The Rome River Rats, a 12U travel baseball team, made it to the round of 32 at Cooperstown Dreams Park last week.
The team finished 6-0 in preliminary play, tied for seventh out of 104 teams. The performance earned the Rats four byes in the single-elimination tournament, with the team’s run coming to end in the round of 32. The team finished 6-1, outscoring opponents by 38 runs on the week.
The offense led the way, as Rome averaged over 11 runs per game while allowing five runs per game.
The River Rats competed against teams from Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. They are coached by Pete Summa Jr.
The Rats boasted a powerful lineup, hitting 20 home runs in seven games. Derek and Dylan Joy set a Dreams Park record for the highest combined batting average for a pair of twins (25-for-36, .694), with 10 of those home runs, Summa said. Mat DeStefanis added five home runs of his own, two of which were grand slams hit on the same day. Jordan Hughes and Johnny Sharrino accounted for the rest of Rome’s home runs, Hughes with four and Sharrino with a lead-off home run in the team’s playoff game.
Every Rats player had at least one hit during the week. “Every player deserves great credit for doing his job. We did a great job of getting on base and driving runners in,” Summa said. “If our big bats cooled down in a game, the rest of the guys picked us up. It was an awesome team effort, every single guy contributed.” Rounding out the roster is Tanner Spina, Tyler Lokker, Chris Brement, Daniel Head and Robert Jock.
The pitching staff registered two shutouts and held opponents to under four runs four times. Quality starts from the Joys and Hughes were aided by relief appearances from several players. PJ Summa appeared in relief in three games without conceding a run.