the job done for Mashpee in the bottom half of the inning when he hit a home run that gave Mashpee the momentum it needed.
“This was a memorable moment for the team because we beat arguably the best team in the tournament by a final of 6-2,” Williams explained. “Zach Landry played a key role as a pitcher, pitching one of the best games a 12-year old can pitch, and offensively, stealing third base and scoring a couple times.”
Coach Williams also had high praise for the young man behind the dish during the week, catcher Frederick Hanna. Hanna was a monster at the plate for Mashpee, reaching base 18 times in 23 appearances. He had 14 hits and four walks during the tournament, and also swiped a couple of bases and worked four innings from the mound as well.
“He was definitely a key player in this tournament and went wherever he was needed,” Williams said.
Max Burke, Jonathan Avis, and Trevor McDonald all played infield, outfield, and pitcher.
“They proved that it is important to have versatility in the game. They played defensively wherever they were in the field and made some key plays,” said the coach.
Mashpee’s great run ended in the semifinals and the club finished fourth overall.
“The kids had a great experience. Rooming with their teammates for an entire week, going to the Hall of Fame, watching a game at Doubleday field, having X-box tournaments, and watching movies. They got to play nine games over the week, but now that it is all over it will hopefully be something they remember forever. They also earned their Cooperstown rings,” Williams said.
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