Winchester~J. Coppo / After being featured on Channel 9’s Chronicle during the week, all eyes were on our organization. The day started at just before 7:00am Saturday morning as coaches, players and parents arrived on Main Street in downtown Winchester. What was a simple patch of bright, dewey green grass would guickly transform into a New England Ravens operation that would feature a variety of fried desserts, hearty grilled sandwiches and of course, fittingly, fried pickles. By 9:00am, the grills were fired up, fryolaters were ready and and the three booths were manned and ready. Wheter it was a sausage with onions and peppers, burger, hotdog or one of the many fried desserts, bananas, twinkies, snickers, brownies or oreos, we had it and it was smelling good ! And, the line at the Jimmy C’s Fried Pickle booth was ready to become never ending….the New England Ravens AAU booth was the place to be. As the Ravens players made there way to the Pickle Parade assembly area just before 10:00am, the official start of the festival, the lines had already started to form. Shortly after 10:00am, the Ravens players in uniform were north bound on Route 10 tossing candy to the thousands of people waiting to get a peek at many unique parade partipates. The players were tossing candy, walked along side the Ravens mini monster truck as it made its way in the parade possession. At noon, the lines stretched deep into other booths waiting areas and people patiently waited their turn for some healthy Ravens offerings, New England style. The Pickle Festival chorus made its way behind the counter to offer a gleaming rendition that stopped production momentarily but quickly drew a round of applause. At 3:00pm, as most groups were packing up their possessions, the Ravens offerings were still sought after. As the last people, and Pickle Festival staff stood to get their fried goodies, the Ravens were ready to pack it up. At 4:00pm, the trucks, the Ravens express trailor were loaded and headed east on Rte.119 toward Rindge. Nine hours after it begun it was just another day of a well oiled operation on display serving up the festival favorites, New England Ravens style…we’ll put our operation on display next weekend in the three day 25th anniversary Milford Pumpkin Festival and then be at the world famous Keene Pumpkin Festival October 18th.
COACH ACCEPTS CHALLENGE AT TRYOUTS AND WILL DONATE PROCEEDS TO ALS
New England Ravens Baseball Coach Aric LeClair was called out by Ravens Tyler Coppo to participate in the ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. LeClair, a former left handed pitcher in the Arizona Diamondback and Kansas City Royals organizations, recently took a different type of challenge to Dr. Arthur & Martha Pappas Field when he pitched against the Chinese Tiapei team. The four inning performance against the fourth ranked team in the world was a dream come true as LeClair topped the radar display at 91mph. Coppo, who called LeClair out, was originally challenged by Ravens Coach Al Dinardo. LeClairs Ice Bucket Challenge will take place Friday night, 7:00pm at Dr. Arthur & Martha Pappas Field. Besides LeClair fulfilling his financial obligation, the Ravens will have a donation cooler at tryouts and LeClairs employer and New England Ravens Baseball supporter Fairfields Auto Group will match all monies donated to the ALS cause. Help fill up the bucket to support a great cause and watch Coach LeClair get doused with an ice cold cooler FULL of water….Friday 7:00pm.
Willamantic Ct. ~ J.Coppo…The New England Ravens 18u squad saved their best for last as they squared off against the Central Connecticut Rebels at the Dream Bat tournament at Eastern Connecticut State University in the championship game. The Ravens earned the #1 seed ranking by allowing 2 runs in the pool round. The Rebels allowed 4 in pool play. In the early semifinal game, the Rebels outlasted the Providence squad 4-3 in 13 innings, for the right to face the Ravens and a shot at winning the covented Dream Bat trophy.
The Rebels attacked first, plating 3 runs in the top of the third. The Ravens were able to muster a pair in the bottom of the 4th and looked as if they were getting to the tall right hander. The Rebels, 4 hits on the day took advantage of a New England miscue and plated an insurance run in the top half of the 6th. The Ravens right hander Tanner Putnam went the distance, allowing just 4 hits, striking out 7 and walked 1. New England pounded out 8 hits, Mike Fogarty (2-4), Cam Casper (double), Tanner Putnam, John Friday, Matt Tierny, Tucker Obrey and Cam Riley all added hits for the Ravens.
Willamantic Ct.~ J.Coppo; The 18U Ravens, behind a complete game extra inning gutsy pitching performance by Ravens pitcher Anthony Sylvester and timely hitting by Zach Lippert and Hudsen Hagland lifted the Ravens past host Dream Bat Bombers 4-1 in the Dream Bat Tournament.
The Ravens trailed 1-0 entering the 7th and only mustered two hits off the host team before Hagland reached on a single and scored on a Lippert fly ball to right centerfield knotting the game at 1-1. The tall right hander Sylvester was in control as he held the DB Bombers to 4 hits on the night. In the extra frames, both teams battled in the eighth, putting runners on, but it was crafty leather on both sides that prevailed.
In the top of the 9th Hagland ripped his second hit of the night, Steven Hall reached on a bloop hit to center before Cameron Casper dropped a perfectly executed bunt that set the Ravens Express into motion. With the bases loaded, 2nd baseman Cam Riley popped an infield fly in shallow right field.
The Bombers, confused, attempted to throw to an un expecting 3rd baseman in an attempt to catch a leaning Ravens baserunner, allowed the ball to roll into the Ravens dugout. The miscue put the Ravens up 3-1, before Lippert belted a line drive to left putting the Ravens up 4-1.
Sylvester got brillant defense in the bottom of the frame as Tyler Coppo, Cam Riley and Tanner Putnam all reeled in balls to preserve the extra inning Ravens rally and send them to the championship game at 4:00 at Eastern Connecticut State University. Matt Tierny displayed flawless defense snagging several line drives and turning two double plays.
The Ravens, 2-0 moved to the championship round as the #1 seed because they allowed only 2 runs and scored 13. They’ll await the winner of the 11:00am semifinal contest.
Founded in 2009 by Franklin Pierce University Head Baseball Coach Jayson King with the intention of offering the best training and coaching possible to help young players reach their full baseball potential -- the NE Ravens field 9U-14U, Underclassmen and 18U teams.