It is on short notice and a tight turnaround, but coaches, players and parents from the Germantown-based Upper Montgomery Athletic Club, or UMAC 10 and under baseball team are heading to the Cal Ripken League World Series, which is being held in Jonesboro, Ark., this weekend.
The players and coaches are flying down, according to team manager Drew Woolery, but parents have to figure out how they are getting down to Arkansas. “Part of what the Cal Ripken Organization provides,” said Woolery, “is they fly the coaches and kids to the site, and they pay for the coaches' hotel rooms. It gets the kids on the plane and keeps them together, but the parents have to figure out how they are going to get there. The short turnaround does throw extra excitement into it.”
The boys which are all, 10 or 11 years old, earned the plane tickets to the Cal Ripken World Series by beating teams from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the Regional Tournament, held in Warrington, Pa. last week.
While the success in the Regional Tournament has given the team confidence going into the World Series tournament, it is the past success and even hand of Coach Jody Pearre, who is making his second run at a national title with a UMAC team. Pearre, who son Luke Pearre is on the team, coached his older son to the Brady Pearre’s 12U team to the Cal Ripken World Series in 2012. That team won the United States National Championship but lost in the World Championship game.
“He has a lot of experience,” said Woolery. “It has been obvious since he took over the team this season. Since Coach Pearre took over, the team this the boys have been much better. The biggest thing he’s added is the ability to keep the kids on an even keel. There is more consistency. The kids aren’t quite as excitable. They don’t cheer and go crazy when things are going their way, and on the other hand, they don’t hang their heads and collapse when they face adversity. The whole team has done a much better job of staying on an even keel and playing consistency.”
The UMAC boys started the regional tournament with a 13-5 victory over the team representing Western New York. The UMAC team scored five runs in the first three innings and never looked back, jacking three home runs. Home runs for UMAC came when Tommy Roldan homered in the third inning, Ian Stewart homered in the third inning, and Luke Boyd homered in the fourth inning. Luke Boyd racked up three RBIs on one hit for UMAC, MD. He homered in the fourth inning. They added four more insurance runs in the fifth inning, on a bases-loaded walk, and another walk by Noah Ashker, and a two-run single by Oliver Martin.
The UMAC boys faced some adversity in their second game of the regional tournament losing 9-8 to the host team from Warrington, Pa., representing southeastern Pennsylvania. The boys were in for an heavy offense game that featured 20 hits by both teams, including eight extra base hits.
With one loss in the tournament, the UMAC boys knew that winning was the only way to advance in the tournament. They exploded for an 11-0 shut-out win over the team from Medford, NJ. An eight-run explosion in the third inning led UMAC to win in four innings. UMAC scored in the third on a passed ball, a hit by pitch, an error, a bases-loaded walk by Nicholas O'Brien, a sacrifice fly by Luke Pearre, a bases loaded walk by Tommy Roldan, and a two-run single by Noah Ashker. Trent Adelman racked up two RBIs on one hit.
Medford had no answer for UMAC’s pitcher Tommy Roldan, who kept runners off the base paths. Roldan gave up just two hits, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out four during three innings of work.
The UMAC boys would continue their winning ways in the next game against another team form New Jersey, winning 8-4 over the team from Bridgewater-Raritan, NJ. UMAC scored in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Oliver Martin, an RBI double by Ian Stewart, and a wild pitch. Roldan racked up two more RBIs on three hits in the game. He doubled in the third inning and singled in the fourth and sixth innings. Bridgewater-Raritan couldn't get anything going as long as Luke Boyd was on the pitching. Boyd held Bridgewater-Raritan hitless over two innings, allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out six. The boys from Germantown piled on two more runs in the top of the third. Roldan started the inning with a double, scoring Boyd. That was followed up by Ashker's single, bringing home Roldan.
UMAC scored one run in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Luke Pearre scored on another RBI single by Roldan. After pushing across one run in the bottom of the fourth, Bridgewater-Raritan seemed poised for a comeback, but UMAC’s Ryan Woolery got Cole Cabatu to strike out to end the inning. Three runs in the bottom of the fifth helped Bridgewater-Raritan, close its deficit to 7-4, however, it was UMAC’s Oliver Martin who ended the inning by getting to strike out the final batter and ending the threat.
The UMAC boys got a little help from fate, as they went into the semi-final game of the regional tournament, with their best pitchers being rested, according to Woolery. In the semi-final, the UMAC team faced the team representing Eastern New York, who were riding just two good pitchers all tournament and had to play extra innings to earn a trip to the semi-finals.
Nonetheless, UMAC had to face what Drew Woolerycalled the best pitcher they’d seen all tournament in Austin Francis. In a losing effort, Francis dominated UMAC, batters, giving up one run and striking out six. But, UMAC had one of their best pitchers on the mound in Tommy Roldan, who worked out of five tough spots. He pitched four innings and allowed no earned runs on two hits. UMAC went up for good in the second inning, scoring one run on an RBI single by Van Rosenbaum. UMAC also got hits from Patrick Brick and Ryan Woolery in the game. Luke Boyd provided more firepower for the local boys to win 3-0 over the team from eastern New York, by hitting a triple in the third inning and propelling the UMAC boys to the regional championship game.
The local boys saved their best hitting for the championship game beating the team from Northwestern Pennsylvania 13-1 in five innings. “We had lost the coin-flip the night before to decide who would be home and away. We knew we’d be the visitors and bat first,” said Woolery. “We told the kids not to worry about that and use this as an opportunity to set the tone for the game right out the gate. And darned if they didn’t do just that by batting through the lineup and putting four runs on the board before the other team could bat.”
UMAC had four players that scored four times in the game. UMAC got three hits each from Luke Pearre and Noah Ashker. Pearre had three RBIs. Trent Adelman, Patrick Brick, and Luke Boyd added two more hits each. Oliver Martin, Ryan Woolery, and Tommy Roldan each contributed a hit, giving UMAC a total of 15 hits in five innings.
“The offense just sent the tone early,” said Drew Woolery. “Once a while the other team would look like they’d get a big hit but our guys came up with three or four outstanding defensive plays to snuff out anything before it started. It was really the best game we played throughout the tournament.”
In Arkansas, the UMAC team will face tough competition from nine other regions from around the United States. The World Series will be played at Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro from August 8 to August 15.
Top: The UMAC 10-year-old team after winning the Maryland State Championship earlier this year. They are; Head Coach Jody Pearre, Coach Doug Metz. Middle Row: Oliver Martin, Ian Stewart, Trent Adelman, Luke Boyd, Ryan Woolery, and Aidan Butler. Front Row: Luke Pearre, Van Rosenbaum, Patrick Brick, Ryan Lacourciere, Tommy Roldan, and Noah Ashker.
Next: Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro, Ark. will host the 2015 Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series.