The Seacoast United Pirates sent three 12u teams to week 13 of the Cooperstown Dreams Park National tournament. Rick Chamblee was the head coach for the 12 North team, and assisted by Kike Calero. 12 North finished pool play 3-3, and received a 11:00a.m. time slot on elimination Wednesday. Along the way 12 North beat a couple of tough teams including New York powerhouse, Team New Era. They also gave the eventual third place team, East Bay Bandits one of their toughest tests, only losing 15-11. The team was never the biggest, but good fundamental baseball, and clutch hitting and pitching led the way for 12 North.
12 West was coached by Zach Theulen and Curran Shane. The Pirates were led to a 4-2 pool play record, and an eventual matchup in the round of 32 against the second seeded Vipers baseball of Florida. Vipers had mercy ruled every team to that point, but the Pirates would not lay down in the big game. Homeruns led the way through pool play for 12 West, and on Elimination Wednesday they wouldn’t disappoint. They continued to swing hot bats as they knocked off the CP Select from Florida in game one, and found themselves beating the Vipers heading into the 4th inning. This was the best game the Vipers had to play until eventually losing in the championship game. 12 West was an awesome group to watch swing the bats and play with intensity. They never stopped playing hard in such a great run.
12 Gold was coached by Eric Wells and Jake Chamblee. After drawing a pool where 4 teams made it to the sweet 16 and 6 teams made it to the round of 32, the Pirates clawed and battled, and propelled themselves to a 5-1 pool play record and a number 9 overall seed heading into elimination. The Pirates had to beat the second ranked team in Tennessee 2-1, before their bats got hot. After a crushing walk off defeat against Gwynn Baseball (CA) on Tuesday morning, the Pirates found themselves facing a familiar foe in the Taunton All Stars, who were predominantly made up of players that played for the Giants futures, in which the Pirates had to beat in the New England Final in the spring. The Pirates trailed early, but as the boys found their swings and momentum they never looked back, winning a wild 16-12 game. This ultimately led to a round of 32 matchup with “BPA” (CA) in their first elimination game. Wells knew the Pirates were deep with their pitching staff, and could make a run on Thursday if they could keep swinging the bats well. The players did not disappoint as they won 12-0 in a 55 minute run rule game on Wednesday night. “Cooperstown brings out some of those old playing nerves as a coach” Wells said. He went on to say, “However, when your team scores 12 runs in less than an hour and saves almost all of their pitching, it makes you sleep a little easier going into Thursday. I knew we were set up, and with a win against the Bagel Bombers (DE) in the morning, I knew we would face the second ranked team in the country, the Boca Hitmen (FL).” The Pirates continued to swing the bats well and won another game by a 12-1 score. This meant a guaranteed top 5 finish out of 104 teams, and the best finish a Seacoast United Pirates team had ever had. “I told the boys before we left that I don’t know if a New Hampshire team has ever finished in the top 4 of the tournament but I want to be the first one if it hasn’t” said Wells of his 12u team. They did not disappoint, and showed no fear against a team that had players from across the country and were physically overwhelming. The Pirates got on the board early and were leading heading into the middle innings. A couple of Homeruns and shut down pitching kept the Pirates at bay. The final score was Boca 6 and Seacoast 1. “I couldn’t have been more proud of all three of these groups down here” said Wells. Wells continued, “However, watching these boys stand nose to nose, with literally one of the best teams in the country is truly special.” People see our name and say we are from New Hampshire, so they must not be good. This team shows exactly how this program is going. We have had special teams like this for years, and these boys wanted to be the best.” Wells finished by saying, “We will build on what this team has proven and taught us as coaches. Hard work and pushing kids the right way will always result in success, no matter the score.”
Learn more about Seacoast United Baseball here.