When Dom Scalia saw his teammate, Dylan Banner, intentionally walked to load the bases, he knew he had to make the pitcher pay.
With the game tied in the bottom of the fifth, Scalia followed Banner’s free pass by hitting a grand slam that proved to be the difference for the Long Island Titans’ 12U team, which defeated Virginia’s Tidewater Outlaws, 11-9, to win the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament championship on Thursday.
The Titans outlasted 103 other teams in the weeklong tournament, finishing 11-0 and hitting an astounding 62 home runs in the process.
“It was amazing,” Scalia said of his go-ahead slam. “I really wanted to hit one there because I’m not a big fan of intentional walks, and I just wanted to help my teammate who got walked.”
Brady Clark hit an equally important two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth with his team trailing 7-5. “It was a fastball that was over the middle of the plate and a little up,” said Clark, 12, of Bayport. “I was just trying to get a base hit, get the team going.”
The Titans took a 3-0 lead on Banner’s three-run shot in the first, and Richie Petrosa tacked on another in the second with a solo homer. But the Outlaws scored seven runs in the top of the third. That set up Clark and Scalia’s heroics.
“The kids that we have, they’re a special group of kids,” coach Brian Anderson said. “They love to compete. We’re something like 73-5 on the year.”
The Titans hit .551 in the tournament and scored 180 runs. Kyle Chase led with 11 home runs, and Banner totaled 27 RBIs.