The Darien Blue Wave All-Star team went 8-1 during the recent Cooperstown Dreams Park Invitational Tournament from July 31 to Aug. 6. The 150-acre complex at the Baseball Hall of Fame hosted teams from across the United States on 22 professionally groomed and lighted fields.
The team, led by manager Paul Voigt and coaches John O'Neill and Ralph Frasca, went undefeated in its first six games to clinch the fifth seed out of the 104 participating teams and earn three byes in the subsequent single-elimination rounds.
Darien won its first game 7-2 against the Lower Merion Tigers from Pennsylvania, followed by a 10-6 win over the Fairfield Chiefs from Ohio, an 11-7 win over the Cinnaminson Pirates from New Jersey, a 13-0 win over the Colorado Cyclones, a 14-1 win over the Towson Tigers from Maryland, and a 17-1 win over the Syracuse Jr. Chiefs from New York.
In single-elimination play, the team beat the Twin Rivers Thunder of North Carolina 12-9 to reach the sweet 16, and then defeated the Blackstone Valley Thunder of Massachusetts 5-4 to reach the elite eight. Darien lost to the fourth seeded Swansea Cardinals of Massachusetts 13-1.
Manager Voigt, a former professional baseball player, felt that this weeklong tournament in historic Cooperstown would be the experience of a lifetime for the boys, "It was a great group of boys. They were all a pleasure to coach, and they all have a great future in baseball."
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