MARIETTA, Ga. - The Dulins Dodgers 15U continue to display their dominance on the diamond at the 2013 15U WWBA National Championship, defeating the East Coast Eagles, 10-5, and Team Elite. 15U Black, 8-2 The Dodgers have outscored their opponents 29-7 in three wins and have tallied 33 base hits.
Scoring early and often against the Eagles, Dulins looked like a contending team today at Kell High School. After leading 3-0, the Eagles tallied two runs before the big blow came in the bottom half of the third inning off the bat of Jake Criswell.
“The kids grinded very well the whole game and a win is a win in this tournament,” head coach Tom Kliman said.
With the bases loaded, Criswell connected for a grand slam over the left field fence to blow the game open for good.
“He threw me a first pitch slider and it was pretty far outside, but I thought it could have gone either way,” Criswell said. “I knew I would get a fastball and it was chest high and I was supposed to look opposite field to hit it, but I just couldn’t pass that up.
The grand slam created some buzz around the tournament and surely will help Criswell reach one of his tournament goals. “I want scouts to see me,” said Criswell. “I wanna see our team go far, hopefully win it all.”
Criswell explained his ultimate goal would be for him and his teammates to receive scholarships to play college baseball, maybe even as teammates.
Criswell’s day shined on the pitcher’s mound as well. He threw four innings against Team Elite 15U Black, not giving up an earned run. Criswell earned the win and can be dubbed Player of the Day for the Dulins Dodgers.
Catcher Thomas Dillard kept the hot bat going, collecting 2 RBI, two doubles and a single in the doubleheader.
Kliman is happy with the way his team has come out and played so far in the tournament. “They go after it,” he said. “They play it the right way and they are a good bunch of kids off the field.”
The Dulins Dodgers 15U stick together to make an impact on and off the field, “They are great with the community,” said Kliman. “We do a lot of things outside. We got a great group of young men.”
The official website reads:
“Our free camps and clinics provide positive community outreach to disadvantaged and inner-city youth and are a major part of our pro-active efforts to ensure that inner-city baseball continues."
The website also mentions that Dulins Baseball raises thousands of dollars and provides assistance to athletes with illnesses.
Dulins Baseball is more than just baseball. The organization is also there to instill values into these young men.
Although they are making an impact in the community, they spend much of their time on the baseball diamond, participating in six tournaments from May 31st through the end of July.
The young ballplayers make a huge commitment to playing baseball. Kliman said they are always looking for opportunities to play whenever they can. The Dodgers especially enjoy being part of Perfect Game tournaments.
“We love coming here,” Kliman said. “It’s great competition. We know we gotta come in and play everyday and it shows our weaknesses as well as our strengths.”
“Using wood bats is always fun,” added Criswell. “I like coming out and trying to play.”
“We have a lot of pitching this year,” he said. “I think we have a good chance.”
It also seems they have hitting. This Dodgers team should be one to watch deep into the 2013 15U WWBA National Championship this week.