Cal Ripken Baseball: Homewood 12U All-Stars get world serious
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 7, 2014 10:40PM
Members of the Homewood 12U team include Tyler Schlaffer, Jorge Santos, Cecil Archbold, Jack Hurley, Aidan O’Connor, Matt Piotrowski, Myles Prado, Connor Mason, Anthony Caldanaro, Caden Ernst and Kevin Reid. The team manager is John Ogden, assisted by coaches Augie Schlaffer and Josh Ernst. | Supplied photo . | Suppplied photo
Homewood 12U All-Star roster
Players: Cecil Archbold III, Anthony Caldanaro, Caden Ernst, Michael Ford, Jack Hurley, Connor Mason, Aidan O’Connor, Matt Piotrowski, Myles Prado, Kevin Reid, Jorge Santos, Tyler Schlaffer.
Manager: John Ogden
Coaches: Josh Ernst, Augie Schlaffer
Saturday: vs. Southeast
Denver Blue, 3 p.m.
Sunday: vs. Harford County, 8 p.m.
Monday: vs. West Raleigh,
Wednesday: vs. Bear,
Delaware, 12:30 p.m.
Updated: September 9, 2014 6:27AM
While playing at the recent Cal Ripken Ohio Valley Region, the Homewood 12U All-Stars got their wakeup call.
After posting a 1-2 record in pool play, Homewood was seeded ninth (out of 12 teams) heading into single-elimination play.
Consider the message received.
“The guys turned up their focus getting out of pool play,” Homewood coach John Ogden said. “We turned things around, and we seemed really driven in the knockout round.”
Homewood caught fire, first winning a slugfest 15-14, then winning its three ensuing games, allowing just one run in each, to take the Ohio Valley Region.
That starts Saturday when Homewood opens play at the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland. The tournament welcomes 18 teams, 10 from the United States and eight international teams, including Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Korea.
Homewood opens pool play in the National Division at 3 p.m. Saturday against Southeast Denver Blue, the Midwest Plains Region winner. The top two teams from each pool advance to the knockout round. The remaining teams will play in the consolation bracket.
How about some World Series opening nerves? Ogden thinks they will be there, but hopefully, they pass quickly.
“They’re excited, but I’m sure it will set in Friday when we get there to the facility, which is supposed to be phenomenal,” Ogden said. “The anxiety will build, and there will be some nerves with that first game, but that’s only natural at this point.”
A core of Homewood’s team has played together since age 9, a few more a year earlier. Ogden credited Cecil Archbold III, Aidan O’Connor, Anthony Caldanaro, Tyler Schlaffer, and Myles Prado for their strong play in helping the team win the regional.
As for what the World Series holds, Ogden has faith in the fundamentals. If the hitting comes around, well, watch out.
“We’re not going to intimidate anyone with size, but we’re scrappy and we play with heart,” Ogden said. “We thrive on pitching and defense, so if we can get the bats going, we can do some damage. We’ve come this far, and we can compete with any team.
“This will be our stiffest competition to date. I’m interested to see the teams.”