While the boys earned the opportunity to sleep in - they found out that when you wake up at the same time every day - you naturally wake up at the same time everyday. All the boys woke up between 7:00AM and 7:30AM.
After reviewing the keys to success for the day, the boys made their bed and headed to the showers. After showering, the team gathered for a brief meeting before heading out to the cafeteria for breakfast.
At 9:15AM, all of the boys were checked out of the Village to head to the Hall of Fame. Each boy was given a ticket with their Cooperstown Dreams Park entrance. The boys gathered in front of the Hall of Fame for a team picture and then headed into the Hall as a team. The first destination, was the theater where the boys watched a special production on Hall of Famers “Generations of the Game” and what the game meant to them.
After the movie, the team headed off in groups - many with their fathers and mothers to tour the Hall of Fame. The Clutch is made up of baseball families - Red Sox fans, Giants fans, Cubs fans, and yes Yankees fans - so each area of the Hall meant something different to each family - but as a coach - it was absolutely incredible to watch 11 young men that have grown up in the game together - tour baseball’s hallowed ground - and see what portion of the Hall was special to them.
After a few hours in the Hall, team members headed to lunch before a mandatory 2:30PM meeting back at the barracks.
In the 2:30PM meeting, the team reviewed what they needed to do to be successful in the game and come out with some fire. At 4:30PM, the team headed to the batting cages to start to prepare for their first elimination game.
At 6:30PM - it was on. The Hard 90 Clutch was taking on the Louisiana Blues. The Blues were coming off an exciting win in the 4:30PM game and this was the Clutch’s first game.
On the mound for the Clutch was their ace Ben Ransi. The Clutch was the home team. There was definitely some nerves and in the top of the 1st, the Blues put up two runs.
The Clutch responded - per usual - Jack Spero lead off with a hard swing for a base hit to left field and then Jordan Walczykowski hit a moonshot over the right field fence to tie the game.
Ben settled in to throw a scoreless second and then Scotty Buckmaster got the party started for the Clutch hitting the first pitch he saw over the fence. Two batters later Ty Moran hit a bomb. Clutch 4 - Blues 2 after 2 innings of play.
After yielding a run in the top of the 3rd - the Clutch home run party resumed. Brady Rea and Taylor Sutton went back to back making the game 7 to 3 after 3.
The Blues scored 2 in the top of the 4th and then the Clutch answered. With a 7-5 game, the Blues fans were seeing the light and getting feisty - sparking a cheering battle in the outfield between two Blues' Dads and the "Sisters of Clutch”. Seeing this, the Clutch decided that they better squash the battle - Jack Spero and Jordan Walczykowski lead off the inning with back to back rockets way over the fence. A few more hits later and up stepped Nicky Rodriguez - with a 3-0 green light, Nick hit a 3 run bomb. Two batters later Jack hit his second home run of the inning making it 16-3 after 4 innings of play.
Ben shut the door in the top of the 5th and then Brady Rea hit a walk off bomb in the bottom of the 5th - ending the game 17-5.
The team was happy to have their 1st bracket play game behind them. Ten home runs in the game for the Clutch.
After a quick meeting and talk with parents and fans, the Clutch headed back to the barracks to enjoy the rest of the evening.
The boys had their traditional 10:00PM meeting. Highlights of the day were visiting the Hall of Fame and seeing some of their heroes, more time together with teammates and a big bracket play win. The boys discussed what they needed to do tomorrow to keep the run going.
10:30PM was lights out.
Established in 2005, Hard 90 Baseball has been traveling to Cooperstown each year. This is an amazing trip where players are able to truly enjoy "youth" baseball and through this process mature to get ready for high school. Hard 90 is currently forming high level teams for Cooperstown 2020 and Cooperstown 2021. Register your interest for our youth travel teams. Sign up today as spots are limited.