COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — The 12-and-under Somers Americans and Somers Nationals baseball teams traveled to upstate New York to play just miles away from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
From July 9-15, both teams played at the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament, which featured 104 teams from all across the country. Both teams played two games each day totaling six games in pool play over three days. Pool play began Sunday, and the playoffs began Wednesday, with the tournament wrapping up Thursday night.
The Americans, who are coached by Jay Olifiers, played well in pool play and went 3-3. They finished 59 out of 104 teams. In the playoffs the team went 1-1.
“The players got to meet and spend time with other teams from around the country and bunked next door to a team from Canada,” Olifiers said. “It was very gratifying for the coaches to finish the week and see that each player on our team had at least one big moment. Whether they made a great play in the field, pitched or had a home run or big hit. Each player contributed in what amounted to a phenomenal team effort.”
The Nationals, who are coached by D.J. Colella, had a tough go in pool play, going 0-6, but did go 1-1 in the playoffs.
“The team performed well considering the competition,” Colella said. “The kids were probably a little amped up and nervous the first day, but they settled in nicely after that. Every player had a chance to shine in Cooperstown. These were highlighted by three run home-runs by Jake Eberhart and Jeremy Daly. All 12 players had a chance to pitch and we scored 45 runs over our eight games.”
Both coaches said the tournament offered the opportunity for their team to grow closer and develop into better players.
“Our players are all great kids,” Olifiers said. “To see them spend as much time together as they did brought them even closer together as friends.”
Colella added to the sentiment.
“The overall experience was satisfying and memorable,” he said. “The boys had a blast trading pins with players from all over the country. We may all soon forget the dining experience, but everything else at Cooperstown is a well-oiled machine that ensures an amazing experience.”