CONWAY — A group of local baseball players is getting the opportunity to see some different parts of the United States this summer and enjoying testing their talents against teams from all over the country. The Home Run Bull Dogs U17 team recently finished third in the prestigious Perfect Game University of North Carolina at Asheville Invitational in North Carolina.
“It was very clean and competitive baseball,” said Greg Allain, owner/GM of Home Run Sports Training which is based in Center Conway. “Our guys played great. It was good to see it all come together.”
Members of the Home Run Bull Dogs are Noah Barrows, Dallas Berry, Parker Coleman, Fischer Cormier, Derek Dascoulias, Matt Drew, Austin Eastman, Riley Fletcher, Nate Grames, Colby Hall, Brady King, Ethan Ouellette and Zach Smith.
Barrows, Coleman, Dascoulias, Fletcher, Grames, Colby Hall, King, Ouellette and Smith all played for Kennett High this past spring, helping the Eagles reach the Elite Eight.
Berry plays for Dirigo in Dixfield, Maine, while Cormier plays for Mountain Valley in Rumford, Maine, Drew, who is from Center Ossipee, attends Kingwood Regional, and Eastman, from West Baldwin, Maine, attends Sacopee Valley.
The Bulldogs went 1-0-1 in pool play in the nine-team tournament.
In its opener, July 20, Home Run and the SBA 2020 Nationals played to a 6-6 tie. The Bulldogs scored a run in the top of the seventh to knot the contest.
Dascoulias tossed five innings of three-hit ball, allowing three earned runs, while fanning eight. Barrows worked the final two innings, allowing an earned run on one hit and struck out three.
Later the same day, against the Carolina Stampede Powered by UP, the Bull Dogs prevailed 2-1 at Montreal College.
Grames worked the first 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, no earned runs and struck out four.
Cormier tossed 1 1/3 innings of no-hit ball while striking out one.
Eastman hit a home run in the fifth inning and Smith drove in the eventual winning run in the same inning when he platted Dallas.
“Austin had been struggling at the plate coming into the tournament,” Allain said. “He broke out in a big way.”
After finishing third in pool play, Home Run met USA Prime Munro in the semifinals at UNC Asheville. USA won the game 3-1.
USA scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning to break the scoreless deadlock. After Home Run scored a run in the top of the fifth frame, USA regained its two-run lead with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Drew pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs, scattering five hits while striking out seven in the loss.
Eastman had two doubles for MWV in the fifth and seventh innings. Smith and King both hads singles.
USA outhit Home Run 7-4 in the contest.
“Our guys pitched well enough to win but we didn’t hit well enough,” Allain said.
USA went on to defeat the TB Blue Rays 5-0 on July 21 to win the tournament.
The Bulldogs were back in action last Thursday in Stamford, Connecticut, where they were one of 60 teams in the annual Firecracker Baseball Colonial
The Bulldogs went 4-0 in pool play topping six other squads from N.Y. (two from N.Y.), R.I., N.J., and Conn. in the Dwight Eisenhower Pool, outscoring opponents 29-7 over three days.
On Thursday, Home Run beat New Jersey Baseball 16U 11-3.
On Friday, the Bull Dogs played twice and won twice. They beat the Fairfield County Captains from Connecticut 8-3, and, later that day, edged the PACOY Dragons Showcase (from N.Y.) 2-0.
On Saturday, in the final pool play game, the boys from Mount Washington Valley handled the Bandits Baseball Club 16U from R.I., 8-1.
In the semifinals on Sunday, eventual champions, the CT Rivals, nipped Home Run 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel at Concordia College.
The CT Rivals went on to beat the Ticketbash Jr. Ducks of Westchester (N.Y.) 8-1 at Manhattanville College to win the championship.