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Fenton Tigers 8U baseball team cinches four consecutive tournament wins

Written by Anna Troppens
Friday, July 01 2011

FENTON, Michigan - The Fenton Tiger U8 travel baseball team, which includes several Holly players, is having a “season of dreams.”

The boys from Holly, Fenton, Linden, Grand Blanc and White Lake, have won four tournaments in a row and are sliding into an impressive finish.

Unlike most travel teams, the Tigers didn’t have 30 players from which to choose during tryouts – only 10 with two additional players joining the team later, Coach Dan Yoder said.

Since beginning their 4-month season in April, Yoder said the team has “gelled,” making minimal errors in the field, and hitting the ball well – so much so that the team captured tournament wins for the Clio Homerun Bash, New Lothrup Spring Tournament, Frankenmuth Summer Baseball, and Hartland Young Guns Kid Pitch.

Before taking the field on Thursday, June 30 against the Michigan Blue Jays of Ypsilanti, the Tigers had a 14-2 overall record, a team batting average of .523 and .737 on-base average, scored 204 runs and had only allowed 87 runs scored against them.

The 12-player squad includes Holly area’s Mason Yoder, Alec Zerona, Jordan Azzopardi, Mason Brown, and Luke Bruz, as well as Fenton-area players, Jace Weaver, Zach Hempsall, Travis Richert, Eli Welch, Caden Duryea, Connor Luck and Mason Church.

Mason Yoder, 8, was a second-grader at Rose Pioneer Elementary School this past year, and said his favorite part of this season has been winning a lot of tournaments, and often celebrating with a big ice cream cone. Mason said the Tigers often talk about situations they are having and do a lot of homework to prepare for upcoming games.

Fellow classmate Alec Zerona is one of the team’s utility men - pitching, playing shortstop, and spending some time in the outfield, and says his favorite part of the season has been “playing lots of games and spending time together.”

Teammate Mason Brown attends Holly Academy and said he has enjoyed pitching this summer, and playing in the Frankenmuth Summer Baseball Tournament. “We got to stay at a hotel,” he said. “It had a swimming pool.” Mason says his goal for the rest of the season is to continue the winning streak.

In addition to Dan Yoder, the Tigers coaching staff is made up of Head Coach Chris Hempsall, and fellow coaches Troy Richert and Bill Welch. Welch said the team does many things well on the field, and has consistently improved over the course of the season.

“They win every game because they compete,” Welch said. “We’re trying to develop pressure situations so they can learn to win and compete.”

Yoder said he believes many of the boys will return next year for a good 9U team. “We have fun,” Yoder said. “And I think the coaches have as much or more fun than the players do.”

The Fenton Tigers hope to add another tournament win to their record, hosting their own U8 tournament at the Rose Center baseball fields, 280 W. Rose Center Road, Holly beginning with a 5 p.m. game on Friday, July 15. Games continue on Saturday, July 16 and the tournament ends with the championship game at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17.


-3 #1 Vickie Monday, July 04 2011 8:36pm
Way to go, Tigers! And a very special shout out to Alec Zerona! Your Aunt Vickie, Uncle Jim, C/M are VERY proud of you! Keep up the good work, kiddo! :D

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