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Upper Perk Chiefs Finish Strong at Cooperstown Tournament
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Reporter
2016-08-10

Making the trip to Cooperstown last week were, back row left to right, Wes Barker, Josh Boldizar, Daniel Hawkins, Brandon Mazzie, Tony Miller, Jon Carnesi, Nathan Reinhart, David Adair, Ryan Ruth, Robby Carpenter, Tyler Capreri, Kaden Ziegler and Justin Boyle. Coaches front row, Mike Barker, manager Brian Carnesi, Matt Reinhart and Rob Carpenter. 

                Inclement weather delayed the Upper Perk Chiefs' debut in the Cooperstown (N.Y.) Dreams Tournament by 10 ½ hours.

                According to manager Brian Carnesi, the Chiefs were scheduled to open the tournament at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 31. However, weather pushed the game back to 9:30 p.m.

                The result was a 15-1 loss to the Bullard (Calif.) Knights, who eventually won the 104-team single elimination tournament title six days later.

                After a slow start in pool play, the Chiefs rallied to notch four straight victories. They reeled off three consecutive victories in the tournament's single elimination round before suffering a 15-3 loss to the Utah Hitmen.

                "At that point we were out of gas and out of pitching," Carnesi said.

                Despite dropping five of their initial six games, the Chiefs – who played 10 games between July 31 and Aug. 3 – finished in a three-way tie for 77th overall.

                "The kids showed heart," the manager said. "They really surprised me. I didn't know how far they would go in the elimination round. The fact that we won three games was amazing."

                The team of 12-year olds – culled together from a collection of 100 players on eight teams in the Upper Perk Little League – included David Adair, Wes Barker, Josh Boldizar, Justin Boyle, Tyler Capreri, Jon Carnesi, Robby Carpenter, Daniel Hawkins, Brandon Mazzie, Tony Miller, Nate Reinhart, Ryan Ruth and Kaden Ziegler.

                Together since Memorial Day, the Chiefs competed in five weekend tournaments throughout Montgomery and Bucks counties.

                According to Brian Carnesi, they finished second in a wooden bat tournament in Quakertown as well as a tournament in Upper Merion. He said the Chiefs added a third-place finish in their own tournament and took fourth in a tournament in Montgomery Township.

                "The loved being able to play against other leagues to see how they stacked up," Carnesi said.

                In Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the Chiefs opened pool play against Bullard. Carnesi said he expected his team to be challenged.

                "We knew Bullard was a very good team," the manager said.

                In their second-round game, they got outslugged in a loss to a team from Southern Nevada, which Carnesi described as the Chiefs' toughest overall opponent.

                "They had a bunch of kids who could hit the long ball," the manager said.

                Following three additional losses, the Chiefs ended pool play with a 12-0, four-inning victory over Hamlin Park, Ill. Ziegler, their starting pitcher, allowed just one hit. According to Carnesi, the confidence they gained in the win bubbled over into the elimination round.

                The team posted a 6-5 victory over a team from Las Vegas in the first round, then followed with an 8-6 win over Tri-Valley, Mass. In the third round, they defeated the Indiana Aces (seeded No. 38) 11-4 to reach the fourth round.

                But the Chiefs' run came to an end in the fourth round against the Hitmen, the 27th ranked team in the tournament.

                Reinhart paced Upper Perk's offense by hitting three home runs in the four elimination games. Boldizar Hawkins and Ziegler also went deep during the same stretch, according to Carnesi.

                "We hit the ball very well," he said.


 

 

 

 

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