CONWAY — The boys of summer were out in full force this past weekend with three of the Home Run Bulldogs teams hosting tournaments with games played from Tamworth to North Conway. Home Run’s U10, U12 and U14 teams each hosted tournaments with round-robin play to determine seedings on Saturday followed by single-elimination games in the championship round on Sunday.
“It was great to see a ton of baseball going on,” said Greg Allain, president of Home Run Baseball and head coach of the U12 Bulldogs. “With the weather we had, I think we were lucky to get everything in. I really want to thank everyone involved in making the event a success."
While three teams from the seacoast went home with the championship trophies, the local squads played well and had their moments.
“We gained a ton of experience,” Allain said. “I think what's good is our kids are learning that there are a lot of talented teams out there, but we’re staying competitive.”
He added: “All of the out of town teams were very OK with our rules for social distancing. Kids, when they were in the dugout, were spread out, and when they couldn’t be, they were in masks. Everyone cooperated.”
Allain said one umpire, who umps collegiate baseball, actually flew in from Hawaii to work the tournament.
Playing for the U10 Bulldogs, which are coached by Josh McAllister, are Nick Allain, Bowen Brown, Jack McAllister, Jake Lubchansky, Dylan Armstrong, Mason Moss, Wyatt Fitch, Chace Lubchansky, John Alkalay and Chance White.
The Bulldogs hosted four other teams (Seacoast United Pirates North, SU Pirates South, SU Pirates Concord and the Maine Sting) in the tournament played in North Conway’s Schouler Park.
The Bulldogs fell 8-1 to SU Pirates South and 15-1 to the SU Pirates Concord on Saturday. The hometown nine lost to the Maine Sting on Sunday in the elimination round.
The 10U Bulldogs compete in the Elite Baseball League (EBL), 10U Division II. They play against teams from New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. The schedule consists of 16 regular-season games, plus playoffs.
Playing on the U12 Bulldogs, coached by Allain and Assistant Coach Jim Hidden are Alex Allain, Jacob Brown, Jacob Eveleth, Sawyer Hussey, Connor Keaten, Guillermo Chavarria Burns, Colin Chester, Landon King, Mathew Charrette, Brady Parsons, Jonah Pepin and Chace Luchansky.
The Bulldogs hosted four teams (Maine Sting Black, Maine Sting Yellow, the Maniacs and SU Pirates LaCourse) with all games played at Whitaker Field in North Conway.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs topped the Maniacs 9-1, and then slugged their way past the Maine Sting Yellow 14-1. On Sunday, in the semifinals, Home Run beat Maine Sting Yellow 9-5 to advance to the title game but fell 14-1 to SU Pirates LaCourse.
“We really hit the ball well,” Allain said. “This season I’m stressing three things — effort, attitude and results on the field — I’m really preaching those three things, they are what will determine playing time.”
The 12U Bulldogs compete in the Elite Baseball League (EBL), 12U Division II. They compete against teams from New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. The schedule consists of 20 regular games, plus playoffs.
The Bulldogs stand at 5-7 on the season in the EBL. They are scheduled to host the New England Ravens (1-9) from Troy at Whitaker Field at 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and then entertain the N.H. Junior Warriors (5-4) from Windham at 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The 14U Bulldogs, coached by Dave Silvia, hosted four teams (Maine Sting Yellow, Maine Sting Black, SU Pirates Howard and coastal Riptide) in tournament action at the K.A. Brett School in Tamworth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, the Bulldogs came up just short, losing 5-4 to Maine Sting Yellow. On Saturday, Coastal Riptide beat Home Run 13-3. On Sunday, the Bulldogs beat Maine Sting Black but were eliminated by Maine Sting Yellow.
Aside from the Bulldogs travel teams, there is the Bulldogs Summer Baseball League made up of five local teams, three from within Mount Washington Valley, a team from Fryeburg and Sacopee Valley in Maine, and a squad from Denmark, Maine.
The league opened play on July 6. This week, Denmark played the Navy Seals and the Red Sox took on the Maniacs on Monday night at Whitaker Field in North Conway. Results were not known as of press time.
On Tuesday, it’s the Eagles vs. Red Sox at 6 p.m.; and Wednesday, it’s Denmark vs. Eagles and Maniacs vs. Navy Seals at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Whitaker Field.
The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 31 at 7 p.m. at Whitaker Field.