All summer the long ball has been the trademark of the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association’s Bronco 12U All-Stars and they were back at it Sunday in the first two games of the Dreams Tournament in Cooperstown, New York.
Following a strong showing in the skills competition, where it finished seventh and missed the finals by one slot and three-tenths of a second, Palisades opened pool play Sunday morning doing what it does best. Tommy Farmer led off with a home run and Troy Winkenhower, Caden Abraham, Davis White, Jack Richman and Sean Nguyen all followed with round-trippers in the first inning. Later, Winkenhower homered again, Finn Johnson belted a grand slam and Abraham, Farmer, Winkenhower and Richman combined to pitch a one-hitter with Richman inducing a game-ending triple play in a 16-1 victory over the Ramsey Renegades of New Jersey.
Afterwards, the father of a player from another team presented Palisades with a Marine Corps challenge coin for its “classy” play and sportsmanship.
In its second game Sunday afternoon, Palisades racked up 25 runs in four innings against the Potter Pirates of Maryland. Abraham went three-for-three with two homers and seven RBIs, Jake Grossman went three-for-three with four RBIs and a two-run homer and Nguyen blasted a grand slam. Richman pitched the first two innings and Campbell Ford pitched the last two, recording six outs on 12 pitches (all strikes), including back-to-back strikeouts to end it. All 12 players got a hit, drove in a run and scored a run.
Monday was more of the same, as Palisades cruised past the West Chester Dragons from Pennsylvania 15-3, then blanked Pappi’s Pride of Maine, 15-0. In the first game, Abraham had two hits and five RBIs, Richman added two hits and three RBIs and Rowan Jen pitched two shutout innings with two strikeouts. In the second game, Jen, Winkenhower and Abraham each had two hits while Jen, Nugyen and White each had three RBIs. Johnson, Davis and Farmer combined on a four-hitter.
Palisades improved its record to 27-7 after Tuesday morning’s 17-1 triumph over the Eagan Wildcats of Minnesota. Its power was again on display as Winkenhower and White had three hits apiece, Nuguyen had two hits and six RBIs and Grossman added four RBIs. Nguyen was equally stellar on the mound, striking out four batters in three innings.
Palisades wrapped up pool play Tuesday afternoon against the Pine Bush Bombers of New York. The playoffs began Wednesday.
Head coach Jim Ford’s talented Pony squad entered its final tournament having hit 52 homers with 256 runs scored in 29 games (an average of 8.8 runs per contest) and seemed intent on capturing its fourth championship since the All-Star season started in May.
Last year, Palisades’ 12U team won six of seven games to place in the top 16 and two years ago, under Coach Joe Collins, the 12Us won nine straight games to reach the semifinals, tying for third out of 104 teams–Palisades’ best finish ever in Cooperstown.