The Newport Beach Bat Rays under-12 team returned home after playing a week in the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament in Cooperstown, NY.
Coached by Dave Bock, Jeff Gardner, and Mike Menzia, the players and their families traveled almost 3,000 miles to compete against 102 teams from across the U.S. and Canada. The Bat Rays had a solid finish, reaching the round of 32. They reeled off three wins and went 4-2 as it entered the single elimination championship round seeded 30th.
Newport Beach 7, Montco Mustangs 4: In the Bat Rays' first game of the championship round, the team took on the 35th-seeded Mustangs. In a surprise move, Nick Premer, fighting off pain from a left leg bone contusion suffered early in the tournament, took to the mound and pitched five stellar innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits. First baseman Nick Fox made a great defensive play, as did Luke Gardner and Stephen Menzia.