A group of 12 year old boys from Palos Verdes traveled to Cooperstown, New York in early August and came back exceeding expectations.
The PV Waves, coached by Ed Sipes, Brett Zane and Brad Ballard, placed 12th of 104 teams at the 2019 American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament at Cooperstown Dreams Park.
Assembled for the sole purpose of competing in Upstate New York, the members of the waves were initially excited about the opportunity to travel to what some call "The Home of Baseball."
"When the team was assembled almost a year ago, people learned they'd be going to Cooperstown," Zane said. "They were super thrilled to play in the tournament. The focus, aside from playing, was to check out the Hall of Fame."
Cooperstown is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a bucket list trip to many baseball fans. What the group experienced while visiting the Hall of Fame sparked something else.
"I think the team got to enjoy and appreciate more of the history of baseball, and see the old timers, as opposed to current day players," Zane said. "They got to watch a movie on the history of baseball. That made them even more motivated to play well after that."
Expectations heading into the tournament were measured, as Zane noted.
"I thought we would do pretty good, and either go 3-3 or 4-2," Zane said. "The guys did great job and exceeded everyones expectations."
The Waves finished the week going 5-1 against teams from New York, Massachusetts, Utah, New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio, and offensively clubbed 11 home runs. But Zane called the performance a total team effort.
All three coaches noted each of the 14 players contributed to the team's success, and were "laser focused on improving their game and raising the level of the team's performance," Sipes said.
Brody Leipzing scored five runs and knocked in three more, while Caimin McDuffie recorded a .625 batting average - the team's second highest for the week.
Charlie Molony logged four innings on the mound and recorded five strikeouts, while Charlie Werts got the tournament started for the Waves on the mound, allowing two hits over four innings of work while also batting .615 and driving in 12 runs.
Cole Sipes hit .556, including two home runs and nine RBI. He added five strikeouts as a pitcher. Leo Amir threw a complete-game two-hitter against Minnesota, and Matthew Fizulich drew five walks.
Max Park finished the week with a home run and 3 RBI, and Nick Moulton hit .500, including 3 RBI. Patrick Klink shut down the Massachussetts team, allowing one run while striking out nine. Klink led the team with three home runs, and added five RBI.
Sammy Hodges hit a team high .722 that included two home runs and 11 RBI. He threw four innings and recorded six strike outs.
Drew Zane just missed a walk-off grand slam home run against the Westlake Demons, hitting the outfield fence 1 foot below the top.
Teagan Ballard, the team’s anchor second baseman, made a spectacular diving catch against the xyz team. He scored runs runs for the team.