Uxbridge team hits it out of the park during Dartmouth baseball tourney

By Douglas McCulloch | Aug 06, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Jackson Haker approaches home plate to score a run.

“JAKESTRONG” adorns the Uxbridge U15 baseball team’s jerseys. It’s a reminder to play hard, which is exactly what the team did before taking wins over Dartmouth, Dighton, Sandwich, and King Philip in the John B. Steele Tournament’s Senior Division on August 5 and 6.

The logo honors former teammate Jake Gallerani, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 11 from a rare form of cancer. His father, Joe Gallerani, still coaches the team.

“These boys play for a purpose. They play for Jake,” Jill Gallerani said. “That’s why we’re JAKESTRONG. We honor him this way.”

The team breezed through its first two games in the annual tournament hosted by the Dartmouth Youth Activities Association (DYAA). The defeated Dighton 11-2, Sandwich 11-0, and Dartmouth 8-2 before facing King Philip in the final round on August 6.

King Philip took an early lead, and by the end of the fourth inning held a 3-1 lead over Uxbridge. In the fifth inning, Uxbridge scored six runs, bringing the game to 7-3. Strong defense kept King Philip from scoring, and the game concluded with an Uxbridge win, 10-3.

“We didn’t really hit anything, and didn’t do anything in the fields. But when we got a couple runs in, it really took off,” said player Thomas Lauze, who received the Most Valuable Player award at the tournament's end.

“I just told the kids to stay relaxed and hit the ball,” explained Coach Joe Gallerani. “The other team did hit the ball pretty well, but we’re a slow team. It takes us two to three innings to warm up.”

The first weekend of the John B. Steele Tournament also included the Junior Division 10-and-under tournament. Dartmouth faced losses against Maplewood and Seekonk, but picked up a 13-0 win against Tiverton.

The annual tournament is the largest fundraiser for the DYAA, and is one of the larger tourneys in New England, said Director Jim Vieira.

The games will continue with the Little League and Pony Division tournaments, scheduled for August 11-13.

Luke Basile makes a catch from the outfield. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
(Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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