CONWAY — Baseball is returning to Tasker Field. Thanks to a team effort between members of American Legion Post 46, located on Tasker Road in Conway, and the Home Run Bulldogs, a new field of dreams is beginning to take shape.
“The field looks amazing,” said Home Run Bull Dogs Founder Greg Allain. “We are looking forward to hosting doubleheaders and tournaments this spring and summer. We've been on the field for batting practice, but we can’t wait for games there.”
Allain said the field is set up for 70-foot and 90-foot basepaths.
The field, which was formerly the home of the Conway Orioles in the 1970s and early 80s and was later used by the Conway Babe Ruth, received a total makeover last fall with the planting of new sod and dirt.
“We need to thank the following people/businesses for donating material or time to help with this project, American Legion Post 46 Conway; GE Brown; Coleman & Sons; Maine Turf Co.; Ryan Brown; Shawn Downing; the Charrette family; Ryan Keaten and Justin Clough,” Allain said. “Everyone did an incredible job.”
The field will be the home of the U12 and U13 Home Bulldogs, who play in the New Balance Select League.
“The infield looks amazing,” Allain said.
Allain said Post 46 has begun fundraising to put up a permanent fence around the outfield. For now, a snow fence will be used.
“We’re looking for donations to go through the American Legion,” he said. “We plan to put up sponsor signs on the fence in the hopes that we can raise enough money for a real one. It’s going to look good when we get a fence up.”
The U13 Home Run Bulldogs are scheduled to host the first game at Tasker Field with a doubleheader against the Coastal Maine Storm on Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs, who have been practicing since January, compete in the New Balance Select League, 13U Division. They are scheduled to play against teams from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Their schedule consists of 26 games, plus playoffs. For the 2021 season, the 13U Bulldogs are slated to play in the 13U Perfect Game Super Regional Tournament as well as one more travel tournament. The Bulldogs are also slated to host a tournament in North Conway, on June 5-6.
Players on this year’s squad include Sawyer Hussey, Alex Allain, Jacob Brown, Bryce Downing, Logan Ramsey, Jacob Eveleth Jr., Mathew Charrette, Owen Robertson, Serghio Espezua, Jack Saldino, Justin Louis, Quinton Moore, Bryce Stacey and Jayden Butler.
Joining Allain in the dugout is Assistant Coach Jim Hidden, who returns for a fourth season.
The 13U Bulldogs went 2-0 over the weekend, riding timely hitting and quality pitching to 10-0 and 10-2 wins over Coastal Riptide of Sanford, Maine, to improve to 2-2 on the season.
“Good to see the bats coming alive,” commented Allain on the team’s Facebook page. “Pitching was dominant as well.”
Saldino led the offense in the 10-0 win over the Riptide with a pair of hits and a run scored. Allain, Eveleth and Robertson each scored two runs. Saldino also of the win on the mound, sticking out six, while scattering two hits and walking two over four innings of work. Brown pitched the final inning, fanning two.
In the nightcap, Allain worked seven strong on the bump, scattering five hits, walking two and striking out six in the complete-game win. He also had two of the Bulldogs 10 hits and scored three runs. Saldino and Louis both had two hits, while Brown and Charrette each belted doubles.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to McDermott Field in Londonderry to play a doubleheader against the Junior Lancers at 9 and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Home Run is slated to play at home again on April 18, when it hosts the Grizzlies Baseball Blue on Sunday, April 18, at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The 12U Bulldogs team, led by Coach Andy Pepin (his second year at the helm) along with new Assistant Coach Ryan Keaten, compete in the New Balance Select League, 12U Division II. They play against teams from across the Granite State, Maine and Massachusetts.
Their schedule consists of 18 games, plus playoffs. For the 2021 season, the 12U Bulldogs will play in the 12U Perfect Game Regional Tournament. The Bulldogs are scheduled to host a tournament in North Conway on May 15-16.
Players on the team include Cohen McNevich, Robbie Hazlewood, Conner Keaten, Guillermo Chavarria Burns, Brady Parsons, Jonah Pepin, Chace Luchansky, Finn Williams, Cooper Coleman, Brady Eagan, Oliver Allocco and Oliver Dean.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to Manchester on Saturday to play the MV Commodores at 9 and 11 a.m.
Home Run is slated to play its home-opener at the Tasker Field on Saturday, April 24, with a doubleheader against N.H. Cannons Orange at 9 and 11 a.m.
The 10U Bulldogs, led by new Head Coach Duane “DJ” Johnson, play in the New Balance Select League, 10U Division. They will also compete against teams from N.H., Maine and Mass. Their schedule consists of 16 games, plus playoffs, and plan to host a tournament in North Conway on May 15-16.
Team members include Nick Allain, Bowen Brown, Evan Landers, Logan Landers, Mason Clerkin, Jake Lubchansky, Mason Moss, Kaelan Leathem, Jackson DeMartino, Mason McAllister, Keegan Day and Ethan Lundblad.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to travel to the Seacoast United Outdoor Complex in Epping to play the Seacoast Pirates Navy at 9 and 11:15 a.m.
Home Run is slated to play its home opener on April 25 at O’Brien Field in Center Conway when it welcomes Team New England for games at 10 a.m. and noon.
Allain confirmed the popular Bulldogs Summer Baseball League, which made a successful debut last summer with five teams from the Mount Washington Valley and Western Maine, will return. There will be a Big League Division (ages 10-12) and a Minor League Division (ages 7-9).
The registration deadline is June 1, with the first games scheduled to be played on July 5. The regular season is 10 games long, followed by playoffs.
Player fees are $85 for the Big League and $70 for Minor League players, who will receive a hat and a jersey.
“We are also offering a Little Big League Division,” said Allain. “This age group will practice only with players working on hitting, fielding, and throwing drills with our coaches one night per week. This is a five-week program. Players will receive a T-shirt. Cost is $60.”