COOPERSTOWN, NY - Last week the South Plainfield Hurricanes and their families traveled to Cooperstown NY to participate in the Cooperstown Dreams Park week nine tournament. Each week 104 teams from around the USA and Canada set their sights on Cooperstown to test their teams against top competition and this week was no different. The Hurricanes arrived on Friday night for the first of seven nights in the Barrack 46 and the pin trading started immediately. Pin trading between the teams is the biggest attraction other than the actual games being played and the boys were quick to start wheeling and dealing with the other teams in pursuit to get the best pins. Along the way the boys got to meet players from twenty eight different states.
The Hurricanes started the tournament in pool play where they were pitted against four teams who were slotted in the top 20 and one team who was headed to the Cal Ripken World Series and this led to a rough start for the determined Hurricanes. Despite solid pitching and some timely hitting the Hurricanes went 0-6 in pool play, including a tough 3-2 loss in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Woodridge Bulldogs from Illinois.
Due to the low seeding after pool play the Hurricanes would be tasked with a big challenge on Elimination Wednesday, which is the start of the single elimination tournament to crown the champion of week 9. The coaches and players regrouped and challenged each other to get a minimum of two games on elimination Wednesday and the boys exceeded that goal in getting three games. The boys won the first two games on Wednesday before running out of gas in the third game of the day. The coaches and I could not be more proud of the effort the boys put out on Wednesday in surpassing the team goal.
Congrats to the following Hurricanes players:
- Home Run Hitters: Mike Castagna, Lorenzo Fuscoletti, Brandon Bickunas and Andrew Csordos.
- Pitchers who pitched excellent all tournament, Mike Castagna, Andrew Csordos, Stephen Studlack, Anthony Capparelli, Jack Jones, David Butrico and Lorenzo Fuscoletti.
- Defensive web gems: Kyle Pear and Daniel Mejias for pulling off great defensive plays that led to inning ending double plays along with the stellar defense by Daniel Twist and Matt Rennie all tournament long.
During the trip the team was able to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as touring historic Cooperstown NY and the trip was capped off with a team celebration dinner at the Back Alley Grill which was enjoyed by all.
The Hurricanes would like to thank the South Plainfield Community for all the support in fund raising for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Without the support of the town, the SPJBC and family and friends this opportunity would not have been available. Special thanks to: the SBJBC, the SPJBC Women’s Auxiliary, Presto Printing, Pete Massett, the Knights of Columbus, the Italian American Progressive League, Pizza Stop, Rich’s Tree Service, Cahoots, Patrick Diegnan, Twin City Pharmacy, Cassio Family, Chris White Family, Andrew Ulrich, D’Annuzio & Sons, Coppola’s Garden Center, Absolute Fire Protection, Scott Robinson and Family, the Nigro Family, the Donovan Family, MiSafe, LLC, Ciccios, Dick’s Sporting Goods, SportWorld, Supreme Silk and Embroidery, SPJBC Team Rumble, the Born Family, Joe Scrudato, Joe Lacasale, the Pigna Family, the Kaplan Family, KC’s Korner, PSE&G, Little Anthony’s Fresh Mozzarella, Colombia Bank, ShopRite, Walmart, Bagel Pantry, Bagel Bazaar and anyone else who gave their time or a donation to help us get to Cooperstown. Without your help this trip would not be possible.
Team Members: Brandon Bickunas, David Butrico, Anthony Capparelli, Michael Castagna, Andrew Csordos, Lorenzo Fuscoletti, Jack Jones, Kyle Pear, Daniel Mejias, Matt Rennie, Stephen Studlack, Daniel Twist.
Manager: Gregg Jones
Coaches: David Butrico, Kevin Bickunas and Billy Pear.