The End Zone Seat: Locals Shine at Stephens Tourney
For 13 years, some of the high school and college level baseball talent have gathered at Mansfield University for the annual Joel Stephens Invitational Tournament.
Besides great baseball, the fans and sponsors who support the event have given hope to those who need the charities the tournament supports.
One thing the tournament has shown over the past two years is how much baseball talent there is in the Bradford County area.
Last year, M.R. Dirt, a Towanda-based team, won the title with a roster full of area players, including several Wyalusing Valley players.
This year, the Bradford County Legion All-Stars defeated M.R. Dirt in the Stephens semifinal, 12-2, Monday to advance to the afternoon final against the Brockville Bunnies from Ontario, Canada.
Brockville jumped out to a 7-1 lead until the seventh inning when Bradford County roared back to tie the game.
Unfortunately for the locals, Brockville’s Brent Daviuet delivered an RBI single to win the game in the bottom of the frame.
But the Bradford County stars were well-represented on the post-tournament all-star team and awards.
Wyalusing’s Logan Hitchcock won the Jeff Jones Outstanding Hitter Award.
Playing for Bradford County, Hitchcock drove in 11 runs in five games, including a six-run outburst in an 18-3 win over Northern Tioga in their Palmer/Henneman division opener. He had three RBIs in a 9-8 win over Elmira Heights.
In an 11-1 division win over Bath, Hitchcock was the winning pitcher. His Wyalusing Valley teammate, Kye Novak, added an RBI in the win.
Sayre’s Taylor Skerpon, who plays for Canton’s Legion team besides the Bradford All-Stars, was named the Cliff Dobbs Outstanding Infielder.
Zach Place and Mason Roof, both of Towanda, made the all-tournament team from the Bradford County roster.
M.R. Dirt’s Dakota Roof, a Towanda graduate, earned all-tournament team honors.
The Towanda-based squad reached the semifinals with an undefeated record in the Naylor/Dobson division.
M.R. Dirt defeated South Western York, 4-2, thanks to an RBI by Wyalusing grad Caleb Sheldon.
It blanked Big Flats, 11-0, as Wyalusing grads Pete Champluvier drove in a run and Christian Carr doubled.
In its opener, M.R. Dirt shutout Bellefonte, 1-0.
Fortunately, the weather cooperated for a great event that supports great causes.