Of the 100 teams competing this week at the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament in Cooperstown, New York, the Wilmington-based Rock Solid Red team advanced to the 12-and-under finals against top seeded South Jersey Sand Sharks of New Jersey on Thursday night.
Tommy Hawke tied the game on a solo shot in the third inning, but South Jersey rallied with five home runs to capture the weekly championship following an 8-3 win. It was the second straight year Rock Solid Red played in the final game of the tournament.
Playing in the same town, which houses Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, three local ballclubs made the trip to the Empire State this week.
After a few days of competition, teams were bracketed for a single-elimination tournament. Rock Solid Red earned a spot in the title game after a 9-8 victory over Texas Gladiators. Austin Hawke hit a go ahead two-run homerun to seal the win.
Thanks to the efforts of Austin Hawke and his brother, Tommy Hawke, Rock Solid Red cruised to the semi-finals with a 20-0 shutout over Danville Mustangs (Kentucky). Tommy Hawke hit two grand slams in the ballgame and Austin Hawke launched three home runs of his own.
The Cooperstown Dreams Tournament holds weekly tournaments each summer, with over 1,300 teams from across the country competing each season.
Rock Solid Blue and White teams made successful runs through pool play, but were ousted during the single-elimination tournament on Thursday. Rock Solid Blue finished the week at 7-1 overall, while Rock Solid White went 5-3.
Rock Solid Athletics is exclusively owned and operated by Fletcher Bates, a former minor league pitcher within the New York Mets organization. In 1993, he was drafted by the Mets in fifth round of the Major League Baseball Draft and played several seasons in Triple A ball, while spending two years at Mets spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.