The Tri-County Babe Ruth 14 and Under team, which came within a victory of becoming national champions in 2015, is making a return trip to the Babe Ruth 14U World Series.

The mostly Oxford County players, who include Dylan Desroches of Mexico and Cameron Godbois of Rumford, recently defended their title of New England champions. They will leave Tuesday, Aug. 9, for the four-hour trip to the Babe Ruth 14U World Series in Westfield, Massachusetts. The World Series will run Aug. 10 to 18.

Dylan’s father, Matthew Desroches, said, “The majority of these kids, my son included, have been playing on an AAU travel baseball team and practicing at In the Zone Sports Center batting cages in South Paris.”

After playing their regular season in Babe Ruth, the players departed into their all-star teams, he said. Dylan and Cameron went to the Tri-County team, composed of players from Hebron, Bridgton, Harrison, Stoneham, Waterford, Norway, South Paris, Rumford, Mexico, Woodstock, which played in the state tournament. They beat Portland 3-0 for the state championship at the Field of Dreams in Harrison.

That facility hosted the New England Regional Championship. Tri-County played Portland again and defeated them again.

After defeating Arlington, Massachusetts, they played Newtown, Connecticut, in the finals, winning 12-2. The game was called after five innings because of the mercy rule, which ends a game when one team has a presumably insurmountable lead. 

Other team members are Jonny Pruett, Janek Luksza, Rodney Bean, Wyatt Williamson, Ayden Descantis, Charlie Morton, Cody Allen, Michael Bonang and Duncan Hurd. All but one player on this team competed in last year’s World Series.

The squad is coached by Gary Williamson, Tom Morton and Janek Luksza.

The Tri-County team will compete in a 10-team tournament divided into two pools, with the top two teams in each pool doing battle for the championship.

The New England champions are in the National Division with regional teams representing Middle Atlantic, Southeast, Pacific Northwest and WMA State Champ. In the American Division are regional teams representing Ohio Valley, Southwest, Midwest Plains, Pacific Southwest and host Westfield, Massachusetts.

Matthew Desroches said the evening after arrival, teams from all over the nation will attend a Tournament of Champions event that night at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The next night, there will be a skills competition, which includes a home-run derby, base-running, around the horn and throwing.

On Aug. 11, the locals will play in the first game of the World Series against the Middle Atlantic regional champion.

“Dylan and Cameron came into this team last year, playing with this group of kids who have been playing for the last six years together,” Matthew Desroches said. “It’s five out of six state titles for this Tri-County team.” 

“The experience (from last year) is huge for these boys,” he said. “They know what the stage is like now.”

Before they make the trip, there is fundraising to be done. Desroches said they will be staying there for 10 days with 11 players and family, and the coaches, which will be a total estimated $10,000 expense.

“We’re trying to raise money for hotel rooms and food for everybody,” he said. “We’re a nonprofit organization, so if any businesses or person wants to donate, they can do that and claim it as a donation.”

[email protected]

To support the Tri-County Babe Ruth 14 and Under team’s trip to the Babe Ruth World Series, make checks payable to Tri-County Babe Ruth League and mail them to Matthew Desroches, 8 Howard St., Mexico, ME 04257. FMI: Call Desroches at 357-2705.

For information on the upcoming World Series, visit westfieldworldseries.com.


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